Loud Reading and Silent Reading | What should you prefer?

A young boy sitting beside a tree during sunset reading a book

Loud Reading and Silent Reading is a query some of the readers might face. Which is better for you? What’s the difference? Which one should be preferred while reading? Here, I will discuss with you the advantages of Loud reading and Silent Reading and what research and personal experience suggests.

As I explained significantly in my previous posts that Reading has many benefits but I never discussed how should we read. Loudly or Silently? Many beginners face a dilemma of reading loudly or silently and either experiments on their own by reading or looks on internet. I would suggest personal experience because your opinion is of utmost importance and only one which should matter.

Loud Reading and Silent Reading are two ways of reading where both has some benefits over each other yet Loud Reading is mostly preferred as it increases focus and helps in learning reading skills. Silent Reading is preferred mostly in crowded places or to read faster because reading loudly is slower as an average person reads about 200 words per minute whereas 300 words per minute in silent reading.

There have been extensive debates around Oral and silent reading which should be preferred and why. There have been talks and researches all over internet for Oral Reading and Silent Reading. So, hop in the article to discuss about both types based on my personal experience, research, and a little survey.

What is Loud Reading and Silent Reading?

A boy reading a book loudly sitting in a chair beside a table
Source: :Louisiana Key Academy

Loud Reading is the process of reading a passage by producing voice with the help of Vocal cords and the movement of Lips and tongue. It is done for learning, to teach children, to increase our speaking skills, and many other processes.

Whereas, Silent Reading is the process of reading internally in our minds without the movement of Lips, tongue, vocal cords, etc. It is done mostly for the pleasure of reading to ourselves, secret, or to not disturb others while enjoy a good story or a book.

Loud Reading is the first type we choose in our childhood. We were made to read loudly by parents and teachers to focus and learn. Silent Reading is what we chose ourselves as we grew to read to ourselves.

In the adulthood, we mostly read silently either in books or mobile or newspaper or a journal as we have developed our habit. Both types of reading have different benefits although maintaining a balance within them may be optimal.

Difference Between Loud and Silent Reading

Loud Reading is slower. An average person reads about 200 words per minute loudly.Silent Reading is faster. An average person reads about 300 words per minute.
Helps a reader focus on the book, journal, newspaper.May divert the mind of the reader most of the times.
Common habit in children.Common habit in adults.
Cannot be practical everywhere. Can be done everywhere, even in crowded place.
Preferred for memorizing.Not Preferred for memorizing.
Improves our reading ability.If a reader makes silent reading his/her natural state, it also improves our reading ability (Loud reading is preferred though).
Helps in understanding punctuation better.Doesn’t help much with punctuation.
Requires energy to read.Silent Reading saves energy.
Advantageous to beginners introduced to reading or to new language.Not advantageous for beginners.
Teaches correct pronunciation.It doesn’t teach correct pronunciation.

Loud Reading or Silent reading? Which is better?

As you must have understood the difference between Silent and Loud Reading from the points mentioned above.

But, what should you choose and could be perfect for you is the question. It is too hard to judge yourself based on no reading or very less reading.

An avid reader knows, what kind of reading helps them but to try them on yourself takes a bit of experiment for sometime.

A young black boy reading a book in a library smiling laying on the floor on his stomach
Source: The Conversation

If I talk about myself, I used to read loud only academic books during college or school, but I have never read loudly the newspaper, or novels. It’s because I have maintained a habit of reading and my state of mind is still while reading.

It may also be due to the reason that I read fiction novels mainly which is my field of interest and can focus on reading without any disturbance.

Since, you are confused about this topic, you can work by maintaining a balance between both type of reading. Maintaining a balance between them can help you identify which helps you the most and with time you can work on both based on circumstances.

As I talked about this doubt with other readers, I found that many of them also face the dilemma and maintain a balance between them. They read loudly as well as silently based on the timing, location, book, etc.

An avid reader, Nikita Prajapati stated that, “If I am reading to memorize it, or to learn facts, I prefer loud reading because more sense organs are at work- the ears and eyes. If I’m reading simply for the pleasure of it, I prefer silent reading. Mind is at more peace when reading is done silently and super helpful in visualisation of the text.”

While Ashwi Mahajan who reads occasionally during free time stated that, “I am used to read only in my free-time and prefer reading loudly to get the attention of the book and avoid distraction by the thoughts.”

As I talked to many other readers, they too had some similar thoughts and most of them preferred reading silently even though most of them doesn’t read everyday.

What Researchers Suggest on Loud and Silent Reading?

Loud Reading and Silent Reading have been a constant term of debate within educators and researchers. The advocators of Oral Reading proposes that, it is the sure way of improving the reading, pronunciation, punctuation of a reader whereas the defenders of silent reading proposes that there are a lot of ways to implement silent reading in a reader to improve fluency in reading.

Whereas, advocators of Silent Reading defends it by saying that there are a lot of ways to implement silent reading in a reader to improve fluency in reading.

In a research by Colin MacLeod a psychologist in Canada, along with his collaborators found that, “Reading loudly helps in consistent remembering of words or texts and this process is better than silent reading. They said that, it is a memory-boosting effect and works for children as well as old age people. And he called this effect as Production effect.”

In another study in Australia, a group of 7-10 year old children were selected and were given a task of reading some words silently while others loudly. It was found that 87% of the words read loudly were remembered by them while only 70% words read silently were recognized.

In another study, same task was given to old aged people of 67-88 year old and found that 80% of the words read loudly were remembered while only 60% of words read silently were remembered.


Though, Loud reading is better than silent reading and has much benefits as per researches, it is up to a reader, what to read silently and what to read loudly?

But, before that decision is made, the experiment within yourselves must be done. All in All Loud reading is a standout if compared to Silent Reading.

So, pick a book, text, or anything and start reading to be a standout among others. Reading silently or loudly doesn’t matter until you read.

2 thoughts on “Loud Reading and Silent Reading | What should you prefer?”

  1. Nikita Prajapati

    Okay wait! The article is so… I don’t know how to say it- accurate? I am not even sure if “accurate” is the accurate word here. So, just wow!

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