We have been mentioning the need to see or look at 3 to 10 words at a time. The average range is 3 to 4 words but depending on your eye span, you may be able to see up to 10 words at a time. But being able to read all these words at the same time is the method called “Chunking.” A good vision is needed to be successful at this method so ensure the health of your eyes.
The memory also plays a part in chunking specifically, the working or short-term memory because you will need to remember the previous sets or “chunks” of words you’ve read for you to be able to understand the text you are reading.
Since you will need both your eye span and memory to master the skill of chunking, you will need to group words in just enough numbers such as 3 to 4 words. Too many words will make it difficult for your working memory to process the information so you will have a hard time understanding what you’ve read.
It’s also best to be familiar with idioms and it’s an advantage if you have a wide vocabulary. Recognizing idiomatic expressions will enable you to understand faster the meaning of the set of words if it’s an idiom. Knowing the synonyms or expressions which has the same meaning as one word will also hasten your pace. For example, the text is “the reason for this…” When you see this chunk then you may just read it as “because”, because that is the meaning of “the reason for this.”
One way to start practicing chunking is by dividing a page into three columns, you may write a vertical line till the end of the page to see each column. This way you are dividing the words into three sets per line or sentence. You may now start practice reading the chunks from the first till the last column.
Another way to do chunking is to focus only on the middle column and let your peripheral vision, also known as your side vision which is your eyes’ ability to see the outside of your gaze, read the first and last column. Do this slowly in the beginning because you would want to ensure your comprehension at the same time avoid eye strain.
The most advanced way to do chunking is to read diagonally. For this method, you need to read the right side of the first sentence first then move to the left side of the next sentence and so on. This way you are reading the sentences as phrases only.
Practicing chunking by reading and remembering number sets is a good way to start training for this skill. Practice with 6 to 7 digit numbers then increase it to 9 to 10 digits. The main idea in using numbers is to remember all the numbers by grouping them. For example, read the numbers 3457856. You may group this as 345-7856 or 345-78-56. Then try to remember it and write it down. Then do it with words now in a page or article incorporating the easy to advanced chunking methods mentioned above.
Be patient in practicing and learning chunking because this really cannot be developed overnight. But when you are determined to get better then improvement won’t be that far from happening.