Speed Reading For Education

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We better should learn how to use our words appropriately.

Why Choosing A Balanced Approach To Teaching Reading Is Ideal

The debate still rages, and the “Reading Wars” are fiercer than ever.

There are those who believe a phonics approach to reading is the solution – that phonics is what children understand and need when first learning to read. And then there are those on the other side, who argue in favor of the whole-language approach to reading: reading that focuses on context and word meaning.

Which is better? What should we be doing when teaching reading to our young students?

The Phonics Approach

Proponents of the phonics approach believe that when you sound out the words you’re reading it gives you the time and stimuli necessary for processing what you’re reading, which provides the basis for comprehension.

A child who uses the phonics approach to reading is expected to be very accurate in how they read and pronounce each word. Attention is given to the proper spelling, pronunciation, and usage of a word, as opposed to its meaning and contextual purpose.

In a phonics-approach classroom, students are explicitly taught the spelling and phonological rules of vocabulary, which they are then expected to apply in the ensuing practice sessions. Ultimately, the student  will master the spelling/sound correspondence for words, and will then be able to attach the meaning of the word to that basic knowledge.

The phonics approach is often labeled as a bottoms-up approach. The learner starts with a deconstructed language: they’re presented with the word “cat,” for example, and are expected to break it down to its constituent parts, or rather letter-sounds (in this case, /k, æ, t/). Although this is a rigorous process in many respects, it fails to take into account how a student is to make sense of a word they can pronounce correctly but don’t know the meaning of.

The Whole-Language Approach

Proponents of literacy instruction through the whole-language approach consider phonics an integral part of the method, but certainly not its focus.

Phonics is simply part of a literacy lesson, rather than a lesson on its own. The student is expected to draw on phonics knowledge to decipher the meaning and spelling of words, is also encouraged to use context and prior knowledge to make out its meaning.

In a whole-language approach environment, the reader pays attention to meaning and comprehension first, instead of concentrating primarily on language precision and usage accuracy. What the instructor is after in this methodology is ensuring that they can equip the students with the critical skill of decoding meaning and appreciating the text, by drawing on what they already know, implementing guesswork, and taking into consideration the story’s context and other cues.

While phonics give students a strategy and repertoire for phonetically figuring out new words they encounter, the whole-language approach equips them with a much more necessary skill: that of deciphering meaning through context.

A student who has perfected the sight/sound correspondence will often still be unable to figure out the meaning of a word unless they ask the teacher for the definition, or look it up. That’s why it is important to encourage vocabulary building once phonics knowledge is in place. Ultimate Vocabulary™ helps students improve and expand their vocabulary with fun and age-appropriate activities and games that promote both underlying phonics skills and the more global comprehension that students need.

A student who is trained using the whole-language approach can more easily figure out the gist of a word based on context and prior knowledge. The student is encouraged to read in chunks and not word by word. This meaning-based strategy is effectively used in 7 Speed Reading™ because it helps children as well as adults learners to move away from the word-by-word method and improve their reading speed.

An Argument for a Balanced Approach to Teaching Reading

Phonics is not by itself enough to handle the inherent complexity of English phonology. The words “though,” “drought,” and “tough” look almost the same, but their pronunciation differs considerably.

Guessing pronunciation and/or meaning in this case will only get a student so far. The phonics approach is limited in usability if used alone. The student cannot move ahead if they stumble upon an unknown word. They might read it out loud correctly, but they won’t possibly know what it means.

People who rely solely on the whole-approach method, on the other hand, often don’t pay enough attention to phonics and how crucial it is for reading comprehension and speaking.

A balanced approach that brings the best of the whole-language and phonics approaches together seems to be the ideal solution for helping students master literacy quickly, and as painlessly as possible.

A balanced method of teaching reading considers synthetic phonics as a segment that has to be explicitly taught but not exclusively relied upon by students. The student should be encouraged to use both phonics knowledge and semantic and pragmatic knowledge to decode meaning

Cross-posted on the Ultimate Vocabulary blog.

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Why Choosing A Balanced Approach To Teaching Reading Is Ideal

Can Reading Really Produce These 4 Amazing Benefits?

