Session 4 - Speed Reading Workout
Press START and begin the workout.
Follow and read the highlighted words.
Speed: wpm. Scroll: of text Grouped Words:
The last two weeks were like fire for him. They were the first weeks when he did the Speed Reading trainings in this format with real students. The people from the University saved him a classroom where he could organize his timetable in a way that it’s accessible for the students as well. It didn’t bother him that he had to come to the University at eight o’clock in the afternoon. The time was chosen with everyone’s agreement, after endless discussions. Each of the participants had something to say, to do or to resolve at diverse times of the day. Slowly, the programme got close to the night and in the end, all of them agreed that they can regularly participate at the course at this hour. Even though for concentration it was quite a late hour, he relied on the fact that he will discuss with them more, he was going to answer their questions and find solutions at different problems they encountered during the Speed Reading trainings. They did the trainings individually, each of them in their own zone, in their silence. There was no way for him to intervene here. The most he did, he offered the students who couldn’t find a silent half an hour a day to do their trainings calmly, to come to the classroom at night to do them there. But no one wanted this. No one lived so close to the University for them to be worth it to travel so much for half an hour of silence. However, for the psychologist and for his studies, the trainings in perfect conditions would have meant better results and better progress. He tried to collect as much data in these two weeks as he could, in order to adapt at every situation that appeared and at every problem that the students have encountered. He had to repeat each time the motivational speeches about how Speed Reading is not a way of scanning the text, which means quickly extracting the wanted information without reading the text, and looking for exactly what interests us.
Speed Reading means reading the text entirely and gradually increasing the speed by training the eye’s muscles, which are the fastest muscles in our body. These can focalise a word at speeds of 30 milliseconds, which means very much in the context in which an usual reader focalises a word in approximately 250-300 milliseconds. At this speed, the reader goes through a text with an approximate speed of 250 words per minute. With trainings, one could reach reading speeds of over 1000 words per minute. Another aspect that he presented each time, had to do with the way each person is taught to read, respectively the fact that everyone learned to read aloud. Even when the text isn’t read aloud, our brain still sends information to our vocal chords, which react and work in the background, simulating speech. The psychologist told them every time, that if a laryngophone was connected to the vocal chords while reading a text, the vibrations made by the vocal chords could be felt. Speed Reading can eliminate this reflex, allowing the brain to get the information only from the eyes, without having to concentrate on the vocal chords as well. But this can happen only at reading speeds over 900 words per minute. In that moment, vocal chords can’t keep up with the reading speed, so this useless reflex will be gone, and all the energy will be used towards the eyes’ movements and on getting and processing the information from them. He enjoyed observing the reactions of his students. Some of them attentively listened to what he said, while others were fed up with hearing the same information all over again. He took care of interacting with them, a very important thing otherwise. He enjoyed asking questions and provoking them to contradictory conversations.
Besides, everyone had an opinion regarding what Speed Reading means for each of them. The gentleman always wearing suits and glasses with black frames confessed first, saying that Speed Reading for him means another way of developing his brain. He considers that the same way as every other muscle in our body, the brain can be trained and developed along our life. He said he wanted to reach the speed of 1000 words per minute, thing which could be possible, considering that he was able to read over 600 words per minute at the test. The psychologist saw in him a lot of potential, which somehow put him on top of the list of students. He also said that he came to the course because he likes the lady with the bold lipstick, who is extremely beautiful and always put together, dressed elegantly. The whole class started laughing, but he was serious. She blushed and looked down for a second, after which she looked directly at him. She told him, that for her to out with him on a date, he must show her the test on which he reads 1000 words per minute. Everyone laughed again. But the psychologist noticed the looks and seriousness of those two. They weren’t joking. They were serious and both of them wanted to spend time with each other. There was another person who wasn’t laughing, a young man, who sometimes looked at the woman shyly. It was noticeable from his movements and attitude that he was missing social skills and surely, he didn’t have much friends around. It was possible that he came to the Speed Reading course only to meet people and interact with other people. Or maybe he was just trying to interact. It was too soon to know exactly which of these options was true. The psychologist chose for the moment to concentrate his attention on those two, who in the meanwhile engaged in exchanging harsh replies, in which she said that he wouldn’t be able of such a performance, and he assured her that she will have the best date of her life in the city with him. Everyone got amused over this episode. However, they could be seen more frequently near each other.
