Wednesday, 18 March 2009

A Speed Reader that Chunks

I've seen and tried quite a few speed reader tools recently, but Eyercize is the best one so far. I think this is mainly because it has a few really nice controls that can help to actually reinforce the way we read naturally (in chunks rather than word by word).

To try out Eyercize, just copy a text that you want to read, go to: and paste it into the text filed. Then just click on 'Now Read it'

This will take you to a page where you have some controls on the left hand side. The controls enable you to adjust the speed of the text and also the number of words in each chunk. They also allow you to control the number of words from the surrounding text that are shown. These are some very handy features. It also seems like Eyercize can also detect some punctuation and headings so it doesn't chunk across sentences and paragraphs.

Eyercize also provide a handy bookmarklet, which you can drag onto you browser and then just click when you want to speed read some text. See Tools to find out how it works. I think Eyercize is a handy tool to use, especially with language students, to build up good reading habits and to help to transfer their existing L1 reading habits to a new language.

It might be interesting to contrast this with the text based gifs created by Sceedbot. Screedbot enables to to input a text and then create a typewriter effect gif from it.

This is a handy tool for some things, but it certainly doesn't compliment the way we read naturally.

it might be useful to contrast the output from these two tools to draw trainee teachers attention to how good readers read or perhaps even with students.

Hope you enjoy these tools and find good uses for them.
Source of the Screedbot text is an article that I wrote for the TeachingEnglish website: 'Listening to Body Language'

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Nik Peachey

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