Many people who work on improving their English grammar, vocabulary, or spelling skills find that they end up reading more often than before. Some of this is study material, but some is also reading for pleasure, and learning to appreciate and look for good writing and interesting vocabulary words. The more you read, the more words you’ll be exposed to, and (if the author is a good speller also) the more correctly-spelled words you’ll see and become familiar with. One of the best ways to improve your spelling is to read as much as possible so that you can see how words are spelled and how they’re used in context. By increasing your reading speed, you’ll be able to read and absorb more information. If you’re interested in improving your reading speed, you can get some helpful tips here.
The speed at which you read text often depends on what you’re reading, and why. If you’re skimming through text looking for key information – for example, in a handout you’ve been given fifteen minutes before the start of a meeting – then you might not notice the occasional misspelled word in that text. On the other hand, if you’re the person responsible for writing or editing the handout in the example above, it’s crucial that you take the time to read more carefully and correct any mistakes in spelling or grammar.
Whether you’re reading material that is part of your study program or not, you’ll be reading words that you’ve seen before as well as ones that are new to you. We’re sure you’ve had more than one experience of looking at a word that is not correctly spelled and thinking, “That just doesn’t look right.” Take the time to confirm the correct spelling of the word with a dictionary. Don’t rely on spell-check programs to mark mistakes or correct them. While you’re looking up the word, you can also strengthen your understanding of the word by looking at its etymology, associated words and definitions, and any synonyms or antonyms the word might have.
A good speed-reading program will teach you to increase your reading speed but also teach you how to absorb information and recognize things in the text like misspelled words. While you’re reading, even if you’re reading quickly, let your eyes be “caught” by new words or by misspelled words, and teach yourself the correct spelling as you go. If you don’t have time to look up a word right away, make a note of it for later.
Improve your reading skills, and you’ll find that your spelling skills improve just as quickly!
Cross-posted at the 7 Speed Reading blog.