hinese netizens have their doubts about a “quantum” speed reading course which claims to be able to teach kids to read at least 20,000 characters in a minute.
Video has gone viral this week from a speed reading competition in a Beijing classroom featuring kids dressed in blue shirts with a number on one shoudler staring intently at books as they flip through the pages with lightning speed as female proctors look on.
One of the teachers says that the children are able to read 100,000 characters in between one to five minutes while completely retaining the information and being able to recite it back word-for-word.
In a Pear Video report, a teacher shows off texts from a purported parent who records her child managing to read an entire book in just two minutes and 23 seconds.
This method of “quatum” speed reading was developed by a Japanese teacher named Yumiko Tobitani. She claims that the faster the flipping the better and that it even works for simalteous translation.
“When you flip the pages of the book, images start to appear that helps you understand its contents,” she says. “Another wonderful thing is that even if the text is written in French, German, or English, it would be translated to your own language and connects to images so that you understand the book immediately.”
The training center in Beijing offers 72 lessons in its speed reading course. It’s not clear how much the course costs but it’s reported that some parents have spent as much as 50,000 yuan ($7,000).
It’s also unclear how much longer the course will be around. According to Sixth Tone, the center’s parent company, Beijing Xinzhitong Qiguang Education Technology, has had its website shut down after denying to reporters that it offers “quantum” speed reading classes — instead, a representative said its classes teach kids to reach a page in a sluggish five seconds.
On Weibo, net users have wondered how parents could have ever been roped in by this class. “After reading, how do you feel about the book? Child: I think it was nice and cool,” writes one netizen, referring to the soothing breeze created by the flipping pages.