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Speed reading in another language?

November 26, 2012

Daniel R. Streett has some good thoughts on reading Greek, summarizing some information presented at the Society of Biblical Literature meeting last week:

For proficient reading, automaticity is necessary. In SLA [second language acquisition], automaticity means automatic recognition and understanding of a word or phrase. It actually happens involuntarily, without intervening analysis. It is not subject to introspection.

He continues to note that “reading is hearing.” He says:

Of course, the only way you can “hear” the words in your mind is to have heard them before in real-life, communicative situations where they were used in a comprehensible context.

I don’t disagree with this post (read the rest here). I do find it interesting, though, that one of the tenets of speed reading is to silence that inner voice you would otherwise hear when you read. Streett is not talking about speed reading, but wouldn’t it be great to get to the point of speed reading even in another language? It’s hard enough for me in my first language!

In the meantime, I’m getting stoked to start reading through Greek Isaiah (slowly) in less than a week and perhaps the Greek New Testament (at a bit of a quicker rate) starting January 1.

Anybody out there proficient in speed reading in a second language?

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