Welcome to This Training Manual for Learning and Running the Proportional Reading Program (PR)

Using VoiceOver or Other

Text-Reading Programs


Brief Introduction

This Training Manual leads you through our free Reading Improvement Course (online), and shows you how to set up your iOS Device, Mac laptop or desktop, or PC to read with the Proportional Reading approach and voice assistance. This Training Manual is designed for self-instruction.

What you will experience in our approach to reading is a new way to read. You read each sentence just ahead of the spoken sound, pausing at the commas and periods for the sound to catch up. Thus, the sound acts to immediately correct any reading errors, and completely removes any reading anxiety. You adjust the speed at which the voice speaks, from normal speaking rate to over 500 words per minute. At the end of each sentence or paragraph (depending on how the text is formatted), the sound pauses automatically for as long as you wish, for you to think about what you have just read, and for as long as you want. Then when you are ready, you press a single key to proceed. You can repeat any sentence or paragraph as many times as you want before proceeding. You are in complete control. You proceed with full comprehension and focus at the speed your mind processes thought. With a little practice, you will quickly increase your speed up to 500 words per minute and above. You will start to love reading. You learn transferrable skills for reading any book, as you do your assigned reading.

A special use of this approach helps elementary students and ESL students with decoding, automaticity and fluency. They try to read any section of text out loud, before they interactively press the screen, or a keystroke, to hear it read out loud. They can repeat the sound of this section as many times as they want. The student never leaves a section of text without reading it correctly and smoothly. Help is always available. Reading anxiety disappears. Instead of guessing and rushing ahead, students immediately start to focus on reading correctly.

After the elementary school student, or beginning reader, uses the first set of PR reading techniques to improve decoding, automaticity and fluency, the student moves onto the second set of PR reading techniques to further improve reading comprehension and reading speed.

This Training Manual teaches both approaches. The elementary school approach is also used for improving English speech. See the chapters on “Elementary School Reading” and “Improving Speech” in this Training Manual.

We teach you how to master a new type of reading. We train you in a new way to use the software that you already have on your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac laptop, or Mac desktop computer,  or on your PC (including software that you can download for free). The first part of the training teaches setup and operation of the controls for this new type of reading. The second part of the training teaches you how to improve your reading using these controls and this new approach. You will learn how to use this approach to read almost any article on the Internet or any textbook or novel, at the speed you think, up to and above 500 words per minute. Besides completing assigned reading, you will overcome the 18 Bad Reading Habits and develop transferrable skills for reading regular books. You will begin to love reading. Many people choose to start off doing our free Reading Improvement Course.

Key Benefits

Proportional Reading is an approach to reading that allows you to almost instantly do the following:

  1. 1.Read textbook chapters with greatly improved speed and comprehension and enjoyment.

  2. 2.Read almost any article on the web with improved speed and comprehension and enjoyment. This includes general interest reading as well as assigned articles on the Internet from any of your courses.

  3. 3.Improve your reading as you do assigned reading and reading for pleasure.

Best Use of Summer Vacation and Winter Break

The best use of your time during summer vacation and winter break is to improve your reading. You do this by setting up your iOS device or computer, by learning how to operate the controls, and by learning how to think and move your eyes as you read with these new capabilities. This will empower you for all your upcoming studies and general reading. There is no need to buy any new software or hardware. However, you will need to spend some time learning what to do and practicing, just as in learning to drive.

Combination of Four Main Approaches

Proportional Reading combines four main approaches:

  1. 1.Specially formatted text, in large font, arranged so that you can read it sentence by sentence, with instant pause and repeat as desired. Note: Sometimes you will go paragraph by paragraph.

  2. 2.Voice assistance form computer-voice at adjustable-speed, with instant pause and repeat.

  3. 3.Training in how to control eye movement and thinking as you read with these tools. You master this training by taking our free online reading improvement course.

  4. 4.Practice on the Internet and elsewhere so that you can transfer your new skills to any reading.