Slowly, groups of two or three people were formed, which he noticed talking each time he entered the classroom, or when taking a break. One of them asked one day, how can some of his colleagues from work do the same training at the same time. The psychologist found this question quite weird, especially because they already met a few times and he could have given the answer himself to his colleagues. However, he clearly explained to him as well as he could, that he had to know whether they wanted to learn it because of work or because of personal development. Also, he asked him to ask them if they can allocate themselves half an hour a day to read the training texts and if they can find a quiet place to do these. But finally, he said that what is most correct for everyone is for him to meet those colleagues and to explain them thoroughly what Speed Reading is and identify together the way he can help them. At another meeting, the boy with sclerosis was quite sad and upset. Ha said that he cannot concentrate enough and that he gets really tired after the trainings. The psychologist immediately thought that it may be the same issue as with the French girl, who didn’t wear her glasses even though she knew she had to. But the boy said that he is wearing them. After this he asked him to describe the area in which he is doing the trainings, he found out that he was doing them at night, after getting in bed, with his laptop on his lap and with the lights switched off. This way they managed, together, to identify the issue, which was cause by the wrong timing, when he was already tired after a day of working and he couldn’t be fully attentive on what he is doing.
Andrew only talked once in front of them, seeming a man with sad eyes all the time. Subsequently he found out his story, the divorce and the fight over his son’s custody. Surely, it wasn’t a nice and relaxing thing to go through. He needed the Speed Reading course to work at a publishing house where he had to read a lot of manuscripts in record times. He confessed in a discussion that he had with him, that he used to take a manuscript and read it’s first five pages and last five pages. If the script was corresponding to the imposed pattern of the publisher and the action seemed consistent, the characters had their own personality and the message was clear and concise, then he accepted to read on. In contrary case, he didn’t bother. When he started talking in front of the class, it was noticeable that he is used to talking in public. He didn’t have breaks and his speech was cursive, sometimes with slight intonations in the places he wanted to highlight. He wanted to present a situation encountered during the trainings he did. He mentioned the fact that, when the cursor gets to the end of a row and goes on to the next row, the eyes have to adjust and to focalise the word at the beginning of the row. This wasn’t an issue at slower speeds or at word groups of two to three words. But when the speed increased and the word groups were bigger, these getting interrupted at the end of the row, the eyes couldn’t focus on the beginning of the phrase, which lead to losing the meaning of the phrase and word group. More students in the classroom agreed with Andrew’s observation. The psychologist listened to him attentively and intervened in order to clarify this aspect with him. The observation was a very good one, but the training itself consists in getting your eyes used to focalising the words faster and at the same time, to teach them to see more words at once. Peripheric vision being trained at the same time. It is normal not to manage from the beginning to see and focalise these words that get lost, but as you go further with the training, the word groups will get easier to follow and understand.
The psychologist mentioned something very important regarding the trainings, he mentioned that at the beginning it is not necessary to understand the whole text, just the word groups’ meanings must be understood. Gradually, as they get used to the technique, they will go on to understand the text’s meaning as well. This is altogether the strategy of Speed Reading. However, taking in consideration the fact that in this moment, every man reads intermittently, word by word, at the end of the Speed Reading course, the goal is to manage to read groups of two or more words. It isn’t very difficult, but considering that in our whole life we read intermittently, transitioning to reading word groups in a month, represents an evolution. The psychologist also highlighted something that he repeats at every course. Word groups of five to seven words will be impossible to be read normally at the beginning. Those are made in order to train the eye muscles and to increase the focalisation speed. Looking back, the first two weeks were about discovering the way how students react to the Speed Reading tool and what issues they encountered. Some of these issues he didn’t expect during the preparation of the course, so he had to adapt and analyse them ad-hoc. But as he moved forward with the sessions, he felt more and more confident in what he offered. This was also due to the tests the students took on until now, the results as well, which in general showed progress, sometimes quite a generous one.