If you have decided that you want to dramatically increase the speed and efficiency of your reading in order to work or study more effectively, there are several options open to you nowadays. Taking speed reading classes remains a popular option. Though it may be possible to gain the same knowledge through software or a correspondence course, speed reading classes may well be superior to these other options.
The opportunity to measure your progress against that of others in the class, and to have personal instruction as needed, can be invaluable. Many students progress faster after they make the choice to attend speed reading classes. What can you expect from a speed reading class? Some of us find the idea intimidating - probably because they are afraid that they will be unable to learn to read at speeds of 100 words per minute or more. It is true that, just as natural reading speed varies between individuals, so does one's capacity to learn speed reading. However, don't be discouraged if you consider yourself a slow reader by nature. Speed reading classes teach you knew techniques for reading that are different from those you normally use.
For example, the Evelyn Wood method (designed by one of the pioneers of speed reading) involves the use of a 'pacer' to speed up the movement of your eyes across the page. Evelyn Wood herself stumbled upon this method, when frustrated by her own inability to read faster. The accidental movement of her own hand across a page showed her how the eye is 'led' by a moving object.
The result? People can learn to read faster, with little or no loss of comprehension. Other speed reading classes teach different methods. The object of many of them is to stop people from 'dwelling on' a certain word, because that slows down the reading process. One method, therefore, calls for using your peripheral vision to read. If you read out the the corner of your eyes, so to speak, the eye seems to be naturally drawn forward. As you get faster - and some speed reading classes claim an incredible 1000 wpm - opinions vary regarding whether comprehension is lost.
According to some sceptics, who have studies speed readers under controlled circumstances, it appears that speed does come at the expense of comprehension. In fact, some experts claim that reading faster than 600 wpm means that comprehension is radically reduces. There is also strong evidence to the contrary, however, and most speed reading experts claim that little or no comprehension is lost, even at incredibly high speeds. .
By: Robert Kokoska