Reading aloud is a wonderful way to increase your focus when reading. Research shows that many people benefit from reading aloud. The reason for this is that they focus more on the words they read. They not only hear them. They also have to focus on pronunciation.
While there is more focus on reading this way, it is not always clear if it helps with comprehension. When pronouncing words is difficult, you put too much focus on that. This reduces the focus on understanding what you read.
That is why we should have a closer look at the influence of reading aloud on the results of your studying. We will do that in this article…
Is It Better To Read Aloud When Studying?
Throughout history, people have been reading aloud. It was a social activity. One person would read, and the rest would (be able to) listen. You might say that these were the first audiobooks.
When you study, you want to get information from a book into your head. You need to understand what you read. You think about what you read. You find connections between the information and your current knowledge. You improve your understanding. What you need most for that is to be able to focus on what you read.
Reading aloud can help you with that. You will not only see the words. By reading aloud, you will also be able to listen to it at the same time. There is a clear difference between reading silently and aloud in this. Words you form with your mouth and that you hear with your ears are captured by your brain better.
You may have noticed something when you read in silence. Some words may have a slightly different sound in your head. I notice this especially when I read fiction books. Names of people can sound different in my head than when I hear them spoken aloud.
By reading aloud, you have to read all the words in the right order. This is usually not the case then you read silently. Your eyes will jump from your current line to the words above and below it. Take a simple sentence like: THE CAT JUMPS ON THE WALL. This may be silently read by your brain like THE like CAT JUMPS current line ON THE WALL line.
The reason for this is that your eyes will see the words around the sentence. This creates a completely different sentence in your head! This you notice that in the original sentence the cat jumps ON the wall? And because of your eyes seeing other words, the cat jumps from a line on the wall?
By reading aloud, you will have a much lower risk of doing this.
TIP: When you feel reading is more difficult than it normally is, start reading aloud. Also when you feel tired and you should be studying, this can help. You become more focused.
TIP: Create your audiobook. Start reading your study book aloud. You can listen to your book when commuting to work or when working out. You can of course also record reading aloud your notes. This way you
Here’s How Reading Aloud Helps Concentration
The most important thing you should have when reading is focus. By being able to concentrate on your reading, you can understand much better what you read. The biggest reason many people fail to read efficiently is because of a lack of focus. When you have no focus, you will re-read sentences and sections.
Reading aloud is improving your focus. By reading aloud, you are forced to read all the words. You focus on all of them. You will not only see them but also hear them. This improves your understanding. 2 modalities trigger your brain this way (vision and sound).
Read More: Is Subvocalization Good For Comprehension?
Especially when a text is difficult, or when you don’t feel well or focused, you should start reading aloud. Not only will you improve your comprehension. You will also notice that your memory starts to improve as well.
Reading aloud will benefit everybody. Just make sure you don’t have too much background noise. You should also check if reading aloud is possible. You wouldn’t want to be a distraction to other people around you…
Is Reading Aloud Good For Your Brain?
When we often see is that there is a difference between reading silently or reading aloud. Overall, reading aloud is good for your brain. More importantly, reading aloud is good for your study results! You focus better which helps improve comprehension. You memorize better, which reduces re-reading. You become a more effective learner.
Some people find they are better readers when they read in silence. This may be the case, but probably not always. You see, reading in silence helps you to read faster. But since the words are flashing faster in front of you… you may not be a more effective reader. You can start missing key ideas or details. This is not what you need.
Read More: Why Is Reading Out Loud So Important?
Some people swear by listening to audiobooks. I feel that audiobooks are a wonderful addition to our learning experience. You may however find it more difficult to grasp the key ideas and concepts. The reason for this is you (only) hear the text. It may sound like a great way to study. The reality is that you don’t see what is talked about. You need to create your visual representations of the information. Using books can be a lot easier.
If you do want to start using audiobooks, please use them the way I talked about before. You can create audiobooks based on your notes. You can also pre-read the text by skimming, and then listen to the audiobook. You may even use the audiobook as a guide for going through the text. You listen to it while reading along. This gives you time to take notes while listening.
Reading aloud certainly helps you to become a more focused reader and learner. Remember that the biggest problem for most people is their focus. This does not only apply to study but to life in general.
The moment you can increase your focus, your life will improve. Stop doing many things at the same time. Even stop (only) reading in silence. Decide to read a few sections of the book aloud. You may start doing this with the introduction and summary of a chapter.
And when you want to use audiobooks, pre-read your text. Skim the text. You will have a much better time listening. This is because you already know what you will hear and which topics are important.
If you have any questions about reading or studying in general, let me know. I am here for you.