5 Ways To Minimize Subvocalization:
1. Use Your Hand to Guide Your Eyes While Reading
We keep on emphasizing the importance of using your hand to guide your eyes. It’s a central principle to all speed-reading techniques and it’s something that will help you minimize subvocalization. Using your hand to guide your eyes will also help you grab groups of words while reading, helping you avoid another common reading habit, fixation.
2. Distract Yourself
To minimize subvocalization, try distracting yourself from saying words in your head. How should you distract yourself? There are a couple of ways to do it. One way is try to chew gum while you read. If you chew gum while reading it will distract you from saying the words in your head.
You can also distract yourself from saying words by occupying that voice in your head with another voice. Try counting from one to three while you are reading the material (example: “one, two three” line-by-line). While you are doing this, try fixating your eyes somewhere at the beginning of the line, somewhere in the middle of the line, and somewhere at the end of the line. While you are looking in those three places you want to be counting “one, two, three.” By doing this you will also be fixating on three groups of words, rather than each and every single word. You can count “one, two, three” out loud (maybe whispering) or in your head. Either way, you’ll distract yourself from saying the actual words you are reading. With some practice, you’ll find it easier to avoid saying all the words in your head as you read.
3. Listen To Music While Reading
This will not only help you minimize subvocalization, but listening to music may also help you concentrate better. However, keep in mind that not all types of music are going to help you concentrate. You want to avoid listening to music with lyrics or anything with a strong beat because it is going to throw off your concentration. You may also want to avoid listening to songs that remind you of other things (your high school sweetheart, a fight scene from a movie or anything else that might further distract you).
Listen to something that is instrumental. Classical music usually works best. That will help you to improve your concentration and it will also help you to minimize your habit of subvocalization.
4. Use the AccelaReader RSVP Application
AccelaReader uses Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) to help you boost your reading speed and minimize subvocalization. The application is simple to use. You simply paste the text you want to read into a textbox. Set your reading speed and press play. The words then blink on the screen at the speed that you set. You can also choose how many words you want to blink at a time.
I recommend setting a speed of at least 300 words per minute. Anything higher than that will help you avoid subvocalizing all the words. The faster you go, the less words you will be able to say in your head. With some practice, you’ll find it easier to minimize this habit of subvocalization.
5. Force Yourself To Read Faster Than You Normally Would
Let’s say you normally read 250 wpm. Try going a little faster (maybe 300 or 350 wpm). If you force yourself to go a little faster than you normally read, you’ll minimize the amount of words you say in your head. In addition to minimizing subvocalization, you’ll also improve your focus because you have to pay attention more when you read a little faster. Again, the more you practice pushing yourself faster, the faster you will get.