Four Basic Types of Voice-Assisted Reading

There are four basic types of voice-assisted reading. You need to be familiar with all four approaches. Sometimes you will switch between approaches in the same article:

  1. 1.Reading a sentence at a time with automatic pause after each sentence or paragraph for you to think about what you have just read, with the ability to repeat the sentence as often as you want. Also the ability to look up words, without retyping, anytime you want.

  2. 2.Reading text continuously with the ability to pause the reading out loud as often as you want.

  3. 3.Reading manually a full paragraph at a time (no blank lines between sentences) and having the ability to pause as often as you want during the paragraph, and automatically pause after each paragraph for as long as you want, with the ability to repeat the paragraph as often as you want.

  4. 4.Selecting a certain amount of text and having just this section of text read out loud.

Other Skills Will Improve As You Improve Your Reading

As you improve your reading by following the instructions in this Manual, you will find that you have improved a number of other skills:

  1. 1.The ability to focus and concentrate for long periods.

  2. 2.The ability to speak clearly to others.

  3. 3.The ability to hear and listen accurately and with excellent comprehension.

  4. 4.The ability to take better notes.

  5. 5.The ability to write better papers.

  6. 6.The ability to think in larger thought patterns.

Two Basic Types of Reading on the Internet

It is very important to understand that there are two very different types of reading on the Internet and WiFi. The first is reading short news articles and magazine articles that are rarely more than one or two pages long. In these pieces paragraphs are rarely more than one to two sentences in total length. The second type of reading is serious writing of textbook chapters, or novels, or scholarly articles. These articles and chapters have long paragraphs and often 40 pages or more of length.

Both types of reading can easily be done with the PR approach. However, as you will see, the optimal setup is slightly different for long articles with big paragraphs.

Formats That Work for This Type of Reading

Adjustable-speed, computer-voice can be used to read e-text on iOS devices, and on the Mac computer (laptop or desktop), or on a PC. This approach can be used in a wide variety of document types, if you do a little reformatting.

Only certain document types work well. Besides iBooks, most other e-book readers do not support voice and text reading at all, or do so very poorly. Unfortunately, iBooks does not let you read either a sentence or a paragraph at a time with automatic pause after the section is read out loud. Reading Pages with VoiceOver does not work well at all. The same is true for e-mail format. Note: Reading Pages and e-mail is best read without VoiceOver. Instead, just select a short amount of text and have that selection read out loud. You learn how to do this later in this manual.

What does work very well for VoiceOver is reading articles in .html format, either on the Internet or offline. Ideally these articles should have no advertising or other distractions on them. They should also be in large type format.

Fortunately, almost all short articles on the Internet can be quickly and instantly formatted this way, if they are not already so, by choosing to read them in Pocket or reading them with “Reader” (if you are using the Safaris browser). Later sections of this manual will show you how to prepare text these ways, quickly and often automatically.

Other articles can be quickly copied and pasted into a word processor and  reformatted with a blank line between sentences, and then saved in .html format.

Serious articles and book chapters with long paragraphs need to be formatted with a blank line between sentences and then saved as an .html document and read on any device in Dropbox, or with your browser. This reformatting can be done on a PC or Mac. Otherwise, the whole paragraph will not show on many screens as it is read.

This approach will allow you to read even the longest paragraphs with large type font on your iPhone or iPod Touch, as well as on your iPad or iPad mini.

This approach also enables you to read well anywhere you are, with or without the Internet or WiFi. Use earphones if necessary.

Textbook chapters and complicated reading are best read sentence by sentence, with instant optional repeat, and large font. This arrangement is much easier and faster to read and understand. Graphics and media presentations are best done in a book located just below the computer screen, or looked at separately in a second e-text article loaded up with media. Reading serious writing with PR, using all the different functions and insights, is a truly transformative experience that is essentially a whole new way to read and learn, and with great enjoyment.

