How to Get Rid of Subvocalization When Reading
Speed reading is one of the most beneficial things you can master in today’s busy world. Just imagine the perspectives that it would open to you! By processing 2x, 3x or even 5x more information, you would move to another, much higher professional level. In the lines below, I want to share with you essential advice on how to overcome one of the greatest obstacles to speed reading, which is subvocalization, or silent speech.
There are three possible ways of reading:
Articulation – pronouncing the text aloud (characterized by a low speed).
Silent speech – internal speech that provides the sound of the word that is read.
Reading without articulation – the maximal suppression of hidden articulation, expressed in the perception of keywords and key semantic series (the perfect and the fastest way of reading).
It is obvious that any articulation slows down the reading process, and if you have the desire to learn to read faster, you have to get rid of it. However, this raises the question: wouldn’t the suppression of articulation affect the perception and interpretation of incoming information?
It is not a secret that, for example, when you want to memorize something, you pronounce it several times silently. Silent speech is a mental speech that arises at the moment of focusing on something, reading and writing. However, we can successfully replace silent words by visual images and spatial schemes in which groups of several words can be expressed in one word that summarizes the meaning of the whole phrase. Moreover, speed readers can grasp the author’s intent without pronouncing the text, and then perceive at the level of internal articulation.
It turns out that high speed of reading goes hand in hand with its deep understanding and assimilation (that is, the speed reader immediately understands the basic ideas, and subsequent text only strengthens it and clarifies the details).
In short, a person can read quickly and almost without articulation, at the same time understanding the whole material. To master this, you have to go through the two subsequent steps, namely to reduce the articulation if it has a significant impact on the reading process and master the special techniques of reading in which the text is perceived as separate blocks of information.
Tricks on How to Suppress Subvocalization
The human brain processes a huge amount of information perceived through sight.
The vision carries out a very important role, but often speed reading is predetermined by motor and speech functions. A lot of people involuntary articulate while reading, which reduces the speed and the quality of perception. And it’s quite difficult to fully perceive the information when speech function substitutes the visual one.
Let’s review several basic ways of suppressing silent speech.
Counting while reading. That is, you pronounce “one, two, three, four and so on” while reading. It seems quite complicated at first glance, but it perfectly suppresses the articulation and eliminates the need to repeat or pronounce the word read. Moreover, this technique is the simplest and the most effective one and is applied by many speed readers.
The pronunciation of read words with a slight delay. Every word is reproduced already at the time when the next is read. In practice, it is rather complicated so that you may need the help of a specialist.
Saying verses and couplets from songs. By using this method, a person programs his diction at the pronunciation of the abstract but familiar material.
The speech interference. The idea is that you tap the rhythm with the delay of 0.2 seconds 2 times, then 0.4 sec 2 times, and finally, 0.8 sec 4 times. By doing this, you’ll switch the focus from articulation to tapping the rhythm. Playing (consciously increasing and lowering) with the speed of reading, thereby destroying the internal speech. To do this, you’ll need a metronome that will set the pace. Moving your fingers or hands while reading. The trick is that this movement is controlled by a large part of the brain motor center. Therefore, the movement must not be arbitrary, automatic and easy. You need to complicate them to activate attention.
Reading under a specially-chosen rate that is incompatible with speech. You need to choose a speed of reading at which the words are perceived only visually while speech function simply doesn’t have time to be involved.
Listening to music while reading. Music in the background must be light and not intrusive. You just need to follow the development of the melody.
These are the main ways of getting rid of subvocalization when reading. Apply them to practice, and the result will not keep itself waiting long. But remember that none of the methods should become habitual and be used mechanically. The main task is to put yourself in the most uncomfortable to subvocalize conditions. Use different methods and try in every way to modify and complicate them. Over time, you will be able to suppress articulation.
Lucy Adams is a blogger from BuzzEssay, a website where you can get your term paper help at the lowest price. She’s a generalist who never refuses to research on intriguing topics. Guest blogs are free, so don’t miss the chance to add some value to your website! Most of all, Lucy loves education, books, and writing.