How to Reduce Subvocalization and Read Faster

Woman reading a book

How to Reduce Subvocalization

Reading speed is becoming a real concern for most of the people all around the world. Many people can’t read as fast as they want, just because they can’t prevent some factors which will stop them from doing that.
Subvocalization is one of these factors and it significantly decreases your reading speed. If we learn how to reduce subvocalization, we can increase our reading speed. But first, we need to know what is subvocalization.

 

What is Subvocalization?Man Struggling to reduce subvocalization

When we start reading as a child, we read each word out loud. After a while when we get better at reading, we start to read the words without pronouncing them aloud, but rather we read them inside our mind. This is called Subvocalization. Whenever we start reading a text, we usually read the words separately. This will reduce our reading speed, thus we won’t find enough time to read as much as we like. The effect of Subvocalization may also make us tired and kills our reading joy. In order to avoid these problems, we have to find a way to reduce subvocalization.

Is it possible to reduce subvocalization?

Some people believe that in order to increase your reading speed, one should totally silence his or her inner voice. But it is impossible to completely silence your inner voice and prevent Subvocalization. The point is although you can’t remove it, you try your best to reduce it as much as you can. Plus, Subvocalization can sometimes help you.
Here we have some tips which can help you to prevent this issue and reduce it.

 

1. Listening to music will reduce Subvocalizationgirl listening to music to reduce subvocalization

According to numerous researches on this matter, music can help you fight with your inner voice. Subvocalization won’t usually happen while you are listening to music since your ears are already filled with music and there is no room for your inner voice to join it. But what kind of music should we listen to while reading something? When you listen to music with a high and strong beat, or when you listen to music which has a lyric, not only won’t it help you, but it also distracts you from what you are reading.
Classical music and pop music are the best choices. But don’t forget that strong beat can distract your reading.  The works of Chopin, Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven can help you feel relaxed while reading a book. This relaxation will also increase your concentration.
Generally, distracting your inner voice can help you to prevent subvocalization.

2. Use your fingers more than your eyesHand pacing

Eyes are probably our biggest gift. We see everything through them. Yet we all know that relying too much on our eyes could sometimes make problems for us. Subvocalization is highly dependent on our eyes and their movement. A slow reader will follow the words on a text and stops after each word. This will reduce our reading speed and it will also increase the chance of subvocalization. In order to prevent it, you should follow the text with your hand or a pacer.

Do you remember the story of Evelyn Wood? Hand pacing not only will increase our reading speed but also it helps us to reduce subvocalization. By learning hand pacing, your eyes won’t stop after each word and they follow your hands. This will elevate your reading from word reading to phrase reading. If you train your eyes to read more than one word at each stop, your reading speed will significantly increase.

 

If you want to learn Speed reading exercises, click here!

3. Scanning

Scanning is one of the most famous reading techniques, but how can it helps us to reduce subvocalization? If you scan the text that you are about to read, before reading, you will definitely find some familiar words or ideas that you have seen before. This will help you not to read them again whenever you started to read the whole text. Plus, it will give you a general idea about the text, so that the reading and understanding of the text becomes easier for you.

 

4. Keep your mouth full, and reduce Subvocalization!girls bubbles gum

It is hard to speak while we are eating or chewing something, so it will be hard as well to subvocalize while our mouth is occupied. Chewing gum or sucking a candy can help us to keep our mouth occupied and your tongue can’t move. This idea might seem silly but it really works!
Apart from that, studies show that chewing gum can reduce stress in us. Therefore our concentration increases and we can learn more from what we are reading.

 

Can Subvocalization help us?

Yes, like any other thing in this world, Subvocalization can either be useful or harmful. We can use Subvocalization deliberately, whenever we want to memorize a name or an idea. Doing this will move the idea to what is called a “phonological loop”.  The phonological loop happens whenever we read and repeat something we just read or heard. If we learn how to control this loop, we will be able to establish the idea into our short-term or long-term memory.

 

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