In this post, we talked about how increasing your reading speed can help you improve your spelling by exposing you to more words and giving you practice seeing those words used in context. Did you know that learning to spell correctly will help you become a better reader, too? When you learn the rules of spelling words in English, you’ll be able to apply them to the new words you come across when reading.
When you come across an unfamiliar word while you’re reading, it will slow you down. If you don’t know the meaning of the word, you’ll have to stop and look it up, or run the risk of losing an important piece of information in the text. However, if you’ve studied the rules of English spelling, you’ll be able to apply those rules to the new words you come across while you’re reading. One of the reasons for this is that words which have the same etymological roots – that is, their meanings are related – often have similar spelling patterns. Being able to identify these patterns can also give you clues about the definition of an unfamiliar word.
One of the ways that you can increase your reading speed is by eliminating subvocalization, the habit of saying words to yourself as you read, whether you say those words out loud, just move your lips as you read, or only “hear” the words in your head. One of the reasons that spelling practice helps to eliminate this habit is that when you know how a word is spelled, you’ll know how it’s pronounced. Subvocalization often occurs because you’re mentally trying to “sound out” a word you don’t know how to pronounce; when you recognize a word and know how it sounds already, you won’t unconsciously think you need to say it in order to read it.
If you combine speed-reading techniques with vocabulary improvement and spelling practice, these three learning tools will work together to increase your skills even faster than any one of them alone.
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