Which websites offer speed reading courses?

Speed ​​reading, photo reading and other miracle methods

I took a speed reading course
and am now able to read through "War and Peace" in twenty minutes.
It's about Russia.
Woody Allen

A not insignificant role for everyday reading but especially for that Processing scientific literature plays the speed of reading, which has often changed only insignificantly for some people since they learned to read at the age of six. Many people therefore wish they could read faster so they could deal with more information in less time.

In summary after
Rosenbauer, Frank (1998). "Read it quickly!"
WWW: http://www.beltz.de/html/frm_psyheu.htm (04-04-22)
http://rosenbauer.de/psych.htm (06-04-14)
Michelmann, Rotraut & Michelmann, Walter Uwe (1998). Read more efficiently and faster - more know-how to save time and information. Rowohlt: Reinbek.
Half of "communication" in the information society now consists of reading, because in addition to "normal reading", letters, memos, reports and expert opinions also want to be read. Online media increase the demands on readers, because where you used to pick up the phone, you now send an email or SMS, i.e. the recipient is now reading on a screen.

If you want to increase your reading speed, you have to learn a new way of reading, most of which relies on a system by Evelyn Wood from the 50s of the last century, the one with Reading Dynamics a three to fourfold speed promised. Scientists initially supported the users' reports of success, but they also found that this reading technique was more speed but ultimately less understanding. Most of the concepts of "surface reading" assume that our brain is able to process entire areas of words, whereby the individual words are somehow put together to form a meaningful whole. Most of all it should inner participation in reading can be switched off and a text can be recorded purely optically. Newer fast reading methods promise a reading speed up to a hundred times higher (borrowed from the computer world, also referred to as "scanning").

But see speaking as a learning aid

Such fast reading offers should, however, be examined critically, because most of them contradict well-known physiological and functional conditions of the human brain. A recurring assertion is, for example, that one can learn to see "broader" through eye exercises and thus grasp more text at once ("peripheral reading", "view span expansion"), but such exercises reach the limits of the nature of the eye. The "photographic reading" claims that every text is in truth a 3-D image and looking through it with the "magic eye" would reveal this. However, leaps in the gaze while reading (saccades) cannot be controlled arbitrarily, because reading is to a large extent an automatic process, so that fast reading methods can also be dangerous if you want to change the usual reading style.

The limits of fast reading are pushed by the Wernicke Center determined in the human brain. This center is in the left hemisphere, practically only works sequentially and can handle a maximum of three word packets per second. For an average skilled reader, that amounts to 200 to 250 words per minute. With quick reading techniques, exercises can be used to achieve up to 450 words. If you then read even faster, there is an overload, that is, the eyes follow the lines, but you don't record anything and our brain gets into a kind of stressful state: the heart rate increases, the muscles tense and in the brain there are predominantly beta Waves (14–40 Hertz) can be measured, that is, secondary programs ("random thinking") run, i.e. involuntary thought processes, which reduce the receptivity, so that one is even more under pressure.
If you want to absorb and process more information, you have to refer to the visual brain functions switch, because these process faster and more comprehensively. The brain recognizes the content of an image in 1/24 of a second. So if you learn to take in written information visually, the capacity increases many times over, and information can be received at up to 3000 words per minute. To do this, you have to put yourself in a physically relaxed, but mentally clear state, ie low heart rate, low muscle tension and alpha waves (8-14 Hertz) in the brain. This alpha state is the basis of most visual reading techniques and a prerequisite for the information to be cognitively absorbed even at very high speeds. According to some seminar providers, you can learn to put yourself in an alpha state within an hour and after two or three days of practice you will be able to process information three to five times faster. However, this faster scanning of a text does not necessarily mean an increase in understanding or memorization of the subject matter. This scanning is only helpful if you want to find information quickly in a text (cf. Sohmer 2009).

According to Michelmann & Michelmann (1998), every attempt to change the reading learned in elementary school is an "intervention in the head", so they recommend developing "efficient reading" (see below).

Nevertheless, there are numerous Miracle methods touted, which should lead to an improvement in reading speed. It reads like this on relevant websites:

XYZ® - the sensational reading method!

The flood of information that has to be processed is continuously increasing immeasurably. Here comes XYZ® just right, because this new way of handling books and other printed material promises a time saving of up to 90%, while at the same time improving retention! Is ongoing training and the processing of new specialist literature and information also part of your daily bread? Are your files growing into piles of meters high? Just the idea of ​​constantly having to process new information makes you discouraged?

