With nearly any material you come across about speed reading, you will find some discussion about the habit of subvocalization. This habit can be defined as the process of seeing the words in print, then saying the words in your mind, hearing the words in your mind, and then it finally leads to your understanding. Nearly all who write or teach about the habit recognize it as limiting your success to speed reading and will instruct you to stop. Unfortunately, they do not teach you how to stop. However, there is a part of the process that is necessary and actually serves the reader to mastering the essential skills of reading fast and comprehending the material.

The reason why subvocalization is a limiting habit is that by reading this way you can only achieve speeds up to about 400 words per minute. For some people that might be fast, but I wouldn't call it speed reading.

The "ugly" of subvocalization, according to some writers, is when the reader actually speaks the words with lips moving pronouncing the words (and sometimes includes their quiet voice). This type of subvocalization is characteristic of a very poor and undeveloped reader in general. This type of subvocalizer may need remedial reading before starting on a speed reading program.

The "bad" subvocalizer, which is the bulk of readers who have not been trained in speed reading, are doing the four step process described above inside their minds. It limits the speeds which you can attain to well below the range of 600-2500 word per minute speeds that effective speed readers achieve. When these types of readers first learn about speed reading a light bulb goes off inside their minds to stop subvocalizing and this causes another problem.

The new problem unfolds as the subvocal reader starts their journey to speed up their eyes. Their mind either goes silent as they speedily move their eyes, or they continuously tell themselves to "Stop subvocalizing!" When this happens, comprehension, or understanding the material also stops. The mind is not capable of listening to the "stop" message, and comprehending the material at the same time. This leads to great frustration and often leads to failure in their attempts to master speed reading.

I often get this complaint from beginners during the early phase of training. It is also one of the most asked questions I get from people who have attempted to learn to speed read in the past. Some "experts" go so far as to suggest that these types of readers hold a pencil in their mouth, or put their finger over their mouth to stop! I'm not sure if this really has any benefit.

What about the "good" of the subvocalization challenge, you might ask. The steps of subvocalization that you want to include in your development are "seeing the words" and "understanding" their meanings. Reduce and/or eliminate the middle two steps of "saying" and "hearing the words." But how do you do that?

Quite simply, you accomplish that with proper training and practice. It's simple to understand, but difficult to accomplish. That is why almost no one significantly improves their speed reading skills by either reading a book, or from a software program that merely trains the eyes. Having a trainer helps move through the natural periods of frustration until mastery is achieved.

Additionally, notice I said "reduce and/or eliminate" the saying and hearing. Remember, in order to comprehend well, you do not want your mind to go silent. The key is to transform subvocalization to your mind's response to the print. You want to activate your mind to respond to the print's meaning. That means you mentally interact with the author. When you are reading, monitor what you are thinking about. Your thoughts should be a response to the print's meaning, regardless of the author's exact words. You interpret the print. That is reading comprehension.

So if you are an average, or even a good reader now and want to master speed reading, worry less about your subvocalization, and pay more attention to your interactivity with the print. To master speed reading with effective comprehension learn how to comprehend and activate your mind. Learning to do this with an experienced trainer is your best approach to master speed reading at very high rates.

And now that you better understand subvocalization, I'd like to invite you get more free tips at http://speedreadingtactics.com/speed_reading_newsletter.html

Author's Bio: 

Ed Caldwell is the creator and publisher of the "Masters Online Program: Dynamic Reading, Memory, and Recall" and other live and web-based learning programs. As former National Director of Instruction and Certification for the world famous Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics program, Ed has 30 years experience teaching and testing new strategies to help people from all walks of life learn to read more efficiently. Trainer, speaker, and writer, he can be contacted at inquiry@productivelearn.com. Having trained tens of thousands of people, he has mastered the art of the coaching. Ed is the creator and president of Productive Learning Systems, Inc, and ProductivElearn.com, Inc. You can learn more at http://speedreadingtactics.com/speed_reading_newsletter.html and download the free eBook, "The 10 Top Mistakes When Learning Speed Reading."