Richard-Business Eng
Professional Teacher
Does reading out loud improve your speaking skill?

How quickly can you say the English alphabet out loud?<o:p></o:p>

I can say it quickly because English is my native language.
I have repeated the alphabet many times in my life and the muscles of my mouth have been trained.

<o:p>Listen if you want... http://vocaroo.com/i/s0MqTBQHprsu</o:p>


Muscles have memories… This sounds strange but it is true.

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Just imagine watching a 5 year old child kicking a football… The results are not exactly perfect  J

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But a professional football player has trained his/her muscles… His/her muscles have been trained.
And their muscles have a memory, i.e., they remember how to move properly and effectively.
And they perform this physical activity without even thinking about it.

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<o:p> </o:p>

To create speech, you must use around a hundred different muscles.<o:p></o:p>

When you speak, your chest, lungs, throat, vocal cords, jaws, tongue, lips, jaw and nasal flap muscles are used to make a sound. <o:p></o:p>

The more often you repeat a word or phrase, the easier it becomes to pronounce the word (and remember the word, phrase or sentence).<o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

Studies have shown that when learners were given a list of words and asked to read half of them out loud and half of them silently, the learners were able to remember the part of the list they read out loud much better than the part of the list they read silently.

When you read silently, the visual part of your brain’s memory is activated.
But when you read and speak out loud, your brain’s visual, as well as its auditory (sound) memory are both activated.

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The end result is:<o:p></o:p>

- you remember better when you read and speak out loud, and
- your oral muscles remember how to form the sounds and speaking becomes easier.

<o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>And when language learners read out loud, speaking becomes easier and their speaking skills improve.

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WARNING:

You may not want to speak out loud when there are many other people around you.
They might not understand what you are doing and they may think that you’re crazy J<o:p></o:p>

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Comments anyone…<o:p></o:p>

Jan 20, 2017 10:18 PM
Comments · 23

This was the best English method in my second year of learning English my English teacher advices us to read at least 20 minutes after class. It strengthened my memory and helped me improve my English. During my school days, we always begun morning reading in English before the first class. I didn't feel shy because everybody was reading out loud and their loud voices coverd mine.

I also practiced my pronunciation by reading out along with tapes before I took profiency test of Mandarin.

However, this also brings a problem to me. My English reading is slow because when I come across English articles especially the long ones I read them out unconsciously. 

January 21, 2017

Sudeep...

Thank you for your comments and your recoding of singing the alphabet.
In English we have a simple 'one liner' (a one line joke) that we say after we hear someone sing: "Don't give up your day job."
This means that the singer should not depend on their singing skills to make a living... :)
Still, it was nice hearing your alphabet song.
I've also heard that some scientists believe water has some memory.
A human's ability to remember is a fascinating topic.


Negin...

Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
The example you gave us of the benefit of reading out loud is exactly the point I was trying to make.
I think your real-life example and success describes the benefits even better than I could explain... well-done Negin 

January 21, 2017
That's very true. I almost always try to read everything in English out loud. Like you said, it works miracles. There are times when I remember my own voice while seeing a familiar word which I've not completely learned or memorized. This also helps me to speak more fluently. In brief, I totally agree with you. :)
January 21, 2017

TestUser...

You wrote "... we have to reread the same sentence many many times out loud in order to trigger this kind of memory.  One time reading is hardly enough."

I agree completely. Training of any kind requires a lot of repetition and as you said 'once is not enough'. 


Julia...

Thank you for your informative, helpful comments.

Muscles that we normally don't use, then suddenly start to use normally become painful but as you said the pain is an indication that the speaker is producing new sounds and exercising their muscles in new ways.

I think you could write a book on this subject.

January 22, 2017

Thanks for the post Richard, I do agree with you, one needs to practise reading out loud to train one's muscles. It's actually different muscles that are used for speaking different languages. When I started learning English pronunciation properly, my mouth hurt from practising, that actually proved that I spoke it in a right way. At the beginning of all our lessons we had a quick phonetic warm up where we read out loud English tongue twisters (was really difficult) but it really helped. One also needs to understand how English sounds are pronounced that is how your lips and tongue should move so as to produce the correct sound. And at the beginning one needs to keep an eye on it all the time, otherwise one forgets and starts speaking the way one used to with their mother tongue. So, a mirror is helpful :) There is a movie My Fair Lady which story is based on learning to speak RP with a phonetics professor, highly recommend it.  

@test user - the number of sounds in English is limited so it's not like one needs to train thousands of them so yeh, it's like player's moves exactly.  

January 21, 2017
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Richard-Business Eng
Language Skills
English, French
Learning Language