Seven Misconceptions

About Reading Improvement


1. Misconception: Most people feel that they can not improve their reading.

They think that because they have had difficulty improving their reading in the past this will automatically be true for the future. This attitude predisposes failure. The actual truth is just the opposite. Most readers can improve their reading speed and comprehension dramatically with two hours of formal instruction and some independent practice, if they use technology. Poor and  Average readers can quickly become Good readers, and Good readers can quickly become Excellent readers. Everyone can move up, at any skill level or age.

2. Misconception: Reading is hard work.

Just the opposite is true. Good and excellent readers get into what I call the "Reading Zone" where learning is a great joy, and focus and concentration and understanding and recall are at a very high level. The truth is that by using technology almost all students can enter The Reading Zone immediately. Reading in the Zone is more enjoyable than watching TV, playing video games or doing drugs. The problem is that almost no one has experienced this to share it with others. Students will choose the joy of reading once exposed to it.

3. Misconception: Voice and text reading is used just for blind people, or for reading books out loud when you are driving in a car or doing the dishes.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Listening to computer-voice at adjustable-speed as you visually read text is the best and fastest means for helping students read assigned reading, improve their reading, and develop transferrable skills.

4. Misconception: Computer-Voice reading is very slow and unpleasant to hear.

Just the opposite is true. Most people have never heard the newer computer voices. Secondly, they have no idea that the real reason they do not like voice assistance is because they can not get the voice to go just as fast as they want, or pause, or repeat the sound as desired.

5. Misconception: Computer-Voice reading is something you just listen to.

Almost no one has any idea that for best results you read text as you hear it read, and do so in a special way. Students have absolutely no idea of the proper pagination of text that needs to accompany voice for maximum speed and comprehension.

6. Misconception: Students think that reading is a submissive experience.

Students have no idea of the individual controls that need to accompany voice, and how to work these controls as you read. Once the student learns how to control his or her reading options, he or she will start inputting material as fast as the mind can process it accurately, and have a very joyful experience. Actually, good reading is a process in which the student is very much actively in control, as simultaneously he or she absorbs new material. Focus and concentration are very high, like in playing video games.

7. Misconception: If something worked, it would be well known in the schools.

Nothing could be further from the truth:

  1. A.Most teachers are focused on teaching just how they were taught.

  2. B.They have very tight schedules and little time to experiment; their focus is often on teaching specific content, and/or teaching to the test.

  3. C.They are given almost no training or incentive in new techniques, even though many teachers want to improve.

  4. D.Many teachers have absolutely no idea why their students are having difficulty reading.

  5. E.Some teachers do not want the better students to "go ahead"; they want everybody to be at the same place at the same time for easy class teaching and group control.

  6. F.There is a real fear among many teachers that they will be replaced by technology, or by highly successful students that they can not keep just ahead of.

  7. G.Teachers often think technology works by itself, and that they can go into another room, instead of monitoring the classroom and having periodic, 1on1 sessions to check/upgrade each student in turn. Students working independently with this approach benefit by two hours of initial coaching.

  8. H.Teachers and students have absolutely no experience with how much better the teaching experience is when all students love to read and want to discuss what they have read.

  9. I.Almost no teacher has ever personally experienced reading technology that worked; they are completely unfamiliar with this possibility.

  10. J.Teachers and administrators have no idea that all the students in their classes or school will each benefit from this approach regardless of skill level, as it is tailored to each student's individual needs and promotes forward development in each and every student as they do assigned reading from the teacher (novels, textbook chapters, and Internet articles).

  11. K.Administrators, teachers and sped departments think expensive new computers and software are necessary. This is not so. No new software or hardware is needed to quickly help all students in a school.

  12. L.If you told almost any teacher or administrator, or professor that the key to improving education in their field was to turn their reading material into a Video Game, they would have absolutely no idea of what you meant, or how to do it, or why.

  13. M.Electronic textbooks will reduce weight, and student cost and provide animations and videos and easy updating. This will help reading a little. However, student reading will not improve very much with just these ideas (as hoped), because these advances by themselves do not address any of the main issues listed above.

Written by:

John Fleming Adams

Proportional Reading

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