Another recent entry into the Accelerated Reading field offers quite an intriguing approach. Tested with dramatic results at the US Air Force Academy and taught in 10 countries worldwide, Ed Strachar, Inventor and facilitator, looks at it from a purely mental perspective.

Ed says reading occurs between the ears and so "external" speed reading exercises such as finger pacing and previewing, highlighting etc... are techniques external to where the process actually happens. Yet nobody seems to know and be aware of the importance of the "internal" process in reading.

The Value of Curiosity:
A fundamental key to learning fast is comprehending fast. And the fundamental key to comprehending fast is to build an insatiable curiosity for what one is about to read.

Understanding / comprehension is key and most people don't do this very well. Look at various common academic scenarios where students are obligated to learn or go through the motions without real zeal for the subject. The key is to look at scenarios where people do learn fast. Those are situations where curiosity is at a peak. A heightened state of attention is accompanied by the thirst for each new passage. Hollywood is a master at this and thus movies tend to stay with us for some time and have a tremendous cultural influence. First the 30-second summary called a "trailer" in movie lingo. Then the posters and ads give you an idea and build a level of interest to the point where someone will invest $8 and a few hours to find out. The popularity of movies wins big compared to books. Movie producers know a lot more about accelerated learning than do most teachers.

With reading, the curiosity step is a straightforward process of going through the book, similar to most previewing techniques, of scanning any photos, graphs, and illustrations, as well as the index and TOC for clues and hints. The difference here is that Reading Genius® makes it a very energizing and active process. The students are instructed to develop insatiable curiosity with a peak state of emotion and to do it at a frantic pace as if they are passionately searching for answers to questions in life. The emotion not only raises the energy level, something of a necessity for most slouched over reading positions, but also it strongly assists in remembering details later. Ed argues simply that our most vivid memories in life are our most emotional ones.

The problem today, teachers often report is that kids often find reading, as compared to all their other options in modern culture, be it MTV, Video games, movies etc..., boring! If they do read, usually it is within a very limited scope of interest and if 18th century English Literature is not in that scope, they will usually be turned off.

Consequently then, utilizing "internal" methods in order to establish calmness, curiosity, interest and anticipation results in getting one way to put the fun back into reading for kids and adults alike. This puts the reader into the "Genius Zone." This takes place when the reader becomes singularly focused on the book. Then comprehension, speed and recollection are vastly improved

It's not only the kids. The biggest problem literate people have when they read is that they are often distracted and are usually thinking of 5 or 10 other things instead while they attempt to read. In other words - they are not totally focused, and for most part - have never ever been taught methods on how to get real focused in their entire lives.

Thus "internal" methods to build calmness, curiosity, intrigue, interest and anticipation can get one so focused that they go into what he calls the "Genius Zone" where they are singularly focused on the book. Then comprehension, speed and recall improve vastly.

Author's Bio: 

Ed Strachar has been helping people to make more of the education system and self-development pland for years, and has been amazingly successful. His Reading Genius system is one of the most popular in the world with over 100,000 succesful students.