How to avoid subvocalization?

Featured in

    Subvocalization is a common habit that occurs when you say words in your head while reading. Here’s how to avoid it and improve your reading proficiency.

    How to avoid subvocalization?

    There are various reasons people have trouble reading fluently. Reading difficulties can stem from dyslexia or ADHD or for a variety of other reasons. All of them can have a major impact on how proficient we are when consuming written content.

    Another factor, calld subvocalization, can limit any reader’s flow when dealing with unfamiliar words. And though it’s natural, it can disrupt how well you read aloud, making your life a tiny bit harder. In the following text, we’ll explain what it is and how to overcome it.

    What is subvocalization?

    Subvocalization is a reading habit that involves silent speech. This vocalization happens in our minds, so only we hear it. It usually happens when we consume written content. Scientists explain it as a natural process related to short-term memory that can be alternately helpful or disruptive, depending on how excessive it is.

    In its helpful iteration, subvocalization allows us to become better at comprehending words and their relationship to one another. However, it can also be a bad thing by slowing our reading down so much that reading aloud can become almost impossible.

    How to minimize subvocalization

    Unfortunately, there’s no way to stop subvocalization completely, despite what some speed-reading programs claim. We can, instead, avoid and minimize it to increase reading proficiency and become all-around better narrators. Here are some practical ways you can improve your reading ability to avoid this common challenge.

    Use a pointer while reading

    All speed-reading techniques rely on a basic technique of using your hand to guide your eye movement and peripheral vision. Although it might appear a bit juvenile, it’s actually a great way to focus and follow words in a constant flow. This allows for better reading comprehension beyond just the sound of the word and overall read-aloud proficiency. It will also minimize the chance of fixating on one word, which is a common habit all readers have.

    Listen to music while reading

    It’s proven that listening to music can hugely benefit your reading. Music not only minimizes subvocalization but also provides auditory stimulus to help you concentrate better, whether you live in a noisy city such as New York or a quieter rural area. Nevertheless, it’s key to point out how not all genres of music can do that. Relaxing classical music with a slower tempo will fit better with any reader instead of some fast-paced pop tracks or heavy music.

    Occupy your mouth

    Eating or chewing something while reading is another great way to minimize subvocalization. The reason is simple. When you occupy your mouth, the chance of your inner voice forming words is close to zero. As such, you should try to chew gum, bite a pencil or suck on candy if you’re having issues with subvocalization.

    Read faster

    An average person’s speaking speed is somewhere between 200-250 words per minute, or wpm. If you try to increase those numbers by a hundred when reading to yourself, you’ll have less time to say the huge number of words in your head. This isn’t the easiest way to minimize subvocalization, but it can be useful to some. Don’t worry about mistakes. You’ll get the hang of it over time.

    Invite a guest speaker

    Try to read groups of words with a different voice. You can imagine yourself sounding like a fictional character or a celebrity you know well, and you’ll minimize subvocalization by a mile.

    How Speechify can help with subvocalization

    In addition to the five classic tips we’ve mentioned, it’s also possible to use assistive technology to boost your reading skills. Text-to-speech technology can be particularly helpful. The best example is an app called Speechify. It’s superior to any speed-reading course.

    This TTS tool uses machine learning, artificial intelligence and optical character recognition to turn any reading material into fully audible speech word-for-word, using natural-sounding AI voices. There are over 30 of these, and they work in over 15 languages.

    How can Speechify help with minimizing subvocalization? It’s simple. When you paste a line of text into the app and press play, the app will highlight words that the AI voice is reading. When highlighting occurs, you’ll have an easier time focusing on individual words.

    But that’s not all. Another benefit of using Speechify to reduce subvocalization is that you can change the reading speed of the AI narrator. Speechify goes up to 900 wpm, but that’s not necessary. Just set it over 300 wpm, and subvocalisation in your head will decrease. You can turn any document into a podcast-like experience. You’ll never think about reading Word documents the same way again.

    If you’re looking to try Speechify out, we have great news for you. The app is available on all popular devices and platforms. You can use it on both iOS and Android devices, as well as a standalone app on Mac computers. It’s also available as an add-on for web browsers. Click here to start using Speechify for free.

    FAQ

    What is subvocalization?

    Subvocalization is silent reading or speech that we utter internally when reading. We do so by producing minuscule larynx movements, just as we do when speaking normally. The habit of subvocalization can affect our reading both positively and negatively. As a bad habit, it prevents us from reading aloud at a steady pace as we focus on single words by re-reading them over and over.

    How to prevent subvocalization?

    Unfortunately, you can’t prevent subvocalization completely. You can, instead, minimize it to achieve better reading proficiency by practicing various speed-reading techniques or using text-to-speech assistive technology such as Speechify.

