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Old 12-31-2012, 09:52 PM   #16
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By the sound of your post and something I may have picked on seeing your moniker, how much do you read in general to begin with? One indication was you just got a Kindle (congrats) and your first read was a short one. And you generally stand up? Seems like that may be an indication of being somewhat antsy, not sure how many do that regardless of the material.

Is this the first struggle you have had? If not, how did you get through others? This material appears difficult and other methods may not even be applicable to this one given the difficulty.
I read a lot... online. I mostly read blogs that deal with linguistics and language learning. There's one blog that I plan on downloading so that I can re-read it on my Kindle. I usually don't read books for university because I have too much trouble understanding most of them. I usually make exceptions for books that are about linguistics, such as Steven Pinker's volumes.
I also enjoyed reading Frankenstein, even if it was a reading assignment. I stand up because I spend way too much time sitting, and also because sitting at a table to read that book makes me feel trapped. If I have to read something boring, I'd rather walk around near a window.

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I must be a slow reader since it usually takes me a couple of minutes to read a page for information, and I've read books where it could easily take over an hour to understand a single page. (Granted, those were heavy in mathematical physics.)

Anyhow, one thing I've done is breaking up reading sessions. I set a 15 minute alarm, then read for two intervals and get up and move around for one interval.
That's what I've been doing--setting 15-minute alarms and and taking small breaks in between. I haven't been taking notes during my breaks but I've been thinking about the material instead.

The book is called English Phonology and Graphonemics, and it was written by Deschamps, Fournier, Duchet and O'Neil.

What's deeply disturbing about this particular book is that the phonetic rules seem to contradict themselves. If I want to write something down, I have to understand the material fully first.
If I could, I'd just find a summary online, but I'm dealing with a course in theoretical phonetics here--I have to study it somehow.

I'm very tempted to try and read it for six hours straight tomorrow, but I don't think I'd absorb much information that way. Then again, if I don't finish it very soon, I'm afraid my Kindle will feel unloved.

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Old 01-01-2013, 10:05 AM   #17
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Just watch the movie. You can rent it at redbox. I think it's on netflix.

English Phonology and Graphophonemics, staring Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, and Charlie Sheen as Phonico!
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:59 PM   #18
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I don't know that particular book, but the books on phonology I have read aren't the kind of thing that you sit down and read like you would read fiction or nonfiction written for the general reader.

It's more like a math textbook: you don't read it cover to cover as much as you *work through it* (or maybe use it for reference). "Phonology" is usually a third year linguistics course at a university and you may use one phonology textbook for the entire class (although you may supplement with article or other reading). In class, you would probably read something like 1-2 chapters a week, depending on the book, but you'd spend several hours doing so to make sure you understood each concept, memorizing whatever was necessary. Otherwise, you won't be able to really understand what goes on in the following chapters.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:12 PM   #19
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The book is called English Phonology and Graphonemics, and it was written by Deschamps, Fournier, Duchet and O'Neil.
Did you say something?

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Old 01-01-2013, 10:42 PM   #20
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What? No Soothing sounds of Penguin coos?
That wouldn't be my first choice as a reading background sound, but as they say, don't knock it 'til ya tried it...
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:48 PM   #21
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I've always listened to techno or trance. The soft background melodies that repeat itself are an excellent way for the brain timer to shut itself off.
If you don't have these kinds of music, just turn on a room fan, or something with a constant pitch or whine that the brain will shut out.

Provide the brain with all the nutrients it needs. Milk and honey are good nutrients!
Spagetti is a great food to eat before studying.

A short catnap before study can do miracles as well, as it clears memory, and synopses are most sensitive 30 min to 1 hour after waking up!

There is some study done with magnetism, exposing the brain to strong magnetic waves, could temporarily disable one part of the brain, making more focus for the other parts. This is experimental, and could lead to all kinds of deseases like cancer or possibly even a brain short; where synapsis get burned or a connection made between 2 synapsis that don't need the connection.

I would not recommend the latter step though...

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Old 01-02-2013, 01:05 AM   #22
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Hey Buddy
When I feels reading ePubs or eBooks difficult or boring, I try plugging in my headphone and listen to it. It helps me to concentrate more over the content.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:23 AM   #23
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Hey Buddy
When I feels reading ePubs or eBooks difficult or boring, I try plugging in my headphone and listen to it. It helps me to concentrate more over the content.
That's not terribly helpful to the OP, is it, given that he has a reader which doesn't have TTS?

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Old 01-02-2013, 03:34 AM   #24
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I must be a slow reader since it usually takes me a couple of minutes to read a page for information, and I've read books where it could easily take over an hour to understand a single page. (Granted, those were heavy in mathematical physics.)
I've got you beat, it has been years and I still don't understand finnegans wake.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:41 AM   #25
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I read a lot... online. . . . I usually don't read books for university because I have too much trouble understanding most of them. . . . That's what I've been doing--setting 15-minute alarms and and taking small breaks in between. I haven't been taking notes during my breaks but I've been thinking about the material instead.

