June 9, 2011 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines –  Mind mapping and speed reading are some of the skills that make Ahead Tutorial and Review Center different from others. And because so much of learning involves acquiring the right set of skills, Ahead has made it its mission to arm its students with the proper tools to get them to the honor roll.

Speed reading is a skill where a person is able to read faster while maintaining a high level of comprehension. “It involves some techniques and methods like chunking, eliminating, and subvocalization,” says Zenon Alejandro Villongco, Ahead lecturer and tutor specializing in Math, Science, and English for eight years now. The most important trick in speed reading: “Knowing what information you want from a document before you start reading it,” he says.

Dr. Anton Villanueva, who teaches Language Proficiency, Reading Comprehension, and General Information, defines speed reading as “the expert use of various reading techniques that maximize increases in speed while minimizing decreases in comprehension.”

Learning speed reading is recommended for children as young as 10 to 11 years; this is when they’re already in their late primary schooling. “It is during this age when a person’s basic reading competency and language skills are supposed to be already fully developed,” explains Villongco. “It’s also during this time when a person starts to encounter more complex reading materials and would thus most benefit from speed reading.”

While he was in his fifth or sixth grade in Texas, Villanueva studied speed reading, a skill which has served him well in his later years. Kids may start learning speed reading at a young age so that “it can become second nature.”

Villanueva says that even after one session, “differences can already be gleaned by the reader.” It would be ideal, he says, if the reader’s speed would increase no less than 100 percent.

“A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key work or idea,” describes Villongco. “Generally, mind mapping is a thought processing technique where one gets to visualize his thoughts and ideas.”

Villongco says that the earliest age he would recommend learning mind mapping would be around the late teen years, “when an individual can more easily assimilate and lucidly articulate complex thoughts and ideas.”

Mind mapping will help you quickly identify and understand the structure of a subject, enhancing your ability to solve problems creatively. Because it can be used in generating, visualizing, structuring, and classifying ideas, it will help make studying and organizing easier. Education should focus on the “how” (effective tools to develop learning abilities), instead of just concentrating on the “what” (educational content).

Visit www.Aheadtutorialandreview.com for more tips and useful articles.

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