If you don’t have long articles and chapters specially formatted, the best approach is to read the text on as large a screen as possible, using a keyboard, and read manually a paragraph at a time, pausing as often and for as long as desired during each paragraph. Then pause automatically at the end of each paragraph for as long as you want to think about that paragraph, and or repeat it as many times as you want.

Make sure the text window is as large as possible. This way text can be kept very small on your iPhone or iPad etc, yet have it 4 to 16 times as large on the screen you are actually reading. This will allow you to clearly and easily see the whole paragraph as it is read out loud.

Again, short news articles and short general interest articles on the Internet can be read online and without manual reformatting, using the “Reader” function or “Read It Later” (now “Pocket”) and VoiceOver. This manual will teach you how to read both short, general interest articles and long, serious chapters and articles.

What is VoiceOver

VoiceOver is the Apple approach for reading text out loud with a computer voice. It is a highly developed system of keystrokes that is used by blind people all over the world. The system is easy to learn, but takes a few days of practice to commit to memory. The PR approach uses the VoiceOver tool to help you read actual text in a new way. Take the time to learn the few strokes required, and you will have a lifetime of empowerment.

Controlling Your Reading

Most Mac and iOS operations with voice, after setup, are ideally controlled by one finger on the forward (or backward) arrow on an iOS or Mac keyboard. This is much faster, easier, and far less distracting than using your fingers on the screen of an iOS device. In addition, and very importantly, the arrow function insures that selected text is fully shown on the screen, if at all possible. Just using your fingers causes many split paragraphs, with part of the text off the screen as it is heard.

The best approach on the PC is to use Ultra Hal and select text as desired.

Directions for Setup on Each Platform

For quick and easy reference, setup and actual controls are presented separately on this site. Most of these controls you will rarely use, but you should be familiar with them all. Tips for actual reading are presented in the Tip Sections.

You will be learning a skill which you can use for the rest of your lifetime. Like driving a car, this new skill requires some practice. Invest a few hours to master this technique.

Progression of Steps to Follow in Order

The best way to get the most from this manual is to read and agree to the Order of Steps. Read this now. Whether you are a student working with a Coach/Instructor, or you are doing this course of instruction independently, the steps to follow are clearly listed out, and in the order to follow.

Relationship of  Our Free Reading Course and This User Manual

This Manual clearly describes the steps of how to combine our Free Reading Course with actual reading with computer-assisted voice. This integration is presented in the Order of Steps Section of this Manual.

How to Read with the PR Program - General Tips

This is where to go in this manual to find much more detail about how to improve your actual reading skills.

General Recommendations for iOS Devices and Macs:

  1. 1. Read short Internet articles on iOS devices with Reader or Read it Later (now called Pocket). These articles often have paragraphs only one sentence long. Note. Serious writing has long paragraphs of many sentences and this type of writing does not display well at all on iOS devices, without changes. The paragraphs either run over the screen, or the text size is much too small to read easily.

  2. 2. Read long articles, serious writing, and textbook chapters on iOS devices or Mac computers in HTML as offline documents, formatted to read a sentence at a time in large font.

  3. 3. Alternatively, read long articles on a large screen with full window size and large type, reading manually a paragraph at a time and pausing the sound as often as desired within each paragraph.

  4. 4. Always use a keyboard if possible. Use a Bluetooth keyboard for iOS devices. Set things up so all you have to do is press one arrow key to control reading.

  5. 5. iBooks is fine for light reading, like novels. However, you can not read sentence by sentence with automatic pause between sentences, or repeat by sentence as needed. Nor can you manually read a paragraph at a time in iBooks, with automatic pause after each paragraph. For both of these reasons iBooks is very bad for reading the text of textbooks and serious reading with manual progression. However, iBooks is fine for reading text with VoiceOver and automatic progression, and then pausing the text whenever desired. This is good for light reading and review. You do this by pressing the Control key to pause or continue within the paragraph. Press Control, Option A to repeat paragraph and start automatic reading again.

© Proportional Reading, 2013

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