The breakthrough way of capturing and processing printed material at top speed, with the greatest possible benefit! This method was developed by the American Paul Scheele, who has been concerned with learning and accelerated learning methods since his studies. The basis of its development XYZ® are the basic principles of accelerated learning, too Suggestopedia or Super learning called.

XYZ® is taught worldwide, of course in the USA, also in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Iceland, several European countries, also in the Far East such as Korea and Japan. The method is booming in Japan, with 1 million titles of the bestseller "XYZ®"Sold by Paul Scheele and the courses are always fully booked, which shows us once again that the Japanese are ahead of the game .....

XYZ® has very little to do with speed reading. XYZ® is a very different way of dealing with books and other information. At the heart of the PhotoReading Whole Mind System is a technique that allows texts to be read with a Speed ​​of 25,000 words per minute can be included. You photograph the text, so to speak, by going into the so-called "PhotoFocus", a way of seeing that is also a prerequisite for perceiving the familiar 3D images. The mentally photographed text is then stored in the subconscious and is then activated in various ways, i.e. brought into consciousness.

The XYZ® leads to an increase in the understanding of the material read, to an improvement in retention performance, to easier access to existing knowledge and also to an enormous gain in time.

It is interesting that all new methods that enable learning processes to be accelerated are based on the interaction of conscious and unconscious information processing, i.e. the power of the subconscious use. Dr. Lozanov (Bulgaria) first used this in the 1960s and developed what then became known as Superlearning (suggestopedia) and is still known today as Insider tip applies. In sport, these principles are used in the "inner game", which makes learning complicated processes, for example playing golf or archery, child's play, just like language lessons with "superlearning" or the preparation of other content with this method Revolutionized learning for the participants!

The XYZ®- reading system one learns in two days and you have your first successes in these two days. If you stick with it and practice this new way of "reading", the success increases and you can soon have a life without XYZ® no longer imagine!

Participants of "XYZ®"- Seminars agree that XYZ® is more than processing information in a fraction of the time. For most, the XYZ opens up®- Reading method a new, exciting access to the world, in which the power of the subconscious is also used in other, everyday situations. This can lead to faster, correct decisions or to a successful visit to the trade fair in a short period of time.

Or under the title "Speed ​​reading doesn't work at all!"a mail trundles into the mailbox:

"I've tried it, and when I try to read faster, I don't understand anything anymore - speed reading doesn't work at all ..."
We hear that a lot, and then I always think that this person has simply never heard of the greatest secret of speed reading.
Because if you know that, then speed reading works great and you almost always win ...
Would you like to win too?
On this page I'll tell you how ...

If you understand the most important secret of speed reading, then it is very unlikely that you will not read much faster in a few days ... and cover your daily reading mountains in half the time ;-)

And on this mysterious page, a self-study course is then sold for only 99 euros.

It is emphasized again and again: This is not about simple speed reading tricks that you can also use in the Community College or at the university be able to learn. It's about tried and tested techniques that have already helped hundreds of people to absorb knowledge extremely quickly.

This method is already being sold less loudly, but basically only offers what you can easily work out yourself using our worksheets - with one difference: the motivation is higher when using 79 euros.

So if you want to try out our learning techniques, which are free in and of themselves, and want to motivate yourself to do so, just send us 50 euros ;-)
At the Western Electric Co.'s Hawthorne facility in Chicago, research into workplace performance showed that social relationships have a profound effect on job performance. Which led to the attention and care given to those involved during the investigation to better job performanceeven if there was a deterioration in conditions.

To this day, however, there is no empirical and thus verifiable evidence for these fantastic claims; rather, the successes are exhausted in the ringing tills of the providers.

In all of the studies, there was hardly any significant difference between the learning methods. However, some people who had attended such a session found learning more relaxed and enjoyable. As a rule, all methods benefit from the well-known Hawthorne effect (see box) and the attempt to reduce cognitive dissonance, since a method in which you invest so much money and time "has to" work.

A Improve reading performance is generally relatively easy to do once you become familiar with the basic principles of reading. In contrast to the offers described above, these methods have the advantage that they can be scientifically proven and ultimately also work. The methods advertised above work for this reason alone, but the neuro-fuss that is often done is rather a hindrance and arouses expectations that these methods cannot meet.

