Reading level: which is more important to you – speed or accuracy?

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Reading level: which is more important to you – speed or accuracy?

Speed (words per minute)
2
4%
Accuracy (% of know words)
27
57%
They are both important
14
30%
Neither are important
3
6%
Other
1
2%
 
Total votes: 47

Picaboo
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Re: Reading level: which is more important to you – speed or accuracy?

Postby Picaboo » Sun Nov 27, 2022 4:37 pm

Dice meanings.

It means my eyes don't actually go from the first word of a sentence to the end or even remain inside a sentence border when I read. There is alot of research on reading and eye tracking that shows this to be true.
Eyes jump around extracting what multiple sentences means as quickly as possible. They ignore word borders as well, chunking common or repeated phrases as a single rapid thing, and it is more a parallel process than a linear one.

Also, if you look up speed reading techniques they will warn you not to sound out the words. Basically, you can bypass the way a word is pronounced, which is slow, and you can still understand. I don't actually speed read, but read voraciously when I was young. An audiobook is very painful for me unless the narrator is extremely good because it seems so slow even at 1.25 speed.

If I actually wanted to speak what I am processing when reading English in a flow state, I couldn't. Because it is too fast and probably not grammatical. In addition, it's highly visual and largely bypasses auditory.

I try not to do this when reading Korean and try to sound out every word, because I am so bad at Korean. I think it's important to hear every word in my head, in order, but this isn't natural to me. Also, sounding things out stops me from making a huge number of errors and or inadvisable skips because I am not ready to read that quickly in Korean...but my brain wants to do it, and is doing it to some degree, as I naturally want to rapidly pull out the meaning and ignore the sequence of sounds that many assume are a necessary basis of understanding (and are not).
Last edited by Picaboo on Sun Nov 27, 2022 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reading level: which is more important to you – speed or accuracy?

Postby Iversen » Sun Nov 27, 2022 4:49 pm

I do intensive text studies, where everything in principle must be understood, and extensive reading sessions where I have to understand the arguments and descriptions, but can't be bothered to look everything up. So accuracy or speed, but unless you are quite advanced you can't get both at the same time.
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Re: Reading level: which is more important to you – speed or accuracy?

Postby Le Baron » Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:30 pm

Here's an interesting video I think is relevant to this topic and to reading and learning in general. It's even worth tolerating her creaky, slightly whiny voice for. The concept of 'slow reading' for understanding, comprehension, building neural pathways and long-term memories.

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Re: Reading level: which is more important to you – speed or accuracy?

Postby einzelne » Tue Nov 29, 2022 8:12 pm

Le Baron wrote:Here's an interesting video I think is relevant to this topic


Why do you think it's relevant for developing your reading skills in L2? I'm all for slow reading for classical, intellectually demanding texts or textbooks. But how can you graft this experience onto L2 texts when your reading skills are so low you can barely read a sentence. The whole concept of slow reading is that you deliberately slow down your reading speed. With low L2 skills, you would still be behind your 'slow' reading speed in your native language. Besides, during slow reading sessions, you slow down to appreciate the intricate web of conceptual connections, the beauty of language etc. In your L2 at this stage all your cognitive resources would be busy by trying to process and retain linguistic and grammar information. This is how it works. For instance, I finished a Latin textbook and a have firm grasp of Latin grammar and core Latin vocabulary. Still, I would not be able to practice close reading even with parallel bilingual texts like French juxta which have both literal and interlinear translation. You read on sentence, have half a dozen of new words, non-internalized grammar you need to attend - boom! you short-term memory is full. After a couple of sentences, you overwhelmed brain offloads this information, so that quite often when you return to the first sentence you need to use French translation again to make sense of it.
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Re: Reading level: which is more important to you – speed or accuracy?

Postby Le Baron » Tue Nov 29, 2022 8:56 pm

einzelne wrote:Why do you think it's relevant for developing your reading skills in L2?

Because the topic asks:
which is more important to you – speed or accuracy?

And some have answered that it is speed.

One can be an L2 reader and have a reading level above "so low you can barely read a sentence".
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Re: Reading level: which is more important to you – speed or accuracy?

Postby Steve » Thu Dec 01, 2022 2:09 pm

I put both, but I need to clarify that.

For me, it's about efficient use of my time rather than WPM or comprehension level. Some types of materials (e.g. most news articles) are only worth a skim to get the gist of as quickly as possible. Other types of materials require much mental processing even if I was reading it in my L1. Other materials read for enjoyment need a balance between the two since I don't want to take a year to finish a fiction book with perfect understanding nor finish in a few days or weeks and not understand what happened.
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