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At a Glance

I want help with...

Basic Strategies

Tools to Consider

Fluency (Reading speed, accuracy)

Listen to text (in place of or in addition to visual reading)

Narrated audiobooks

Text-to-speech software or electronic-texts

Readability (Visual aspects of text, visual tracking)

Adjust visual aspects of text (font, size, colors, spacing)

Use reading guide to aid tracking and focus

Electronic text

Text-to-speech software or plug-ins to aid visual tracking

Comprehension (Words, sentences, background knowledge)

Web search background/summary information

Speaking with faculty and support staff to supplement background information

Digital dictionary

Digital translator

Critical thinking/reasoning (Drawing inferences, seeing "the big picture")

Active reading strategies (SQ3R is an example)


Digital annotation software

Digital mind-mapping software


Reading fluency concerns reading speed and reading accuracy.

The goal of reading is to acquire and understand new information conveyed via text. For some students, their reading fluency may be impacted by the visual medium of printed text, rather than other aspects of the reading process. 

For many students, listening to new information (or listening while reading) is faster, more effective, and requires less cognitive energy than visual reading alone. Comprehension can be greatly improved by supplementing reading with listening. 


Tools to Consider


Explore How You Learn

Obtain a print, audiobook, and e-text version of a book (public domain books are available free, and ARC and Penrose Library staff can also help with this). Try each modality, or a combination, and evaluate the overall experience in the following aspects:

  • Reading speed
  • Comprehension
  • Retention (remembering what you read an hour, day, or week later)
  • Ability to sustain focus
  • Endurance (ability to read for extended duration)

Which reading mode worked best for you?

  • Visual-only reading
  • Listening to human narration (audiobook)
  • Listening to text-to-speech reading aloud e-text 
  • A combination (e.g. listening to an audiobook while following along in the print book; or using an e-text with highlighting functionality)

Might you get different results for different kinds of reading?

  • Novels or short stories
  • Articles
  • Science or social science textbook with dense text
  • Researching information on the internet
  • Reading for pleasure
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