I'm very tempted to try and read it for six hours straight tomorrow, but I don't think I'd absorb much information that way. Then again, if I don't finish it very soon, I'm afraid my Kindle will feel unloved.
Allow me, as a professional student, to offer my $0.02. Most of what you read online is like what you'll find in the New York Times, which somewhat famously can be understood with a vocabulary of 500 words or less. Which is to say, most online reading (from blogs to Facebook to news feeds) is fairly simplistic. However, most academic reading is not simplistic. The authors of textbooks are trying to pack as much semantic content (the thoughts behind the words) into as few words as possible.

So the fact that most of your reading is done online explains why you find academic material challenging. (That, and academic material is supposed to be challenging because it is supposed to be on the cutting edge of what we know.)

Now, as a student, allow me to suggest that you read for a solid 20 minutes during which time you have awesome concentration. Then you take a break during which time you do not think about the material in any way. Instead, during break time you should do something physical or use a different part of your brain (such as by reading romantic poetry as a break from doing math, etc.) That way you will recuperate your ability to focus as much as possible. Or just watch The Simpsons. One other really powerful technique, if you find that you are getting distracted (and you can do this before exams if you want a better mark), is to write down a list of all the things that you're thinking about. This will trigger a response whereby you will consider them resolved, temporarily at least, and not think about them while you study or write an exam.

The least of your worries is how your Kindle feels, after all, the robot revolution hasn't begun yet so there is no motivation to worry about the feelings of our slave automatons.

tldr; read a higher level of writing on a daily basis to bridge colloquial language and academic language; clear your mind before studying.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:21 AM   #26
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I don't know that particular book, but the books on phonology I have read aren't the kind of thing that you sit down and read like you would read fiction or nonfiction written for the general reader.

It's more like a math textbook: you don't read it cover to cover as much as you *work through it* (or maybe use it for reference). "Phonology" is usually a third year linguistics course at a university and you may use one phonology textbook for the entire class (although you may supplement with article or other reading). In class, you would probably read something like 1-2 chapters a week, depending on the book, but you'd spend several hours doing so to make sure you understood each concept, memorizing whatever was necessary. Otherwise, you won't be able to really understand what goes on in the following chapters.
You're right, phonology textbooks do take a long time to read. I'll probably have to read it a second time anyway since there are some rules I don't understand. I stopped taking notes because I don't want to write things that are wrong--it seems like I need to understand the whole chapter, not just the subheadings, to take good notes.

I made a lot of progress yesterday. I only have 90 pages left to read. I listened to some dance music while reading and it helped a lot.

I think the first few chapters were the hardest. The book is getting easier and more interesting. I read passages aloud because picturing in my head what a particular sound or symbol "does" is pretty hard.

Quote:
I've always listened to techno or trance. The soft background melodies that repeat itself are an excellent way for the brain timer to shut itself off.
If you don't have these kinds of music, just turn on a room fan, or something with a constant pitch or whine that the brain will shut out.

Provide the brain with all the nutrients it needs. Milk and honey are good nutrients!
Spagetti is a great food to eat before studying.

A short catnap before study can do miracles as well, as it clears memory, and synopses are most sensitive 30 min to 1 hour after waking up!
Thanks a lot for all the great advice! Could you recommend some good techno/ trance music?
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:47 AM   #27
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You don't read a textbook like you would a novel. Take notes, develop your own examples to illustrate core principles and terminology. Reflect on the material, then reread. If you finish that book, read it again or pick up a different book and compare/contrast the approaches. Be active in reading, if you're not thinking about the ideas the entire time, you're not learning effectively.

Since my background is in physics I'll use that as an example. In a Physics textbook, I would derive the equations in the text, I would solve the examples myself and check them, and I would solve the problems at the end of the chapter and check their answers when I could. I would explore what ifs? where I broke an assumption necessary for an equation or a principle to see what would happen. As a teacher, my top students always study by solving extra problems, the mediocre students simply passively read their notes or the book.

Now you might not have problems to solve for your textbook, but you always can explore topics that still require you to apply and synthesize the ideas presented in the book. They key is always active reading.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:51 PM   #28
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Thanks a lot for all the great advice! Could you recommend some good techno/ trance music?
The Donnacha Costello Colorseries album might do nicely. This is one song.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:01 PM   #29
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:53 PM   #30
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I have to finish the book by Friday morning so I'll work hard tomorrow. I have 60 pages left to read, so I should be done in 4-5 hours tops, probably less.

I read in the car for over an hour today and it went well--it seems like the hardest chapters were the first ones, since they were full of rules and exceptions to said rules (sigh).

I don't think walking outside would be a good idea because it's too cold right now. I'll probably try it when the weather's nicer.
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