One may automatically assume that the speed reading of the information is the most important part of the learning process. While it is extremely important in absorbing large amounts of information, there are certain tactics that should be applied before reading has even started or during the reading process. Applying pre-reading strategies helps to prepare the brain for the information ahead and assists with learning and memorization of the work.
Before beginning to read, any prior knowledge on the topic should be brought to attention. This is done by brainstorming and having group discussions. When brainstorming, write down all the information you can think of relating to the subject. These points will confirm the information that you already know. Make notes of any facts that you are unsure of to help with the search to further clarification in the reading ahead, as well as any points you may disagree with.
Group discussions on the topic will help you understand more, as other will have knowledge of different facts. Teachers may encourage class discussions or perhaps you may need to organize the discussion amongst your friends. Teachers might try to assist by showing photographs, printed previews or films relating to the topic.
As a pre-reading strategy, it is very helpful if your teacher explains any difficult vocabulary. Understanding the meaning of new words will facilitate the speed reading process and level of comprehension.
Before reading, make sure that your purpose is clear. The purpose can be related to questions that arose during the group discussion, brainstorming, from yourself as the student, or as directed by the teacher. Reading with a purpose helps the student to focus his attention and read in a more active manner. Without a purpose, the student will not know the kind of information he is looking for and will just aimlessly read everything.
Consider what the author was thinking when he wrote the information. This can be helpful in understanding the work. Try to assess what the author is trying to say, what his point of view is and the reason the author wrote the information. A group discussion for this task is useful.
Another important strategy will be to determine how the text is written. The information may be written as advantages and disadvantages; causes and effects or problems with solutions. Use scanning or skimming techniques when speed reading the chapter to establish these writing patterns.
Now that you have a good overview of the topic and purpose for your reading, the real task can begin. Don’t forget to make a good summary of the work once you have speed read the chapter.