How listening while reading enhances retention

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Reading the old fashioned way

Our brains participate in two main activities when they start to read: decoding and language processing.

Decoding is the process of reading words in print and then breaking down the sound that each letter makes. Basically, we read words out loud to ourselves in our heads. This helps with comprehension.

Language processing is very much the same mental process we utilize when communicating with others. In terms of reading, this means that we use language processing to understand scenarios like dialogues and the plot in the document we are reading.

In terms of understanding, the only difference between listening to your text as opposed to reading it with your eyes is that listening does not require decoding but both methods have equal efficacy.

Studies have also shown that 10–15% of eye movements during reading are actually regressive. This means that your eyes are actually going back and re-checking what has just been read which helps with comprehension.

Is listening instead reading cheating?

Yes, but in a good way. Reading while listening to something once, can save you time from having to go through it again in the future. This increases reading comprehension and retention but the bigger issue is, how do you get someone to read out loud to you? Most of us don’t have personal assistants that can help us with this task. Or do we…..

It is time to begin looking more at listening to your text documents, by using proven text-to-speech tools like elocance. elocance can read your content (pdfs, word docs, articles) out loud to you and you can easily follow along with the highlighted words.

Other advantages of listening to text…(hint, it’s multitasking)

Reading by listening affords you the opportunity to multitask, thereby increasing your productivity. You can turn dead time into a time for productivity. For example, cooking, gardening, driving, commuting — these are all opportunities to be listening to content. Of course you could never do these things while reading but it’s easy when someone is reading to you.

Listening to your documents is a convenient way to get through bulky articles faster than you would with your eyes.

If you are listening in a language that is not native to you, it can also help you enhance your pronunciation. Listening to audio text also helps you take notes. Just pause and write down your thoughts.

We hope you’ll give it a try!

The elocance Team

elocance is your audio superpower. Build productive habits and save time by listening. Save articles and PDFs etc., turn them to audio and learn on the go Available on iOS and Android. Try it for free and tell us what you think.

The best app for listening to everything you don’t have time to read.