Thursday, January 22, 2009

200 Words Per Minute

My TESOL classes have resumed. Last night, in my class about techniques to teach Reading and Writing, the concept of speed-reading came up. Our book supported the idea of increasing a student's speed, in both text books and reading for pleasure. We students agreed that ESL students need to have adequate speed, but were against the idea of strictly focusing on the number of words per minute.

As a writer, I take particular offense with the idea of wanting to move through a text as quickly as possible. Last month, I overheard someone singing the praises of an author. Their reason for liking said author so much? You can finish a book in two days!

I like an engrossing story as much as the next bibliophile, but just turning pages quickly does not a good story make. The point isn't to get to the end. The point is the end, and what happens in the messy middle.

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