Position: Classroom Teacher
Speed Reading Through Playing
One of my most rewarding experiences I had since I started working with my class, was when I saw them playing Conquiztador. I have heard of the game from a former student of mine, who had graduated secondary school and was playing the game with her classmates in high school. I told my students about it, they started playing it, and they seemed to enjoy it a lot. It is a trivia game with questions from all sorts of domains, ranging from history and arts, to movie stars and football.
The best part of it was that you needed speed. And speed-reading is what I was most interested in. One of my students was happy when playing the game, because he felt he was improving his reading speed and at the same time pleasing his parents. Playing computer games is what my students do all the time. Especially boys. Over the years, I have heard parents complaining about how their children did nothing else than spend time in front of their computers, neglecting schoolwork. It is unfortunately something I have learnt to accept as a fact and complaining about it didn’t seem to take us anywhere.
I think what children face nowadays is a challenge to acquire so many skills, from which reading is just one. Moreover, when the burden is too hard for them, they just give up and take refuge in other activities that offer them instant gratification. Computer games are on of the list with my students, so competing with what the fun they seem to have while playing them is not an easy task.
This is why I think teaching speed-reading techniques could be one solution to promote reading as a useful and efficient skill. If the students feel that there is so much to read but there are so many other things you can do in your spare time, they will easily give up on reading.
However, just like when practicing their gaming skills, if they are challenged to improve their reading speed, they could feel like finding the key to a hidden treasure.