The benefits of reading and listening at the same time

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Productivity on June 12, 2022
Learn why you should try reading and listening at the same time.

    Unlocking the Power of Listening and Reading at the Same Time

    Reading books and listening to a book simultaneously, a practice known as immersion reading, offers a host of benefits for language learning and reading skills. This approach engages multiple parts of the brain, enhancing decoding abilities and overall comprehension. Whether you’re using an e-reader or ebook reader in the bustling streets of New York or in the quiet corners of your home, immersion reading can turbocharge your language learning journey while reinforcing the joy of reading aloud and expanding your linguistic horizons by multitasking. Read on to learn the benefits of listening and reading at the same time.

    Boosting Reading Comprehension

    One of the most significant advantages of reading and listening simultaneously is the substantial boost it provides to reading comprehension. When you follow along with an audiobook or spoken content while reading the written text, you engage multiple parts of your brain simultaneously. This multisensory experience reinforces your understanding of the material, making it easier to grasp complex concepts, intricate plotlines, or challenging subject matter.

    Audiobooks, available in various formats through platforms like Audible or Amazon, have become an increasingly popular choice for readers seeking to enhance their comprehension. Whether you’re delving into American classics, bestsellers, or niche literature, listening to an audiobook while reading the corresponding text can make a significant difference in your understanding of the content.

    Strengthening Listening Skills

    In addition to improving reading comprehension, the act of listening while reading bolsters your listening skills. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who want to become better listeners in their personal and professional lives. By tuning in to the narrated version of the text, you train your ear to discern nuances in pronunciation, intonation, and pacing.

    These listening skills can extend beyond the world of literature. They can enhance your ability to engage in meaningful conversations, participate in meetings, or simply enjoy podcasts and spoken content more fully. As a result, multitasking by reading and listening not only benefits your reading experience but also contributes to your overall communication prowess.

    Reinforcing Retention

    Listening while reading isn’t just about understanding content in the moment; it’s also about retaining that information for the long term. The combination of auditory and visual input creates a more robust memory trace in your brain, making it easier to recall details, facts, and even entire narratives.

    For students, this technique can be a game-changer when it comes to studying and retaining information from textbooks and study materials. By absorbing information through both written and auditory channels, you reinforce your memory and increase the likelihood of retaining key concepts.

    Enhancing Language Skills

    For language learners, reading and listening simultaneously can be an incredibly effective strategy. Whether you’re studying English, French, Japanese, or any other language, this approach can accelerate your language acquisition. Following along with an audiobook or spoken content while reading the written text exposes you to correct pronunciation, intonation, and native speech patterns.

    This method is particularly advantageous for English as a Second Language (ESL) learners, as it helps them grasp the nuances of the language. The exposure to written and spoken language aids in vocabulary expansion, comprehension, and overall language proficiency.

    Optimizing the Reading Experience

    Beyond the cognitive benefits, reading and listening simultaneously can elevate your overall reading experience. It allows you to immerse yourself fully in the world of the book, enhancing the emotional connection to the story or subject matter.

    Book clubs and reading groups, in particular, can benefit from this approach. It promotes engaging discussions and deeper insights as members share their perspectives on the text, informed by both listening and reading experiences.

    Introducing Speechify: Your Multitasking Companion

    Now that we’ve explored the advantages of reading and listening at the same time, it’s time to introduce a powerful tool that can help you seamlessly integrate this approach into your reading journey – Speechify. Speechify is a versatile text-to-speech tool available on iOS devices that converts written text into spoken words, providing an audio version of your reading material.

    Speechify is compatible with a wide range of formats, from physical books to Kindle books and e-books. It supports various languages, including English, French, Japanese, and more. With Speechify, you can follow along with the audio while reading, creating a fully immersive reading and listening experience.

    Furthermore, Speechify allows you to add subtitles to the audio, making it an excellent choice for individuals who are mastering a second language or those who simply prefer visual reinforcement while listening. The app’s functionality enhances your comprehension, language skills, and overall enjoyment of reading audio books.

    Whispersync: A Game-Changer for Kindle Users

    For avid Kindle users, Speechify’s integration with Whispersync is a game-changer. Whispersync enables seamless synchronization between the audiobook and e-book versions of a title. You can switch between reading and listening on your Kindle device or app without losing your place, ensuring a smooth transition between the two modes.

    In a world where time is precious and distractions abound, the art of multitasking has never been more relevant. Reading and listening at the same time is a powerful technique that enhances comprehension, language skills, and the overall reading experience. Whether you’re a student looking to improve retention, a language learner aiming to master a new tongue, or simply a book lover seeking to immerse yourself fully in a story, this approach can transform your reading journey.

    With Speechify, the process of reading and listening simultaneously becomes more accessible and convenient than ever. It’s a tool that empowers you to unlock the full potential of multitasking in learning, allowing you to absorb knowledge, embrace language, and dive deep into captivating narratives – all at once. So, why not take advantage of this valuable technique and elevate your reading experience today?

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    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

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    I have been flailing due to an eye injury on top of Lyme disease on top of long-covid and a herniated disc with neuropathy. Sitting hurts and propping a book while lying down is stressful. Anxiety over not keeping up, ADD with medication fluctuation and nystagmus of one eye, stigmatism with the other eye both before the retina injured has caused duress as an exam approaches in 35 days. I just need to get through these 500 pages and at least try the assignments. I believe this app will be the key.. thank you ever so much! It’s never too late to find a key and unlock the door to a new world!

    “I have ADHD and I love to read but have piles of book that I have never touched. I downloaded this app and it has helped me read more and obtain information better for school! Love this app , I recommend it to everyone!” - JENEMARIE

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    “I like Reading books but I don’t like to read at the same time this is so nice and very much correct. Totally recommend!” - Amazing use this now!!! - HALL LACKS SI USA

    “I am a student who had dyslexia so is very very very helpful for me. A reading assignment that would normally take me 30+ minutes took 10! I will be using this very often.” - CHAMA NORLAND

    “I’m an audible learner. Speechify helps me to comprehend readings better than I am capable of reading the text silently.” - CANDI CL

    “This is probably top 5 of greatest apps ever, you can literally read alone an entire book in a day. Easily worth the cost of the app.” - TJV 34

    “Excellent for comprehending medical textbooks more quickly and thoroughly!! This is awesome for keeping up with latest surgical techniques and technology. Dr. K” - IMPLANTOPERATOR

    “Speechify saves my 70 year old eyes. I close them. I listen.” - WRANGLERSUPREME

    “I was dreading reading this long story but Speechify got it done now I can go ahead and take my college quiz.” - SUNCOP

    “I teach visually impaired students AND students with dyslexia. This app is a huge help to all of them. Thank you for helping those who need it most!!” - ETTETWO

    “I use this app to proofread before I publish chapters of my books and it works so good! 10/10 recommended.” - LOUIELEIUOL


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    “Congratulations for this lovely project. Speechify is brilliant. Growing up with dyslexia this would have made a big difference. I'm so glad to have it today.”
    - Sir Richard Branson
    "Speechify lets me listen to Goop blog posts out loud in the car and gets my friends through grad school. It's amazing for scripts."
    - Gwyneth Paltrow