The Need for Speed: Comprehension and Reading Speed

Resources and methods for teaching and learning New Testament Greek.

The Need for Speed: Comprehension and Reading Speed

Postby Louis L Sorenson » May 27th, 2012, 9:52 am

I've been reading a book titled Second Language Reading Research and Instruction (University of Michigan, 2009). In the book, Neil J Anderson (Brigham Young University) in his article “ACTIVE READING: The Research Base for a Pedagogical Approach in the Reading Classroom” talks about how comprehension fails when a person reads too slow. He says that researchers have found out that the minimum speed is about 180 words per minute, and that below that rate comprehension fails. We need to have a goal of at least 70% comprehension or better (comprehension = being able to understand and remember) to consider ourselves a successful average reader.

Randall Buth made a post on his blog about this back in 2011 "The Need for Some Speed in order to Read" http://www.biblicallanguagecenter.com/speed-to-read. This is a thread some may want to read and chime in on. There is also chart for timing yourself on Acts 23:1-11 to self-test how fast a person can read.
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Re: The Need for Speed: Comprehension and Reading Speed

Postby Jonathan Robie » May 27th, 2012, 2:21 pm

For the last several months, I've been trying to read a significant amount of text each day while listening to the same text, in modern Greek pronunciation. This has really improved my reading speed, and also my comprehension. I can imagine that the two go together.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: The Need for Speed: Comprehension and Reading Speed

Postby Scott Lawson » May 28th, 2012, 1:09 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:For the last several months, I've been trying to read a significant amount of text each day while listening to the same text, in modern Greek pronunciation. This has really improved my reading speed, and also my comprehension. I can imagine that the two go together.


I've been doing the same for a few weeks now and find it to be quite a delight!
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Re: The Need for Speed: Comprehension and Reading Speed

Postby Scott Lawson » May 28th, 2012, 2:04 pm

Luis,
I timed myself using the chart you posted on Acts 23:1-11:

Greek read aloud........77 wpm
Spanish read aloud....115 wpm
English aloud.............206 wpm

I counted the words in my English and Spanish translations but used the chart for the Greek. So it would seem that I'm about 37% of 1L for Greek and 55% for Spanish.
I also time the reading speed of the reader of the 1904 Ecumenical Patriarchal text, on the site http://www.Bible.is, and found him to be reading at a speed of 122 wpm.

Thanks for this post, Louis!
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