Faster Effective Reading
The comprehension passage on this course are designed to help your reading speed. A higher reading rate, with no loss of comprehension, will help you in other subjects as well as English, and the general principles apply to any language. Naturally, you will not read every book at the same speed. You would expect to read a newspaper, for example, much more rapidly than a physics or economics textbook, but you can raise you average reading speed over the whole range of material you wish to cover so that the percentage gain will be the same whatever kind of reading you are concerned with.
The reading passages which follow are all of an average level of difficulty for your stage of instruction. They are all approximately 500 word long. They are about topics of general interest which do not require a great deal of specialized knowledge. Thus they fall between the kind of reading you might find in your textbook and the much less demanding kind you will find in a newspaper or light novel. If you read this kind of English, with understanding, at say 400 words per minute, you might skim through a newspaper at perhaps 650-700, while with a difficult textbook you might drop to 200 or 250.
Perhaps you would like to know what reading speed are common among native English-speaking university studens and how those speeds can be improved. Tests in Minnesota, USA, for example, have shown that students without special training can read English of average difficulty, for example Tolstoy’s War and Peace in translation, at speed of between 240 and 250 w.p.m. It is further claimed that with intensive training over seventeen weeks speed of over 1000 w.p.m, can be reached, but this would be quite exceptional.
If you get to the point where you can read books of average difficulty at between 400 and 500 w.p.m with 70% or more comprehension, you will be doing quite well, though of course and further improvement of speed with comprehension will be a good thing.
In this and the following three passages we shall be looking at some of the obstacles to faster reading and what we can do to overcome them.
Think of passage as a whole
When you practice reading with passages shorter than book length, like the passages in this course, do not try to take in each word separately, one after the other. It is much more difficult the grasp the broad theme of the passage this way, and you will also get stuck on individual word which may not be absolutely essential to a general understanding of the passage. It is a good idea to skim through the passage very quickly first (say 500 word in a minute or so) to get the general idea of each paragraph. Titles, paragraph headings and emphasized word (underlined or in italics) can be a great help in getting this skeleton outline of the passage. It is surprising how many people do not read titles, introductions or paragraph heading. Can you, without looking back, remember the title of this passage and the heading of this paragraph?
(From Practical Faster Reading)
Ya, ini materi kuliah pertama kali. Kesannya cuma text biasa yang pake pertanyaan di bawahnya (setelah text ini ada pertanyaannya,-red). Tapi jika dibaca ulang, text ini gag hanya buat ngejawab pertanyaan tapi ada ilmunya juga di dalamnya.
Beda banget sama text yang ada di buku pelajaran Bahasa Inggris itu. Nggak penting apa isinya, yang penting bisa ngejawab pertanyaannya. Nah, di sini selain buat ngejawab pertanyaan, text ini berfungsi sekaligus ngasi tahu gimana “membaca cepat yang efektif” itu.