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Extensive reading and reading speed

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@roddy: Well, the data stops in July 2020 because that's when I switched over to working on traditional characters, but I don't think I'd hit a plateau yet at that point. There's definitely been a significant drop in speed after switching to traditional, but I expect it'll catch up at some point--though maybe not as quickly as I'd like, given that I've recently shifted more of my time/attention to speaking. Ideally I'd like to read as fast as an adult educated in Chinese, but I don't know how achievable that will ultimately be. At any rate, the reason I started studying Chinese in the first place was to read things anyway, so I'm just going to continue to read, and I expect that as I do so my reading speed will continue to improve (albeit increasingly slowly).


@i__forget: My goal during this period was three hours a day, which I probably met more often than not (although things definitely fell off after the pandemic started). My speaking when I started was broken at best, but I already had good listening comprehension for everyday conversation, so I certainly wasn't starting from zero.

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Jan Finster
On 10/11/2020 at 11:52 PM, pinion said:

about 15.6 million characters read between December 2018 and July 2020 (so just over a year and a half).


10 million characters a year is an insane amount for someone "learning" Chinese😲 👍

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Congratulations on your progress! You appear to have reached a near-native reading speed. I've been collecting a similar dataset, and I hope to have a graph like yours someday.

  1. Do the points in the plot represent your reading rate for random sections of text from the novels you were reading?
  2. Would you mind sharing a spreadsheet or csv file of your measurements? When I have time I'd like to try fitting a couple models to these data.
  3. Consider sharing this dataset with someone researching extensive reading. As I understand it, all studies in the literature only measure reading rate at two points in time (e.g. the start and end of a semester). The high time resolution of this dataset is unique.
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  • 3 months later...


An amazing chart! And for me extremely motivating!


By your description I’m about where you were when you began your extensive reading on broken speaking, ok listening and about 1600 characters. Now I’m about a month and 200 000 characters in and I measured my reading speed on a couple of different days at around 60 - 80 characters per minute. I’m looking forward to similar  results!


did you notice any effects on your speaking and/or listening skills that you can attribute to the extensive reading?

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