In order to understand the reason for our present method of reading, we must think back to the way we were taught to read.

Whilst several ways to teach reading have been used over the years, like the Initial Teaching Alphabet of 44 sounds and the “Look and Say” method, most of us were taught the Alphabet first.

Having learned it by rote, we then learned that the letters had sounds – the phonetic alphabet.  From this we were taught to “SOUND” the letters in a simple word, such as CAT.

So that from the sounds C-A-T coming together it makes a sound that the reader recognises and understands.

At an early stage of learning, a child firmly fixes reading with speaking.

We have to read out loud when we first start and continue to do so until we become more fluent and have an increased vocabulary.

Then we are told to “sit down and read to yourself”.  But we continue to use exactly the same process as we had when we were reading aloud.

The Physical Elements in Reading

When we look at improving the physical process as a basic step in reading development.  Once this part of reading has been dealt with, you can then concentrate on the mental process and begin to improve comprehension.


There are three handicaps that prevent the physical improvement of reading.  These must be understood and tackled first.  They are:

             Self-Talk (Sub-vocalisation)

             Regression.

             Word by Word Reading.


Self-talk is the movement of the lips, tongue and larynx during silent reading.  This habit becomes so firmly fixed in our reading process that we then believe we can’t understand without it.

If we read unsuccessfully at school, we were told to read “more carefully” which meant more slowly and with even more self-talk.

There are four different degrees of Self Talk:-

             Speech – which is inefficient and unnecessary.

             Hearing  1.   Actually hearing every word – also unnecessary.

             Hearing  2.   Hearing about 50% of the words.  Seeing, understanding but not hearing words like ‘is, was, but, so, and if.’  These words make up half of our normal vocabulary.

             Hearing  3.   Very few words mentally heard.  (This is limited to very fast readers).

There is evidence that self-talking rapidly or “THINKING” the words, especially the key words, helps retention.

We may not wish to cease self-talk or hearing all the words, but continue to hear and register the KEY WORDS.  This can still be done at speeds up to about 800 words per minute.

This results up to three quarters of the capacity of the brain WANTING to be taken up so it will search for other things to interest it.  This causes more problems.  When our mind wanders, we do not stop our eyes passing over the print, even when nothing is going in.  After a page or so of this, we stop, realise we haven’t been assimilating the text and have to re-read.  This is called regression.


There are two types of regression:-




Voluntary Regression

This is where the reader decides to stop, go back and voluntarily re-read, either because the piece has been poorly written, or the mind has wandered.

This is due to the small amount of information passing to the brain.  This allows the dormant part of the brain to occupy itself with matters other than that in the text.

The brain has two sides, Logical (Left) & Reflective (Right), reading is predominantly a Left Brain activity, if concentration lapses then the Reflective side of the brain starts to “wander off”

The solution is to increase the information being passed to the brain and occupy the brain more fully.  This forces concentration and fills up the capacity of the brain, which helps avoid distractions.

Readers should only voluntarily regress after they have read a complete paragraph and have not grasped the meaning.

Involuntary Regression

This is often caused by the way we were first taught to read.  We take in each word as it is presented to the brain.  The habit we adopt is to focus down onto each single word and accept them, one at a time, and gradually build up the meaning as we go along.

Unfortunately, we do not take these words in by moving the eyes regularly from one word to the next, from left to right.

As we are learning to read, long words are a problem.  We have built in a habit of glancing forward to long words that we see coming out of the corner of our eye and to preview them before we reach them.

If we can learn to move the eyes from left to right without flickering forward or back skipping, we will be reading more efficiently, with a smoother eye movement.

Word by Word Reading

Very often, it is inefficient to read single words at a time.  Reading single words at a time is like looking at a painting through a screen, seeing only one square inch of the painting at a time.  You have to store that memory, then move on to take in another square inch.

By reading words singly, you place the same level of mental importance on every word.  Obviously, certain words require more mental attention than others.

Writers do not think in words, they think in concepts and ideas.  Words are only used as tools to communicate those concepts and ideas.  If you can learn to read for concepts and ideas, you will not only read faster, you will understand better.

This means you must develop the ability to read words in groups where appropriate.


We must try to read as near as possible to “thinking” the words instead of saying them all.  We must try to gather and understand the words in meaningful groups.

An author writes in ideas, built up of groups of words.

We must try to increase our pace of reading in this new effective way so as to feed much more information to the brain to help us concentrate.

So, by overcoming these three bad habits and installing the new method by practice, we will quickly become a much more effective and successful reader.  We will be able to improve both our comprehension and speed of reading.

Checkout the great new Readfaster App – designed to help you improve the speed at which your eye muscles work – available on Google Play Store for just £1.99 ! – try it out and send your eye muscles to the gym !

Improve your reading speed with our new App now available on Google Play

To read faster you need to develop both your eye muscles (the tiny sets of muscles that enable your eyes to move quicker, meaning you can scan text faster). The other element is the mental approach.

