Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 96 - July 2013 - by Phil Chambers

TIME TO READ: 3 minutes (average reader) - less than a minute (Speed Reader) - Word Count: 688 To learn more about Speed Reading Contact us or read my new book, see below.

If you are not a subscriber to the newsletter click here and fill in your name and e-mail address at the top of the page.

Welcome to the July 2013 issue of the Learning Technologies Newsletter. Please continue to forward it to friends and colleagues who you think would find it useful.

In this edition of the newsletter we have an article exploring Speed Reading plus our regular features of quote of the month, Mind Mapping tip and what I’m up to.


July's Quote of the Month

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body"

~ Joseph Addison (1 May 1672 – 17 June 1719)
English essayist, poet, playwright and politician

More quotes here


What's Phil Up To?

Algiers View

View of Algiers (Wikimedia)


At the beginning of July I will be visiting Algiers to oversee the Algerian National Memory Championships. This promises to be a great event.

I am also eagerly looking forward to the launch of my new book, "Brilliant Speed Reading", see below.

Mind Mapping Tip of the Month.

Remember that you should always try to draw a central image rather than write a word.
Even If you are doing a quick fire Mind Map to note down ideas, the little extra time and effort spent on drawing an image will improve your memory and creativity.

Mind Map Tips book


Speed Reading Misconceptions

To celebrate the release of my new book, “Brillaint Speed Reading” on 9th July, this month I thought I would tackle some commonly held misconceptions about speed reading.

Brillaint Speed Reading cover

Avoid Subvocalisation

Subvocalisation is hearing the words in your head as you read. This stems from reading out loud when we learned to read as children. It acts as an aid to comprehension and almost everyone does it to some degree. However, some speed reading courses say that in order to speed up you must eradicate this. What a load of nonsense! Speed talkers can speak at over 600 wpm (words per minute). Their speed is limited by movements of the tongue, mouth and vocal cords. Without this hindrance it is possible to internally ‘speak’ in excess of 1,000 wpm. I would recommend imagining a volume control in your head. You can turn this down when speed reading so that subvocalisation is still present but not at the forefront of your mind. If you read something that you want to stand out, and hence be remembered, you can turn up the volume to shout it in your head.

Pointing at words with your finger is childish

When you were taught to read, you probably pointed to each word as you read it. Eventually, once you became fluent in reading, you were told to remove your finger because it slowed you down. It would have been more sensible to be told to move your finger quicker. Using a finger or pointer to glide under the words as you read them is one of the most effective speed reading techniques. It improves eye tracking and helps you to get into a regular rhythm as well as many other benefits that I explain in the book.

Comprehension should always be 100%

One of the biggest barriers to would-be speed readers is the fear that as they go faster they may miss important details. It is very rare that you need 100% comprehension. More often than not you need key information. Speed Reading can help you find this faster. Once you have what you need, you can move on. Starting from the first page of a study book, and plodding through one page at a time is a very ineffective strategy. Getting an overview and then homing in on what you need like a guided missile is far faster and more fruitful. You will not have read 100% of the book but you will have achieved your aim.

That’s it for this month. I’ll be back in touch with the next newsletter in early August.

Best Wishes