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Friday, September 29, 2017

Voices Inside Your Head

Do you Hear a Voice Inside your Head When you Read?

I was at the school today, volunteering in Freddy's class. Even though it's hard to visit the school I taught at for nine years, I also love it. I feel like a celebrity.

"Mrs. Rabe, you're here!"
"I heard you're an author."
"I've missed you so much."

It's awesome and it gives me that awesome boost that only past students can give. I really miss teaching and it's only been a few months.

Anyway, today one student came up to me and said something like: "Hey, Mrs. Rabe, guess what? You know that voice you hear inside your head when you read? It's the voice that reads all the books. That voice was so familiar in my head and I couldn't figure out who it sounded like until I saw you. It sounded like you!"

My heart melted a little. One of my favorite things to do with my students was to read aloud books. Full novels usually. In one school year I got through 8-10 full novels. We set apart about 20-30 minutes a day for reading, sometimes more, like when we were sewing quilts, and sometimes less, like project crunchtime. It was amazing and if I taught my students nothing, it was that reading is so, so, so important.

The conversation about hearing a voice inside your head as you read has got me really thinking? Does everyone have a little voice inside their head as they read? I looked up an article about it, and there was a guy who had dsylexia and he was amazed to find that he people heard voices in their head as they read. I'll share the website at the bottom but here are some quotes I pulled from the article.

Most people use their inner voice subconsciously. But for those who find they do not have one, it can be a revelation.

Isn't that interesting? For those who struggle with reading, I wonder if they struggle with hearing an inner voice inside their head and if teaching them to listen for that or to build that could help them with reading interest and comprehension.

Professor Rod Nicolson, head of work psychology at the University of Sheffield, has been studying dyslexia for many years and was inspired to investigate internal speech after meeting this guy who couldn't hear the inner voice. He believes he has found a link between lack of inner speech and poor reading ability.

"Children start off having to say every word out loud,' he says. 'At some stage, as their reading improves, so does their ability to sight-read [to read in their heads] and that is the stage at which reading really takes off. By the age of eight or nine, most children can read in their heads. The development of the inner voice seems to be automatic for most people, but our data suggests a link with fluent reading, in that the process of learning to sight-read actually helps inner-speech develop.

Everyone assumes everyone else is the same. However, we have found not everyone has an inner voice and in those who don't, literacy levels are often poor.

They had this cool little test I added, so try it out!


For this you need two people - one asking the questions and the other doing the test. If you find any of this difficult, it may indicate problems with reading.
Ask the person to say numbers one to 26 out loud, then to say them again, but saying one out loud and two and three in their heads, with their tongue clamped between their teeth. 
They must not move any part of their body, such as nodding their head or using their fingers.
The correct sequence would be 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25. They must complete it within 25 seconds.
Using a pen, tap on the table, say, ten times and ask the other person to count the taps in their head, applying the same rules as above.

In summary, I am a writer and an author, and one of my primary concerns is that children and adults improve in their reading skills. Do you have an inner voice in your head? If not, can trying to find it help your reading comprehension? Try it out!

Props to this crazy good article for it's valuable information!

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