The App is designed to help develop the physical characteristics – in short sending your eyes to the gym!!

The App has a book and the idea is to gradually increase the pace at which the screen covers over the text – try to keep about three lines ahead of the screen and every minute or so increase the speed a little to make you work those eye muscles a bit more to keep ahead.

Search for Read Faster in Play Store – try it out for free then get loads more


Problems with reading – Subvocalisation.

Subvocalisation reading aloud in your head!

Saying the words in our head as we read ???

Again it partly the way we are taught when we were at school – C. A. T = cat

When reading we often read aloud simple words … and, but, was, it….. but do we really need to?

We don’t with objects ….

Q… When you walk into a room what do you see ?

  • Desk
  • Clock
  • Chair
  • TV

The answer is that you don’t – Actually the brain has the great ability to recognise shapes

When reading we often read aloud simpe words … and, but, was, it  …………… “How do we know what they do” ? 

The ability of our brain to recognise shapes, our distant ancestors used cave paintings to great effect and to tell stories that are instantly recognisable to the brain.

  • Cave paintings.
  • Road signs


Originally just UPPERCASE but people were not recognising the exit signs leading to a much higher than imagined level of accidents on or bear junctions.

The signs were changed to current format and accidents reduced substantially immediately.

We currently only say 60% – 70% of the words we read already – if we could take this down to 30%  – 40% we would see a huge improvement.

We can hear 3 times faster than we speak so reducing subvocalization we will inevitably speed up our reading!

Problems encountered when reading – Regression

When reading it is easy to lose concentration as RIGHT brain wanders off to other things ……. Often reason why we need to re read paragraphs or pages

This is called REGRESSION… but this starts at an early age..

“In schools we are taught to read things carefully – what do you think this means” …….(Slowly!) take each word as it is… if we can learn to flicker the eyes left to right without skipping back we will be more efficient and smoother!

If we read slowly we give Right Brain more chance to go walkabout!

———-  ———– ——— ———– ——————

  • Going back and re reading

Why do you think may cause this ?

  • Jumping ahead as we see something and missing some text
  • Because you don’t understand a word ?
  • Loss of concentration ?

If this happens don’t worry as they usually come out in the context…. You need to consciously decide not to go back when reading as a habit.

Other types of regression

  • Paragraph
  • Page

These are BAD as it means we have to read twice – takes us twice as long as t could do !!

How we read !


Brain is in 2 halves each about the size of a fist

Logical Half                                                              Reflective Half

Any idea which half is which ??? (L /R)

  • Reading is predominantly Left Brain activity


  • Right Brain can be very dominant – working on other things while we read….

Interactive games are right brain activity many are able to keep up a very high concentration level (those with children will already  know this !

If we are concentrating well it doesn’t allow our right half of the brain become too active and disrupt the reading half of the brain !

Our courses will help you plan for this and keep on track to become more efficient and therefore understand more of what you are reading then get on a course!.

The main aspects of reading !

PHYSICAL                                                                             MENTAL

  • Mechanical                                                             Brain
  • Eye Movement                                                      Non Visual
  • Word Recognition                                                Comprehension



Effective Reading

Covid 19

Due to the current pandemic it has been necessary to postpone the current courses for the time being, shame as we were really looking forward to presenting a course to staff & council leaders at East Midlands Council Group.

We look forward to getting a new date in the diary as soon as possible once the Covid 19 virus has been defeated.

Until then we would like to wish all our customers good luck, good health and we will convene again once this is beaten.

New Training App in Development..

In order to fulfill the demand from delegates over the years, who have seen great success and benefits in attending the Read Faster with Greater Understanding course, to develop an easy to use training App that will help individuals “send their eyes to the gym” we are investing thousands on developing a speed reading App that will be available during the early part of 2020.

Watch this space and social media for launch details.

Durham CC Course #2

The second of this years group of courses was held last week at County Hall in Durham on a warm sunny day.

The delegates were enthusiastic as ever and worked really hard on the topics to help increase reading speed an also comprehension.

The 6 hour course is pretty full on but yet again delegates found that there are huge benefits to be had.

Across the group reading speed doubled following the course whist an average increase in comprehension of 40% at the same time.

Someone reading 2 hours per day during work will now save 2 full days days per month as a result! … Now thats an improvement in efficiency and also helps get a much better work life balance.

Durham County Council Course #1

The first of this years courses took place in January 2019 at County Hall, 10 delegates from across the spectrum of the Councils departments attended the course.

They all had in common a great deal of reading material to get through during the course of their working week (in most cases at least 2 hours per day)

All delegated saw a huge increase in reading speed with 8 out of 9 also seeing an improvement in comprehension. The 9th delegate saw a 2.5 times improvement in reading speed without any tangible loss of comprehension.


Hi Tim

Thank you for taking the time the evaluate my results.

I must say I really did enjoy it, but it was very intense. 

Overall very enjoyable and beneficial course that I am sure I will benefit from in my work.

Thanks for everything

Kind regards