From research: Based on a meta-analysis of 190 studies from the last two decades, Brysbaert (2019) found that the average quiet adult reading rate in English is 238 words per minute and for non-fiction and 260 words per minute for fiction. There were also relatively large inter-individual differences, i. In other words, the range ranged from 175 to 300 words for factual texts, for fictional texts it was 200 to 320. Readers managed about 183 words per minute for texts spoken aloud. These estimates are much lower than the numbers often quoted in scholarly and other writings. It also found that reading rates were lower for children, older adults and readers with English as a second language. Incidentally, the read rates corresponded to the maximum Listening speed and therefore do not require any special assumption of read-specific language processing. According to the author, the results can also be transferred to other languages ​​that use the Latin alphabet, but one must take into account the linguistic features, because there are numerous functional words in English and German such as articles, pronouns, conjunctions or prepositions, but will In German nouns are composed more often than in English, so that German-speaking readers probably have a somewhat lower reading performance.

Improvement of the reading speed

Inexperienced, adult readers create an average of 90 to 160 words per minute (WPM), whereas an experienced reader with similar intellectual abilities can manage 500 WPM and thereby grasp even more of what has been read. After a certain amount of training, even around 900 WpM are possible.

Of course, the reading speed depends on whether the text is easy or difficult. Complicated and nested sentences require time-consuming thought to decipher the sentence structure. When reading, therefore, regressions take place, which are absolutely necessary for an understanding of a longer sentence. In the case of lighter texts, however, the thinking apparatus of inexperienced readers is sometimes underutilized because the replenishment works too slowly and there is a risk of boredom and lack of concentration. Reading training and possibly even a systematic advanced reading course in which the reading process is optimized is advisable for such readers. Reading training like this is all about eradicating bad reading habits that have become entrenched over the years:

  • The Word-by-word reading ("Fixate"), combined with too little viewing span. Until a few years ago it was believed that the eyes glided over the text while reading; Today we know that they make a jump-stop-movement when reading, that is, the eye movement is jerky. The recording is made during the breakpoints. On the other hand, you cannot see anything while moving your eyes. How much is recorded at the breakpoints depends primarily on two factors: namely the viewing span and the reader's supply of so-called word images. To practice jumping, you can draw vertical lines on the book page with a pencil and a ruler. Then you jump with your eye from line to line and train your eyes to no longer grasp a line word for word, but in two or three jumps. Start with three strokes first and practice with two strokes later. With sufficient practice, it is even possible to capture several lines at once.
  • Our eyes and our brain can do more than we think. Unfortunately, we learned to read in school in a way that is not optimal. If you had learned these techniques in school, you would take them for granted today and would be amazed at anyone who reads in a different way. So just give it a try!
  • Jump backwards on what has already been read ("regression"). The gaze often jumps back to what has already been read several times in the same line. This is usually a sign of a lack of concentration and is extremely obstructive for a quick reading flow. You can counter the regression by covering the text of the lines you have already read with a piece of sturdy paper.
  • Mute participation ("Subvocalize") or reading aloud is a hindrance to increasing reading speed, since the eye and brain work faster than the speaking tools. This does not contradict the fact that the learning path to speak should be used to support the learning path to reading in order to memorize complicated facts.)
  • Visual digressions are particularly time-consuming because the eye has to look for the connection point again and in many cases does not find it straight away, but has to read a few words or lines again. The more things on that writing desk the more incentives we offer the eye to wander.
According to eneir Sutide eneir elgnihcesn Uvinisterät, it is nchit witihcg, in wlecehr Rneflogheie the Bstachuebn in one word snid, the specific thing that is active is, that the estre and the last Bstabchue at the ritiionhceid. The Rset can be a ttoaelr Bsinöldn sien, tedztorm can be lseen without pemoblre. That is how we do not read each Bstachuebn enzelin, snderon the word as gseatems.
source: http://www.n-tv.de/3184754.html (03-09-24)

However, a specific study cannot be found, so it is very likely that it is a hoax. However, such phenomena are well documented in psychology, for example in connection with the "position effect", even if they do not work with the elegance of complex, longer words as in this simple text.

Backwashes, visual digressions, participation, and above all reading word-for-word are the main mistakes in reading. Training programs to increase reading speed primarily focus on the physical capabilities of the human eye. These consist in the fact that the focus range of human vision is around three centimeters. In terms of reading, this means that we are able to see words in a line of text that are three centimeters wide. The point is to take advantage of this ability to widen your gaze span while reading. The increased reading speed through training aims to break down incorrect reading habits and improve the physiological possibilities of the eye. This enables one to increase the amount of reading material. Such a learning and training process is accompanied by an improvement in the Ability to concentrate, an expansion of the vocabulary and, finally, a decrease in the forgetting rate. These positive side effects will only occur if you don't confuse fast, concentrated reading with hectic and aimless skimming. To combat bad reading habits, only constant practice will help you improve your reading pace.