What exactly is literature good for?

1) It Saves You TIME

2) It Makes You Nicer

3) It’s a Cure for Loneliness

4) It Prepares You For Failure

Can Reading Really Produce These 4 Amazing Benefits?

Get Back To Your Regular Reading In 2015 With These 7 Techniques

The new year has barely started, and you probably already believe you’ll have no time for reading over the next months. Who can blame you? Between your job, your friends, and the time sinkhole that is the Internet, it’s no surprise that many of us sacrifice reading time for other activities.

However, with these seven top reading techniques, you’ll be devouring the books you love in no time flat.

Keep up the variety

Health experts advise us to eat different colorful foods to stay healthy. Eat your greens (spinach and kale), your reds (berries), and your oranges (carrots, oranges and squash) in order to get the most benefit and avoid being bored by your food. The same rule applies to reading.

You might think that because you have enjoyed reading biographies in the past, that’s what you should read in the future. While any category of literature has its good points, varying your reading primes you for new literary possibilities and helps keep boredom at bay. Why not read a book on Digital Marketing after you zip through all five Game of Thrones books?

It’s easy to be someone who reads a lot. The trick is to be someone who reads a lot because they love what they’re reading.

Be a smart reader

Why force yourself to wade through a sluggish plot or yawn over one-dimensional characters? If a book doesn’t turn out to be the page-turner you expected it to, move on to the next book in your stack.

There’s no reason why you should experience the ordeal of a badly-written story, or something that you truly are not enjoying.

Build a reading habit

Some people like to spend an entire weekend reading. Other people only read while they’re commuting on the train. Whichever type of reader you are, you need to find what works best for you and stick to that pattern. If it’s only 25 minutes a day of reading before you go to sleep, that’s fine. Just stick to it!

Assigning a day and time to your reading instantly makes it important. As a result, you’ll find it harder to give up, and that will help develop a good reading habit.

Your reading, your way

Reading lists are so high school. When you’re an active reader, you can choose what you read. While this seems like simple common sense, we often force ourselves to read books just because others have recommended them, or because they’ve gotten a good word from a newspaper critic.

Read what interests you. That way, you won’t be looking for an excuse to postpone picking up the book.

Read with your ears

Who says you have to use your eyes to read a book? Audiobooks are popular choices for commuters, second language learners, busy moms, and anyone else who would rather listen to an audiobook while attending to another task.

Audiobooks bring characters and plot to life, and add color and zing to every chapter. Using this option allow you to multitask while enjoying a story as it’s being told by a marvelous storyteller.

Improve your reading speed

Some people are discouraged from reading more because they read slowly or in the wrong way. You can improve your reading skills by learning the techniques used in speed reading. It will help you read more efficiently and make the whole process more enjoyable.

Read with others

If you’re not part of a book group, why not join one? You’ll have a chance to discover new books from ones recommended by the other group members, and then you’ll have fun talking about the books in your weekly or monthly meetings. Book groups are also a great way to stay with your newfound reading practice – you won’t want to show up being the only person who hasn’t read the exciting final chapter, after all!

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Get Back To Your Regular Reading In 2015 With These 7 Techniques

A Do-It-Yourself Book Clock Every Book Lover Will Want

Whether your goal is to read 12, 24, or 100 books this year, you can manage your time efficiently and effectively with this do-it-yourself book clock.

Start with a blank wall.

Buy some basic parts for a wall clock (mechanism, hands, battery) and assemble according to the instructions.

Once the clock is created, mount it on the wall and map out the spots for the books.

Place the books evenly around the clock face.

Looking good!

You can pick books whose titles contain the numbers …

… or just enjoy your book-themed wall clock and use a calendar or day planner to map out your book reading goals.
You’ll enjoy having a beautiful daily reminder of your reading goals. ?

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A Do-It-Yourself Book Clock Every Book Lover Will Want

The Many Pleasures of a Good Read

Reading is a daily habit for many people. For others, not so much. One of the reasons some people aren’t attracted to reading is that a good read can be hard to find. Sometimes it takes a lot of misses before you get a hit. Before you finally discover a book so marvelously crafted that you read it in one sitting.

