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How to Stop Subvocalizing?

CJKAllstar
Posts: 408
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8/8/2014 1:01:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I subvocalize whenever I read. By this I mean that whenever I read anything I say it in my head. And it is becoming an issue. I'm struggling to read harder texts as a result and it is really bothering me. It is an issue because my impetuous response is to read quickly. But it turns out that I am very good at subvocalizing at a very quick rate. When I do outpace it, I am reading so quickly that I fail to understand what is being written.

But other than this, I have no idea how to just stop. I can't simply shut it down because it is instinctive and ingrained. Repeating something in my head works for a short time but as I read more I subconsciously start to subvocalize then have to make a conscious effort to distract myself. Chewing gum or distracting my mouth doesn't work. Music is better than all the others and limits my subvocalization a paltry amount, but it isn't enough to help me read more complex texts.

So, has anyone got any advice at all? Thanks.
"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." - George Orwell
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
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8/8/2014 1:57:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/8/2014 1:01:42 PM, CJKAllstar wrote:
I subvocalize whenever I read. By this I mean that whenever I read anything I say it in my head. And it is becoming an issue. I'm struggling to read harder texts as a result and it is really bothering me. It is an issue because my impetuous response is to read quickly. But it turns out that I am very good at subvocalizing at a very quick rate. When I do outpace it, I am reading so quickly that I fail to understand what is being written.

But other than this, I have no idea how to just stop. I can't simply shut it down because it is instinctive and ingrained. Repeating something in my head works for a short time but as I read more I subconsciously start to subvocalize then have to make a conscious effort to distract myself. Chewing gum or distracting my mouth doesn't work. Music is better than all the others and limits my subvocalization a paltry amount, but it isn't enough to help me read more complex texts.

So, has anyone got any advice at all? Thanks.

Listen to ambient music while you read.
bsh1
Posts: 27,504
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8/11/2014 1:18:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I embrace it. I hear the words in my head as I read, but I find that it is useful in ensuring comprehension of the text. I am not a particularly fast reader as a result, because it's hard for me to keep pace internally while reading quickly, but by having each word emphasized as I read it, it often helps me to get a better idea for what I am reading.
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bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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8/11/2014 3:16:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/8/2014 1:01:42 PM, CJKAllstar wrote:
I subvocalize whenever I read. By this I mean that whenever I read anything I say it in my head. And it is becoming an issue. I'm struggling to read harder texts as a result and it is really bothering me. It is an issue because my impetuous response is to read quickly. But it turns out that I am very good at subvocalizing at a very quick rate. When I do outpace it, I am reading so quickly that I fail to understand what is being written.

But other than this, I have no idea how to just stop. I can't simply shut it down because it is instinctive and ingrained. Repeating something in my head works for a short time but as I read more I subconsciously start to subvocalize then have to make a conscious effort to distract myself. Chewing gum or distracting my mouth doesn't work. Music is better than all the others and limits my subvocalization a paltry amount, but it isn't enough to help me read more complex texts.

So, has anyone got any advice at all? Thanks.

Learning to read faster is really like unlearning then re-learning how to read (a different way). You basically need a program (or to use your finger to trace text) and move it so fast that you literally can't subvocalize. After enough practice at this, you'll stop subvocalizing. But you've acquired your subvocalization habit over years, it could take years of practice to unlearn it. Keep at it though if this is a skill you want.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Ajabi
Posts: 1,504
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8/12/2014 7:20:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Learning to read faster is really like unlearning then re-learning how to read (a different way). You basically need a program (or to use your finger to trace text) and move it so fast that you literally can't subvocalize. After enough practice at this, you'll stop subvocalizing. But you've acquired your subvocalization habit over years, it could take years of practice to unlearn it. Keep at it though if this is a skill you want.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
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8/12/2014 11:01:23 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/8/2014 1:01:42 PM, CJKAllstar wrote:

It might sound obvious, but simply practicing your reading could greatly improve comprehension. I've noticed that after I read for a few hours, I'm able to automatically understand what is being said, whereas when I first start out sometimes I struggle to stay focused. It might be different for other people though.