Reading & Literacy Report Roundup

Research Report: Reading

By Sarah D. Sparks — January 26, 2016 1 min read
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Programs and electronic apps designed to teach speed-reading are popular, but few people can double their reading rate without losing comprehension, finds a new study in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest.

The average college-educated adult considered to be a good reader processes 200 to 400 words per minute, but a variety of commercial apps suggest readers can learn to comprehend 500 to 750 words per minute by “tak[ing] in more visual information in a glance” and presenting text in different ways on a screen.

The study found speed-reading programs can help a student if he or she requires only moderate comprehension, but for deep understanding, quicker presentation could present information before the brain is ready to receive it and prevent the eyes from naturally backtracking to correct comprehension errors.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 27, 2016 edition of Education Week as Reading

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