A page-turner gives you joy in so many ways. Here are just a few examples:

A truly immersive experience

When was the last time you worked, socialized, or played without being distracted every few minutes by your phone?

A good book blurs out all noise and all distractions in the most magical way. A good book makes you lose track of time. It makes you forget about all your worries, your errands, and to-do lists. The only thing that matters when you read a truly good book is what’s going to happen next – and you can’t stop yourself from turning just one more page.

This type of pleasure is unique; only a good book can provide this type of “losing yourself” experience. Considering how addicted and dependent we are on our digital lives, it might as well be our way out of the rush and hurry of the everyday world.

With a great novel, you’ll see that there’s something more important than Instagram and Facebook. You’ll find purpose and meaning in something that’s not tech-based and battery-dependent. And that’s a personal victory worth celebrating.

Awareness of the simple pleasures

It’s a fast-paced world. Whether you like it or not, you’re most likely participating in it, and probably more than you realize. A book puts this frantic lifestyle on hold for a while. It shows you that being still, being calm, and simply taking in each moment as it unfolds is one of the most priceless pleasures in life.

Curling up with a book – with perhaps a cup of tea in hand – is a luxury you can afford. It costs nothing to focus your mind and heart on a good story, and it’s a welcome break from your usual state of constantly being worried about the next big event, or what to wear to work tomorrow.

Reading a book takes patience, and in our instant-gratification world, it’s the reminder we need to simply pause and be inspired by the beauty of our surroundings. Reading is personal, but it’s universal in its impact. It requires your full attention. Your book is the only thing that matters. No multitasking, no hashtags, no chores can mess with the serenity and bliss a good read offers you. So go on, find your next read.

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The Many Pleasures of a Good Read

The Importance Of Emotion In Online Marketing: Something Every Marketer Should Remember

9 times out of 10, emotional reactions are the reason we buy things. Emotion has always been the epicenter of marketing strategies, more so since it became clear that emotional buyers are more impulsive and likely to spend more than rational, reserved ones.

If an ad makes you laugh, sympathize, feel sorry for someone, or feel great about yourself, you instantly develop an emotional association with what’s been advertised. If a young, skinny, beautiful woman flaunts her white teeth at you, that makes you to inevitably compare yourself to her.

The comparison serves one purpose: to make you feel inadequate. Most ads do that. They target the “X enough” inferiority complex, the infinite list that begins “You’re not smart enough, successful enough, pretty enough, fit enough … .”

Ads create feelings of inadequacy and this gives us the momentum to take immediate action to remedy our inadequacies, faults, and shortcomings. We buy a whitening toothpaste, or the latest fashion trends, because we’d feel left out otherwise. We wouldn’t be fashionable, cool, or smartly dressed if we were to follow our own sense of style, would we?

People are capable of experiencing four fundamental emotions:  sadness, happiness, fear, and disgust. Of course, different combinations of these emotions create their own matrix of secondary ones – you’ll get apprehension and distraction, contempt and annoyance, anticipation and optimism, to name a few. But let’s go back and examine two basic emotions, happy and sad.

Happiness Drives Up Sales

Marketing exploits these emotions, by triggering them with the right words and visual stimuli.

If an ad, a sales page, or a video makes us happy then we’re more likely to think of that brand or product in positive terms. We’re more likely to share it with others or bring it up in conversation. We’re happy about a product and by sharing it with others we essentially multiply our happiness. Happy is good.

A case in point is that good (happy) news tend to go viral faster than bad news. The Happiness Factor is the determining parameter that makes this possible. Therefore, if you want more online engagement with your communities on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere, you should focus on happy news, thoughts, and ideas. Or … should you do the opposite?

Sadness Boosts Empathy

Sadness and sorrow are two other emotions marketing can leverage to drive up sales. Surprisingly enough, sadness activates almost the exact same brain regions as happiness does. Weird? Maybe. Gold mine? Definitely.

When people empathize with the plight of someone (real or fictional) they have a tendency to trust them and invest confidence in them relatively easily.

