How to Improve Your Reading Speed If English Is Not Your First Language
If English is not your first language, you can improve your reading speed by improving your English vocabulary, reading English text always, using meta guiding when reading, using a speed reading tool like AccelaReader, and taking a speed reading course.
Reading speed determines how fast you access information. So, improving your reading speed will help you access information faster to stay on top of the information that your success depends on.
However, reading fast while comprehending what is read is challenging enough for native English speakers. For those whose first language is not English, it can easily be a mountain too high to climb.
This article has the information that’ll help you level this mountain. We’ll reveal practical ways to improve your reading speed if English is not your first language.
Are speed reading techniques effective if English is not your first language?
Speed reading techniques will improve your reading abilities not only when English is your first language but also when you learn English as a second or third language.
This is because the speed reading techniques help you overcome things that hinder reading at super speed, such as limited visual field, subvocalization, and regressive eye movements. Interestingly, these things are found both when using English as a first language and as a second or third language.
Tips to improve reading speed in a non-native language
Some practical ways to improve reading speed in a non-native language include:
- Improve your vocabulary
- Practice always
- Use meta guiding
- Practice with a Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) tool
- Take a speed reading course
1. Improve your vocabulary
Non-native users of a language generally know fewer words than native speakers. Improving your vocabulary in a language helps you become familiar with more words within the language. This improves reading speed because you’ll stop less while reading.
When reading, if you come across a word that you are unfamiliar with, you are bound to slow down. You’ll slow down for one of the following reasons:
- Look up the meaning of the unknown word
- Reread the text to try and get the meaning of the unfamiliar word from the context.
Thus, the more words you are familiar with in the language, the less unfamiliar words you’re likely to encounter, and the less you’ll slow down when reading.
The best way to increase vocabulary in a language is to always take up books in that language and read.
2. Practice. Practice. Practice
Apart from increasing your vocabulary, reading regularly stimulates your brain and improves your focus and concentration.
So, as a non-native speaker trying to improve your reading speed in the English language, one of the best ways to succeed is to always read books in English.
This follows the principle “practice makes perfect.” The more you practice a skill, the better you get at it. Simply read as much as you can. It’s also good to make conscious efforts to read, like carving out time each day for reading.
While doing this, it is important to take note of the following:
- Don’t rush at first. You can start at a slow pace. The important thing is to read all the time.
- Read in a progressive way. Start by reading easy-to-read books, even children’s books. Then, move on to harder-to-read books as your reading skills improve.
3. Use meta guiding
Meta guiding is visually guiding the eye using your finger or a pointer (such as a pen) when reading. This allows you to move your eyes faster along a line of text.
When you are reading, the eyes do not glide smoothly along the line. Instead, in a movement called saccades, the eyes fixate on blocks of text before moving to the next block of text. Sadly, these fixations slow down reading.
When reading text that is not in your first language, fixations tend to be longer, slowing your reading even more.
However, meta guiding helps reduce these fixations. As you run your hand or a pointer under the text when reading, your eyes move with the guide allowing you to read faster.
4. Use RSVP (Rapid Serial Visual Presentation) tools
Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) tools flash you words quickly on a screen so that you’ll read the words as they are shown rapidly.
The RSVP tools are simply speed reading tools. They show you words at a speed faster than your normal reading speed, and task you to match the speed. As you read the words shown, you’ll find yourself reading faster.
One of the most powerful RSVP tools for improving your reading speed in English if it is not your first language is AcceleReader.
This speed reading tool has a lot of exciting features, including:
- Speed. You can set how many words you want the tool to flash you per minute. So you can start slow and increase your reading speed as you go.
- Words chunking. You can also set how many words you want the tool to flash you at once. This allows you to read even faster, as it trains you to read groups of words together instead of reading words singly.
- Text size. You can also set the size of the words flashed on your screen. This allows you to train with different text sizes so that you can cope well with text of various sizes.
Interestingly, AccelaReader is very easy to use. Just copy and paste the words that you want to read into the text space, and the tool will flash you the words (according to your settings), allowing you to read it quickly.
5. Take a speed reading course
Learning from an expert is one of the best ways to improve your reading speed if English is not your first language. Interestingly, one of the best ways to learn from an expert is to take specially prepared courses.
Some of the best online courses for improving your reading speed include:
- Speed Reading Foundation Course. This is the best beginner’s course into speed reading. It’ll teach you to read faster whether you are reading informational materials, news articles, fiction, or more. You’ll also learn how to use the AccelaReader speed reading tool for optimum benefits, how to organize your reading list, and more.
- Speed Reading Mastery Course. This course takes your reading speed skills to advanced levels. You’ll learn how to comprehend when reading at high speed, even if it is technical material. You’ll learn about things that hinder speed reading, as well as practical ways to avoid them.
- Speed Reading for Business Professionals. This course is designed for busy professionals who need to get through tons of information quickly. You’ll learn how to quickly read and comprehend business materials, whether they are in printed or digital form.
Reading fast is challenging. It is even more challenging to speed read – read at super speed while comprehending what is read. The challenge increases a thousandfold if English is not your first language.
However, you can improve your reading speed in a non-native language. Simple tips to do this include improving your vocabulary, reading regularly, using meta guiding, using a speed reading tool, and taking a speed reading course.
Talking of courses, the Personal Productivity Course is designed to help you accomplish more in less time. It is suited for the busy students or the working professionals who feel there is too much material to cover and too little time to cover them.
Interestingly, the principles you’ll learn in the course will help you be productive not just when reading but in whatever else you do.
Have a ton to read? You can cover all of the material quicker than you expected while comprehending and remembering more. Register for the Personal Productivity Course today.