Increasing Reading Speed

Fluent reading depends on knowledge acquired from reading. Every time you read, you become more familiar with the vocabulary, the structures of sentences and the informational content. The greater your familiarity with this knowledge, the less time that is required to process this information and consequently you can comprehend text with greater speed and efficiency.

To help children acquire this knowledge, you need to expose them to text structures that are outside their current knowledge base. This means they need to be reading a large sample of different types of texts that vary in styles and genres. The text doesn’t need to be excessively difficult, just sufficiently different that they encounter new words, familiar words in novel ways, new sentence structures and new information.

What does this information mean for parents and teachers? It means we need to be setting aside sufficient time each day for children to be practising reading and providing them with a wide range of reading material.

Reference

Seidenberg, M. (2017).  Language at the speed of sight. Basic Books: New York.

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