This is possible because of oxytocin, a chemical our brains release when we read a sorrowful story. Oxytocin is a chemical that helps increase your understanding of and sympathy for others.

Sad stories build connections; they build bridges between the viewer and the narrative being told, which creates the emotional links that tie the reader to the subject or the product.

Put simply, emotions sell. If a marketing campaign revolves around emotions, then it will have a greater impact on its audience.

By creating online marketing campaigns that revolve around emotions, an online marketer:

* Encourages readers to share the article with friends, discuss it online, and chat about it in person, and this conversation boosts word-of-mouth promotion about the product or the business.
* Encourages the viewer to take action that leads in the direction the marketer desires, such as exploring more areas of the website or other products.
* Builds a relationship with the brand at hand where the outcome is that the viewer eventually yields and buys the product or service.

Emotions precede thinking. People tend to experience things through their hearts before rationalizing them with their minds, and this is a fact online marketers can use to make their campaigns more effective and sales-oriented.

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The Importance Of Emotion In Online Marketing: Something Every Marketer Should Remember

What’s So Good About Mistakes?

How do you respond to bad feedback? Do you take it personally and refuse to work on your mistakes? We hope that the answer to these two questions is “no.” Learning to own up to your mistakes and failures will unveil a whole new world of potential and success for you.

Instead of seeing failure as something to be quickly ignored and moved past, leaving the failed project behind, you should consider failure and mistakes as a new starting point for doing things more carefully and efficiently.

When you succeed, you demand credit for it, and rightly so. But when you fail, do you always feel other people and factors are to blame? Changing your view on mistakes can actually be a success-promoting opportunity. Here’s why you should own up to, and own, your failures:

Failure emphasizes your weak points

No one likes being told they’re imperfect, but it happens. When your mistakes are pointed out, the best you can do is admit you’re wrong and see how you can remedy the situation.

It’s excruciatingly hard, but once you get into the habit, you will realize that sometimes it’s only through failure that you can move forward. Success can make you complacent; failure serves to remind you to keep trying.

Failure brings success

What people afraid of failure do? They stay the same, they rarely move forward, and they’re more likely to deteriorate in skills and competencies.

When the fear of failure dominates, you think, “It won’t work, I have no entrepreneurial skills to build this start-up.”

When you embrace failure, you are open to new things and challenges, and say instead, “It doesn’t matter if I fail, I will learn the skills and know how to do it better the next time around.”

Failure is not a cul-de-sac but an open road. You can see failure as the A/B testing of what works and what doesn’t, but never a reason to give up.

Advance through mistakes

People who fail to grasp the importance of failure seek to suppress and forget every mistake they’ve ever made.

Do the opposite.

Keep track of your mistakes, and note when and why they happen. Learn to identify fear triggers that prevent you from trying new things and taking risks.

Create a database of all the precious lessons you’ve learned simply by making mistakes.

Lastly, consider yourself lucky. Those who always get it right the first time don’t really know their weaknesses and are more prone to simply give up when faced with their first big failure.

But not you. You’ve made mistakes and know how to handle and use failure to your advantage!

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What’s So Good About Mistakes?

Proven Secrets to Success with the Help of 7 Speed Reading™

Speed reading is an essential skill in the information-centered societies we all live in. Without sound reading skills, it’s hard to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of new information you’re process and use on a daily basis.

Today, success is not as much defined by who you know but by how much you know. Those people who can stay ahead of the information game are the ones with the most influence over others. To know more is to be capable of more, and each piece of new information helps you to move on to learn another piece.

Speed reading helps you handle this torrent of information, and 7 Speed Reading™ uses cutting-edge technology to offer essential features that make learning to speed read an easy process.

Developed by experts in the science of speed reading

With 7 Speed Reading™ you get to learn from the very best. The software has been developed based on the knowledge and expertise of professionals in the theory and practice of speed reading, and the dedication of the development team ensures the software meets or exceeds industry standards.

To confirm this level of quality, eReflect guarantees the results. Using feedback and test results, the company confirms that users can expect to be able to read up to 3.4 times faster than their current average speed.

