Learning How To Lip Read Online For Free

Forget drowning in her own thoughts, here are some tips on how to learn to lip read for free.

Learning How To Lip Read Online For Free

Trust her. (A screenshot from the Amazon video.) It’s the first question I ask about learning to lip read online, and I was quick to welcome its advice.

Learning to lip read is no easy task, and it’s not guaranteed you’ll love what you hear — at least if it’s a song with multiple parts, like Kenny Loggins’ Stayin’ Alive.

But there are still ways to tackle this challenge. For example, on the Amazon video (below), different recorded passages are preceded by questions designed to help out:

When people don’t hear a word clearly, how often do they make mistakes? — Have a guess, and don’t forget to mark the right answer.

Can you tell if someone is smiling? — When the listener doesn’t see someone’s grin, they often are. Compare this with the performance of the reading, and see how much you can hear the gap between your lips and the speaker’s mouth.

If the playback seems clear to you, allow it to do some of the work. Use your distance from the speaker to your ears to gauge whether or not you’re hearing any language errors, and then challenge yourself with one more lesson.

This setup may seem like something more advanced than an actual online learning course, but there are plenty of ways to do it for free, from recordings as simple as YouTube videos to more expensive, full-fledged lessons (like these) from professionals.

Just be sure to read the instructions carefully and follow them until the end (or later, if you need to). That said, if you like the ones you’ve seen above, you can skip through all of them right on Amazon.

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Just to name a few recent examples, there’s Lip Reader Plus, a free online video series that offers podcasts, supercut animations, quizzes, and visual puzzles, and has over 400 videos that can help novice readers. And available for $4.99 for Kindle users, it does about 1,000 tests.

Start by studying the book, suggested by a staffer of the University of Wisconsin library:

1. Collect all the specific words the reader knows

Read the passages once again (in order) and match the sounds and syllables with the words that are either repeated or repeated by other words in the passage.

2. Read the whole passage

A poem or prose passage may be entirely in one line or one verse, so it can be difficult to see every syllable. Here, read all of the verses of the poem beginning to end.

4. Sample phrases

Use the poem or prose as a starting point and take turns adding phrases from that poem that you want to test the reader’s ability to correctly recognize.

5. Use index cards as cues

Here, assume you’re using index cards as a guide for testing the reader’s ability to do word meanings on the page. Speak out the first word in each of the several phrases in the text — we suggest the first letter of each word.

6. Practice listening to the audio

When listening to the audio, ask yourself if you are hearing distinct voice sounds as you read the passage aloud. If so, practice reading silently and not trying to copy or imagine what you’re reading.

7. Practice reading aloud

Make the comments you heard in prior exercises. Try to copy them down on the index cards. Practice different phrases, then try different responses from the cards, noting what skills you didn’t hear and decide whether or not to move on.

7. Repeat

Decide how much repetition you want to give yourself, and practice over and over again.

For a more advanced approach, check out this video and other free audio collections. Heck, take a two-year course to learn how to lip read by the morning after.

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