The major hurdles in developing efficient reading are:
- Lack of concentration
- Uninteresting subject matter
- Lack of motivation
- Faulty reading habits
- Defective Reading
- Indiscriminate use of the dictionary
Lack of Concentration
Poor concentration emanates from poor reading habits. If we are not used to reading, it often appears to be an unpleasant task when we are forced to do it. Since there is no escape from reading, we need to cultivate an active interest in the reading assignments. Gradually, our concentration begins to improve if we consciously start taking interest in the reading activity.
Uninteresting Subject Matter
The type of material selected for reading often influences one’s reading. An unfamiliar subject in school or college may pose a serious problem to the student and his/her reading rate would come down considerably. On the other hand, if one reads a familiar subject, naturally the reading speed would gather greater momentum.
Lack of Motivation
Lack of motivation, at times, makes us perform below our full potential. We may already have the latent ability to read faster than we normally do. What we need is the inner drive, the persistent desire to improve our reading rate. Those who prepare for competitive examinations are so motivated that they develop greater reading speed.
Faulty Reading Habits
While reading, one is unable to progress well beyond a thought, expression or word, it is regarded as eye fixation. This is often caused because many of us are not trained for good reading in schools. However, this cripples our reading efficiency. To overcome this, try to divide a sentence into certain thought units, and don’t fixate on a particular word or expression for long.
Just like eye fixation, regression to creeps into our reading habits because of lack of training. When we are unable to understand an idea, we habitually go back to the part where it occurs in a passage. It suggests incompetence in reading and comprehension skills. Enhanced reading habits with enthusiasm and interest can help to overcome this problem.
Vocalization is the tendency to make the sounds of the words while reading. Lip reading, on the other hand, is the act of moving one’s lips voicelessly as if one were reading aloud.
Most of the readers sound out words in their minds to some extent. This is called subvocalization. It is also called inner speech. This limitation can be overcome at least to a certain extent by focussing one’s attention on a larger group of words, rather than individual words.
Reading aloud or turning the head from side to side
Reading aloud and moving the head from time to time, gliding a pen pencil or scale through the text tends to affect the understanding of the concept. Ideally, our eyes should see and our mind should read the text before us.
Defective reading happens from two sources- ophthalmic and neurological. The former is due to defective eyesight like shortsightedness, longsightedness, etc. Stammering( stuttering) and Alexia are neurological defects for which medical treatment or counselling should be recommended. The problem of partial or total deafness also impedes reading.
Indiscriminate Use of the Dictionary
Some damage to reading habits is also done because of the lack of guidance about the proper utilisation of the dictionary. Some students are misled into cramming the dictionary they possess. Another misuse of the dictionary is the tendency to refer to it the moment one comes across a word one finds difficult to understand. Repeatedly looking into the dictionary for every such word also makes us wary of the whole process of reading and we tend to give up very soon. Therefore, go through your reading assignments without taking breaks; encircle the words and expressions you are unable to understand. Once you have finished the entire assignment, turn to the dictionary to understand the words. Even as you do so, try to scan the target word from different perspectives. Never stop amid your reading to work in a word. Move forward. Usually, the context will make the meaning of strange words clear.