The Speed Reading Course
By Peter Shepherd & Gregory Unsworth-Mitchell
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web site: Tools for Transformation Copyright © 1997 Peter Shepherd
The Basics of Reading
We all learn to read at school, after a fashion. But for most of us, this is not an optimal use of our brain power. In this course you will learn to better use the left brain's focused attention combined with the right brain's peripheral attention, in close harmony. Good communication between the brain hemispheres is a prerequisite for creative thinking and also a sense of well-being, where thoughts and feelings are integrated. As you probably expect, this course will also teach you to read much faster and at the same time, to remember more of what you have read. These are obviously great advantages. There is another major benefit. Most of us, as we read, 'speak' the words in our heads. It is this subvocalisation that holds back fast reading and it is unnecessary. It is possible to have an inner speech, a kind of 'thought awareness,' that isn't linked to the tongue, mouth and vocal chord muscles, and this is much faster and more fluent. Cutting out the identification of vocalisation and the stream of thought gives a surprising by-product. Many of us think that our constant subvocalised 'speaking voice' is who we are. Finding out that you can think and be aware without a vocal stream of words, opens up your consciousness to the usually unrecognised domain of intuition and spiritual awareness. You'll have a better sense of who you really are. Try it and see!
The Definition of Reading
Reading may be defined as an individual's total inter-relationship with symbolic information. Reading is a communication process requiring a series of skills. As such reading is a thinking process rather than an exercise in eye movements. Effective reading requires a logical sequence of thinking or thought patterns, and these thought patterns require practice to set them into the mind. They may be broken down into the following seven basic processes: 1. 2. 3. Recognition: the reader's knowledge of the alphabetic symbols. Assimilation: the physical process of perception and scanning. Intra-integration: basic understanding derived from the reading material
5. 6. 7.
itself, with minimum dependence on past experience, other than a knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. Extra-integration: analysis, criticism, appreciation, selection & rejection. These are all activities which require the reader to bring his past experience to bear on the task. Retention: this is the capacity to store the information in memory. Recall: the ability to recover the information from memory storage. Communication: this represents the application of the information and may be further broken down into at least 4 categories, which are: * Written communication; * Spoken communication; * Communication through drawing and the manipulation of objects; * Thinking, which is another word for communication with the self.
Many problems in reading and learning are due to old habits. Many people are still reading in the way that they were taught in elementary school. Their reading speed will have settled to about 250 w.p.m. Many people can think at rates of 500 w.p.m. or more, so their mind is running at twice the speed of their eyes. A consequence is that it is easy to lapse into boredom, day-dreaming or thinking about what you want to do on the weekend. Frequently, it is through this type of distraction that you find you have to re-read sentences and paragraphs, and you find as a result, ideas are difficult to understand and remember. The basic problem - the mismatch between thinking speed and reading speed arises for the most part from the inadequate methods by which reading is taught. Since the War there have been two main approaches: the Look-Say method and the Phonic method. Both methods are only semi-effective. In the Phonic method a child is first...
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