Removes bad reading habits before teaching positive ones

One of the reasons that this reading speed improvement software is so successful is because it starts out by helping the user eliminate all bad reading habits before educating them on the best ways to boost reading pace.

Counterproductive habits such as subvocalization, regression, limited eye fixation, compromised information processing, and comprehension lag are all corrected to ensure both a substantial boost in reading speed and an improved ability to read and retain information.

All-inclusive approach to speed reading efficiency

The structured design and comprehensive guided training material ensure that your speed reading efficiency covers all major domains: reading speed, reading comprehension, and memory acuity. Unlike other programs that cover only one or two of these areas, 7 Speed Reading™ uses an integrated approach for better, sustainable results.

Step-by-step support through video tutorials

Learning to speed read can be a lonesome and even frightening process, especially for people who have had difficulty reading in the past. This fear is addressed and eliminated in the software by giving full support through personal help and the many video tutorials that make sure the user achieves great reading speed while sustaining their comprehension levels at 94% to 98%.

The comprehensive approach to speed reading, the emphasis on eliminating bad habits before learning good ones, and the personal tutor giving the user step-by-step instructions are all aspects of the software that virtually guarantee a one-to-one learning efficiency curve for the user. The innovative combination of all these factors help the user learn to read up to more than three times faster than their current pace, and therefore enjoy the benefits of speed reading. Anyone wanting to save time and stay ahead of the competition will benefit from using this software.

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7 Speed Reading: The #1 Speed Reading Software For 2015

The 2015 release of 7 Speed Reading™ comes packed with new features and advanced tools.

For one thing, the program is entirely cloud-based. That means instant access anywhere, anytime. Group learning and social media sharing are among its most notable enhancements, and people already love the new interactivity built into the program. But don’t take our word for it.

Prestigious organizations and educational technology (or “Ed Tech”) reviewers are already voicing their opinions about the software, and words of praise abound.

Speed Reading Lounge highlights its user-friendliness and high-tech edge

Mark Ways, founder of Speed Reading Lounge, used an in-depth review of 7 Speed Reading™ to explain why the program is one of a kind. He mentions the fact that the program is on the cloud, with newly-enabled social media sharing, and points out that the program offers 7 different expert-designed strategies for improving your speed reading techniques. Ways creates an argument that’s hard to refute, and vouches for 7 Speed Reading™ software’s superiority.

As Ways explains in his review,

“7 Speed Reading is recommended by thousands of students and professionals who have tried and tested it. The quality of videos and exercises makes it an effective guiding tool, making it superior to its competitors. It is beneficial for anyone at any age.”

Typing Lounge describes it as “excellent”, “user-friendly”, and “unique”

The experts at Typing Lounge offer a comprehensive review of the program’s features, also mentioning the 7 learning approaches, and focusing on the range of activities. A sneak peek into the program’s 2015 enhancements is also part of this review. In the Typing Lounge review, you’ll get a good idea of what it’s like to test drive the program. The review notes that “7 Speed Reading is an excellent way for anyone to start increasing their reading speed today. It’s suitable for all ages and professions or motivations. If you like to read more effectively this tutor is ready to teach you how.”

Editor’s Choice for 2015 for Top Ten Reviews

Top Ten Reviews, another well-known organization, has published its latest speed reading software rankings with 7 Speed Reading™ topping the charts. Out of 12 speed reading applications and software evaluated, 7 Speed Reading™ stood out for the reviewers with its unique combination of features, user-friendliness, and unparalleled efficiency to teach people how to speed read in little time.

With an overall rating of 9.95, 7 Speed Reading™ left the Ace Reader and Reader’s Edge software far behind.  According to the Top Ten Reviews editor, 7 Speed Reading™ merits its top-quality rating because “[it] boasts comprehensive guided lessons, unlimited user accounts and a selection of more than 600 classic and current eBooks to use while you train.”

New Year, new possibilities

The 2015 version of 7 Speed Reading™ is the most complete and advanced release of the program yet, eReflect explains. Its cloud technology, social media integration, and unparalleled user-friendliness are some of its winning features. Why not give it a try?

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7 Speed Reading: The #1 Speed Reading Software For 2015