Subvocalization suppression training

The brain cannot efficiently perform two vocalizations at the same time. This training not only teaches you speedreading, but also opens you to efficient multitasking.
This exercise is the simplest way to reduce subvocalization when reading text line by line.
Choose to visualize one marker per line. You are allowed to subvocalize 1-2 words per line.


Slowly (100wpm) repeat out-loud as you are reading the words, sentences and paragraphs, 2-4-6-8-10. Your job is to multiple by 2s as you read along. After you reach 10, continue reading, but start-over, 2-4-6-8-10, and so forth, to the bottom of the page. Don’t focus on the counting, let it become a mindless song, a jingle. Your job is to focus above the words and feel you eyes sweep left – middle – right, sentence-after-sentence.


Now “silently” do the “2, 4, 6, 8, 10s”, while reading. You can mentally raise-the-volume on hearing the numbers, and it will drown-out the subvocalization of the words. Our left-brain is a serial-processor, it can only run one-program at a time. When we focus on hearing the numbers it’s like a jingle that gets in your mind and won’t leave, and that song takes prominence over the subvocalising the words.


The objective is to not need the numbers, and not hear the words you read. Open up a TV or radio or another noise source and focus in what you are reading. Make the brain focus on the text a hand and not on the conversation on TV. Now slow down your reading and focus on the conversation. Try to really understand the conversation while reducing the reading speed to compensate. Continue for 3 minutes and switch you focus back to the text.

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13 Replies to “Subvocalization suppression training”

  1. Hey Dr Lev, thanks so much for these valuable resources.
    Maybe obvious to most, but I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to be counting word to word, or saccade to saccade???
    Your input would be very helpful 🙂

  2. So overtime the comprehension will increase and the 2-4-6-8-10 will subside? You also say do this as you read the words, sentence and paragraphs. Am I counting for every word, sentence or paragraph? I don’t think that’s what you are saying. Are you saying that the counting should be done in saccades?

    1. The count simply makes the inner voice busy doing something unrelated to reading. The speed of count is correlative with your breathing, not necessarily with reading. Once you suppressed subvocalization successfully, you do not need to count.

  3. Hi Dr.Lev,
    I think for the beginner concentrating on the respiration while reading makes it easier to understand the text but also to suppressing the sub vocalization.

    1. Yes, this is a good technique. However, I do not know how to explain it without being in the same room as the person. So for now, if you do it – fine, otherwise -also fine.

  4. Dr. Lev
    I definitely understand the benefits of suppressing the sub-vocalization using this method.

    I am an intermediate learner. I started to practise this “2-4-6-8” way while reading. It is still my initial days, but it is quite frustrating at this point because these numbers are getting in the way of my comprehension. How many days will I I have to do this before I get over the frustration?


      1. But counting is so much fun 🙁 lol Seriously though, just found this through a post on the Udemy course, it’s helping a lot. I’m using both switching between them occasionally! Thanks!

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