ReadSpeeder is a free tutor for beginners to develop reading skills
ReadSpeeder is a free program designed by David Butler and used by more than 70,000 students around the world. The main goal is to improve the way you comprehend what you read. That means visual and mental reading is the focus rather than speed. Keep reading this brief review to see if it will suit your needs.
What does it make different to other tutors? Many reading improvement software programs focus on helping you read more words per minute and usually make use of the following techniques.
- Read faster in order to read more words per minute
- Increase your eye span to see and read more words at a time
- Stop vocalizing your words: to not say every word either out loud or silently as you read it.
These techniques are good and practical, but they often encourage you to skim through a reading piece. The biggest limitation with this is that you may feel rushed to read the words. This again may lead to poor comprehension. And what is the use of reading if you do not understand what you are reading? ReadSpeeder addresses this limitation by focusing on comprehension, rather than quantity of words.
4 Learning outcomes of ReadSpeeder
- No rushing or skimming through text. Learn to read words properly, only faster.
- Faster Comprehension. When you read the word in the correct context, you will understand it better. You will also then understand reading pieces or phrases better.
- Better concentration. To comprehend better, you learn to concentrate correctly on what you are reading.
- Learn faster. It is inevitable: when you read better, you will understand better. You will then learn your work faster.
Develop visual reading skills
ReadSpeeder tries to achieve these goals by helping you to develop your visualizing skills.
- Read words in groups
- Create meaningful phrases from each group
- Create an image for the phrase
- Use the image to understand and remember the phrases
This concept is quite simple. Take the well-known sentence used for typing skills: “The quick red fox jumps over the lazy brown dog.” First visualize the red fox. Got it? Now visualize the brown dog. Take the fox and visualize him jumping over the dog. There you have it. You read a sentence and visualized it. Now you will understand and remember the sentence better.
ReadSpeeder – Features and Highlights
Baseline test Lessons start with a baseline test. This test calculates the amount of words you read per minute. It also indicates your average level. Lesson one starts by emphasizing the importance phrases and visualization of phrases for comprehension.
Concentration score. At the end of each segment is a concentration score. This indicates your true concentration. It looks confusing at first, but you will soon understand it better as you understand the goals of ReadSpeeder. It mainly calculates the time you spend on each phrase according to the length of the phrase. Your reading words per minute are compared at this stage to your comprehension. You can view next lessons, but it will only be unlocked when you reach a desired goal.
Lessons one to four is the stationary phase. Emphasis in these lessons is to train you to visualize the phrases and learn basic visualization techniques. To emphasize the phrases, the fonts and background changes in each lesson. This is to enhance the visual effect.
Lessons five to eight teaches you to recognize phrases while scanning the text from left to right. This is called horizontal scanning. Again comprehension is encouraged by changing the appearance of the text in each lesson.
In lessons nine to twelve, you are challenged to remember phrases without visual support. This requires you to only move your eyes while reading. Only black and grey texts alternate in the phrases. Lesson 10 uses FocusDots® to strengthen your peripheral reading.
Four ways that indicate your progress
- A speed segment indicates your results in a color-coded chart. This chart is divided into your top third scores, middle scores and your lowest scores.
- Daily Words is a straight-forward chart that indicates the total words you read that day. You can reset the scores when you reset your speed results.
- Daily Speed indicates your average reading speed of the day. You can reset these scores to start over.
- You can export your results into a spreadsheet. Save your information as a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file and then import it into the spreadsheet.
Tools to achieve your goals
- You can adjust the settings to control the amount of words per phrase. Or leave it on Auto Set for preloaded values.
- Visual Comparison allows you to set your goals and compare it to your current progress. It is displayed as a left side and right side column.
- ReadSpeeder has a timer you can set for additional book reading. This function is very handy to keep track of your overall progress. This way you can combine it with your daily activities.
- PhraseFlash is a fun activity to test your comprehension. The program displays a phrase and then replaces it with several images. You then choose the image that best describes the phrase.
- Your account saves all the information you input. You can access the information anytime to view your progress. You can also reset the information if you want to start over.
- It includes a library of books you can access with many well-known classic titles. The library is flexible that you can add your own reading material and customize it to your interest. The variety of titles will keep you motivated.
ReadSpeeder Review – Summary and Verdict
ReadSpeeder is free and available online. This makes it accessible to anyone with the desire to try such a software without cost or to overcome general skepticism. It is clear from the start that the main goal is comprehension. The program is aimed for learners at a beginner level and will require motivation to complete the program.
Visualizing uses the right side of your brain. This is the creative side. You are also recommended to read the book “Reading with the Right Brain” by David Butler which is not free though. It will give you a better understanding of how the right brain assists in reading and comprehension.
Keep in mind there are interesting discussions and opinions when it comes to the topic of sub-vocalization. It is usually seen as habit that will limit your speed since you can only speak roughly 300 words/minute. Below is a link to an interesting talk between David and Kris Madden about the topic. Might be helpful in understanding the subject in more detail.
Access: Create your account here for free.