    How to minimize subvocalization?

    Simple ways to minimize subvocalization include:

    • Using your finger as a pointer while reading;

    • Listening to relaxing music;

    • Occupying your mouth with gum or hard candy;

    • Upping your reading speed over 300 wpm;

    • Distracting yourself by counting or impersonating another voice;

    • Using Speechify text-to-speech app.

    Why does subvocalization happen?

    Subvocalization is natural, meaning that it happens to everyone. Scientists think it allows our minds to more easily access meanings, memorizing and comprehending both groups of words and single words. They argue it reduces cognitive load.

    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.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

    Recent Blogs

    • How to download YouTube audio
      How to download YouTube audio
      Arrow
    • Voice API
      Voice API: Everything You Need to Know
      Arrow
    • Text to audio
      Best text to speech generator apps
      Arrow
    • The best AI tools other than ChatGPT
      The best AI tools other than ChatGPT
      Arrow
    • Top voice over marketplaces reviewed
      Top voice over marketplaces reviewed
      Arrow
    • Speechify Studio vs. Descript
      Speechify Studio vs. Descript
      Arrow
    • Google Cloud Text to Speech API
      Everything to Know About Google Cloud Text to Speech API
      Arrow
    • Source of Joe Biden deepfake revealed after election interference
      Source of Joe Biden deepfake revealed after election interference
      Arrow
    • How to listen to scientific papers
      How to listen to scientific papers
      Arrow
    • How to add music to CapCut
      How to add music to CapCut
      Arrow
    • What is CapCut?
      What is CapCut?
      Arrow
    • VEED vs. InVideo
      VEED vs. InVideo
      Arrow
    • Speechify Studio vs. Kapwing
      Speechify Studio vs. Kapwing
      Arrow
    • Voices.com vs. Voice123
      Voices.com vs. Voice123
      Arrow
    • Voices.com vs. Fiverr Voice Over
      Voices.com vs. Fiverr Voice Over
      Arrow
    • Fiverr voice overs vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Fiverr voice overs vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Arrow
    • Voices.com vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Voices.com vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Arrow
    • Voice123 vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Voice123 vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Arrow
    • Voice123 vs. Fiverr voice overs
      Voice123 vs. Fiverr voice overs
      Arrow
    • HeyGen vs. Synthesia
      HeyGen vs. Synthesia
      Arrow
    • Hour One vs. Synthesia
      Hour One vs. Synthesia
      Arrow
    • HeyGen vs. Hour One
      HeyGen vs. Hour One
      Arrow
    • Speechify makes Google’s Favorite Chrome Extensions of 2023 list
      Speechify makes Google’s Favorite Chrome Extensions of 2023 list
      Arrow
    • How to Add a Voice Over to Vimeo Video: A Comprehensive Guide
      How to Add a Voice Over to Vimeo Video: A Comprehensive Guide
      Arrow
    • How to Add a Voice Over to Canva Video: A Comprehensive Guide
      How to Add a Voice Over to Canva Video: A Comprehensive Guide
      Arrow
    • What is Speech AI: Explained
      What is Speech AI: Explained
      Arrow
    • How to Add a Voice Over to Canva Video
      How to Add a Voice Over to Canva Video
      Arrow
    • The Ultimate Guide to Speech AI
      The Ultimate Guide to Speech AI
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      The Best Celebrity Voice Generators in 2024
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      YouTube Text to Speech: Elevating Your Video Content with Speechify
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      The 7 best alternatives to Synthesia.io
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Everything you need to know about text to speech on TikTok
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      The 10 best text-to-speech apps for Android
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      How to convert a PDF to speech
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      The top girl voice changers
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      How to use Siri text to speech
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Obama text to speech
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Robot Voice Generators: The Futuristic Frontier of Audio Creation
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      PDF Read Aloud: Free & Paid Options
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Alternatives to FakeYou text to speech
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      All About Deepfake Voices
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      TikTok voice generator
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Text to speech GoAnimate
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      The best celebrity text to speech voice generators
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      PDF Audio Reader
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      How to get text to speech Indian voices
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Elevating Your Anime Experience with Anime Voice Generators
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Best text to speech online
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Top 50 movies based on books you should read
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Download audio
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      How to use text-to-speech for Quandale Dingle meme sounds
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Top 5 apps that read out text
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      The top female text to speech voices
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Female voice changer
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Sonic text to speech voice generator online
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Best AI voice generators – The Ultimate List
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Voice changer
      Arrow
    • Everything to Know About AI Spotify Ads: The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Audio Advertising
      Text to speech in Powerpoint
      Arrow
    footer-waves