Loud Reading and Silent Reading – Which Is Better?

Loud Reading Vs. Silent Reading

Loud reading and silent reading. What’s the difference? And which one should you use?

In this post, we’ll talk about the benefits and cons of both loud reading and silent reading so you can decide which is best for your situation!

Let’s get into it!

Note: If you want to learn how to read more books this year, check out my ultimate guide where I share 33 genuine was to read more!

Two Types of Reading – Loud Reading And Silent Reading:

As you may know by now, there are two types of reading. Loud reading and silent reading.

Let’s talk about silent reading first.

What is Silent Reading?

Silent reading is internal reading. There is no production of speech and no motor movement of the mouth.

Silent reading is what most of us do when we’re reading on our phones and what many use while reading a book.

If you want to learn how to become a better silent reader, check out this post here.

But silent reading is not how many of us learn to initially read. That’s where loud reading comes in.

What is Loud Reading?

Loud reading requires the usages of our muscles and voice box (our larynx). This is where we read out loud with our voices.

This is typical when we’re reading so others can hear or when we’re first learning how to read.

Benefits of Loud Reading and Silent Reading:

Now that we know what loud reading and silent reading are, let’s talk about the pros and cons of each.

Both kinds of reading are useful in different situations. Use the following sections to figure out which scenario is best for you!

When Do You Use Loud Reading?

Loud reading is how we initially learned how to read. We saw the word, read it, and then understood it.

This is how our brain best reads because it has been doing it for so long.

So when should you be using loud reading?

Learning A New Language:

Learning a new language requires loud reading. Many of us learned our native tongue by sounding out the letters to a word. The same is true when learning to read in a different language.

Thus loud reading is perfect for anyone learning how to read.

Memorizing A Speech:

If you need to give a presentation, then using loud reading is perfect to better memorize it.

Our brains have a pathway known as the phonological pathway.

Without getting too detailed – this pathway is believed to store audible words into our short-term memory.

This is the reason we tend to remember someone’s name or phone number after saying it out loud.

You can also use it when memorizing a speech or presentation. This will help you look professional and prepared for the real thing.

Understanding What We’re Reading:

Loud reading is better for memorization and comprehension. We simply remember better what we’re reading if we read it out loud.

Think about the last time you read a text out loud vs. silently. You likely remember the text if you read it out loud.

This partly is due to pathways in the brain such as the phonological pathway. Remember the brain stores our speech into our short-term memory. It does not do the same with silent reading.

Disadvantages of Loud Reading:

So there are several benefits of loud reading. But what are some of the disadvantages?

Loud Reading Is Slower:

The main disadvantage of loud reading is speed.

Our reading speed (measured in words per minute – WPM) is limited by how fast we talk.

The average human speaks at about 150-250 WPM and that’s also how fast we tend to read.

But that means it would take you over 4 hours to read a 200-page book!

With silent reading, you can increase your reading speed upwards to 600 WPM. That’s finishing the same book in a little under 1.5 hours.

If you want to learn a great way to read faster, check out this post on minimizing subvocalization.

Not Always Practical:

The mission of The Reading Warrior is to help you read better and read more.

Loud reading doesn’t always help that mission. We can always loud reading.

Often when we’re in public, the act of speaking out our words isn’t appropriate.

How Does Silent Reading Work?

Silent reading is a more advanced form of reading. You may not think so but let me explain.

Our brains tend to learn reading by the following steps.

  1. See Word (Visual System)
  2. Read The Word Out Loud (Motor System)
  3. Understand What We Just Read (Language Processing Systems)

This cycle repeats and this pathway in our brain becomes quite strong during our younger years. We tend to read out loud during the first decade of our life (and even longer).

So using silent reading involves skipping step 2 – reading the word out loud.

Thus using silent reading means we have learned a new pathway.

When Do You Use Silent Reading?

Silent reading has some great benefits and can surely help you read more and better in the long run.

Let’s talk about the pros and cons, just like we did with loud reading. Most of them will be the flipped opposite of loud reading.

Want To Read Faster:

As we mentioned previously, silent reading allows us to read faster. We’re no longer dependent on our speaking speed.

Thus you can increase your reading speed and double it.

So if you want to read more, silent reading is your style.

Improve Your Reading:

Silent reading isn’t only better for just your reading speed, it also rewires your brain to read everything naturally.

If we can make silent reading our natural state then our comprehension will improve (although this is better with loud reading) and our speed will improve.

You Can Read At Any Time:

Remember how we talked about loud reading being impractical? Well using silent reading can allow reading to be a part of your day at any time.

You’re no longer limited by the situation, as you are in loud reading. Reading is at your hands at all time. All you need is a book or a phone to read.

Hopefully, you enjoyed this post about loud reading and silent reading!

Let me know how if you have any questions in the comment section below.

If you want to learn how to read better and more, check out the following articles.

How To Read More Books This Year [Ultimate Guide]
How To Stop Subvocalizing and Read 2X Faster!
How To Read Faster and Retain Information

Thanks for reading!

Now go out and read more…


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