You need enough for a good reading performance light (at least 1000 lux, which corresponds to daylight when the sky is overcast). Not only the workplace should be illuminated, but also the rest of the room, because the eyes keep looking to see what could come out of the dark.

Developing efficient reading

The impulse to start reading a text immediately lets a time trap snap shut: reading without a plan. It therefore saves time and frees up your mind to think in advance which result should be achieved by the reading or scanning process. Therefore, one asks the following questions: What is the information requirement? Can this text satisfy him? Do you have to read through the entire text? It is also important, distinguish between reading and learning, because if you want to remember as much as possible at least during the first pass through a text, even with a limited reading time, because you don't have time for a second pass, this usually does not work because the reading process is disrupted by attempts at learning. That is why one should separate the learning sequences from the reading work and also the Fact search better designed as a separate process. You can use the Keyword technique use.

For efficient reading, you should therefore move through a text differently:

  • Anyone who wants to get over reading quickly blocks understanding. Time is gained by preparing to read. "What do I want to get out of the text, what is my reading goal?"
  • Never lose sight of the goal while reading by putting it in writing next to the reading material.
  • The best way to take notes is to write down key words and link them graphically, to create a kind of "text image". In order to reduce the text to the essentials (keywords, symbols) and combine them sparingly with lines and arrows.
  • According to reading ergonomics, the building blocks should fit into a reading eye, i.e. not be too close to one another, but rather be at least the diameter of a reading eye (about three centimeters) apart.
  • It is best to use blank A4 paper horizontally, because lines lock your thoughts in and the portrait format tempts you to stubbornly listing.
  • Even if the method seems labor-intensive, the bottom line is that you save time. It only takes seconds to produce a text image, because complex design (which one is often tempted to do by the computer!) Is necessary.

You can systematically guide your eyes through a text by generating a suitable movement stimulus, for example through

  • Scroll every second for a systematic overview of a text: Put your right hand in the top right corner, swipe the entire text of two book pages down to the left and back again. The left hand catches the book pages and holds them tight. Keep your head calm, keep your eyes on the center of the book. The movement of the hand leads the eyes over the text area. Some things are systematically perceived and the brain processes what it sees and produces a picture of the content. Important: do not read! A book with 240 pages can be worked through in just a few minutes. Browsing every second is also very useful for looking through magazines to find out which articles might be of interest. With a 200-page magazine, this can be done in little more than three minutes.

When reading it yourself, the golden rule applies: Reading a little right now is better than making a resolution to read a lot later. Therefore, process new texts immediately, systematically read them, read certain passages selectively and then put them aside. Readings should be crossed out vertically, down through the middle of the columns.

If you want to mark something in the text, it is best to stick small self-adhesive notepads to it or insert strips of paper on which you can note one or the other keyword. In contrast to markings, these can be removed again and again. The highlighting paradox: Bright neon colors stand out in a gray lead desert, but the stimulus is simply too strong for the eyes, because they are reflexively attracted and thus distracted from the text. Eye-catchers are also strong contrasts, such as those created when underlining, which reduces reading performance.

NEW: Since the beginning of 2005, visitors have also been there FORUM on questions of learning and learning technology available in which relevant methods and problems can be discussed.


Brysbaert, M. (2019). How many words do we read per minute? A review and meta-analysis of the reading rate. doi: 10.31234 / osf.io / xynwg2

McNamara, D. (2000). Preliminary Analysis of Photo Reading. NASA Ames Research Center. Moffet Field, CA.
WWW: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20000011599_2000009345.pdf (06-12-19)

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http://paedpsych.jk.uni-linz.ac.at/INTERNET/ARBEITSBLAETTERORD/LERNTECHNIKORD/5SchritteMethode.html (02-11-08)

http://www.RZ.UniBw-Muenchen.de/~s11bwild/list/meta.htm (99-08-15)

Sohmer, Vera (2009). Talking is gold, emailing is silver.
WWW: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/leben/gesellschaft/Reden-ist-Gold-mailen-ist-Silber/story/24669640 (09-08-11)

http://www.vnr.de/artikel/Efficient+lesen+++11+Lesestrategien+f%C3%BCr+die+Praxis.html (08-11-07)

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