Reading Out Loud Improves Memory

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A recent study conducted by the University of Waterloo, Canada found that reading text out loud enhances overall memory retention. The study included 95 participants who used four methods for learning written information: reading silently, hearing someone else read, listening to a recording of oneself reading, and reading aloud in real time.

The results suggest that you are more likely to remember something if you read it out loud. The idea of action or activity also improves memory (i.e. puzzles, word games).  Speaking text aloud helps to get words into long-term memory, which is called the “production effect.” The study determined that it is the dual action of speaking and hearing oneself that has the most beneficial impact on memory.

“This study confirms that learning and memory benefit from active involvement,” said Colin M. MacLeod, a professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at Waterloo, who co-authored the study with the lead author, post-doctoral fellow Noah Forrin. “When we add an active measure or a production element to a word, that word becomes more distinct in long-term memory, and hence more memorable.”




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