What is Lipreading?

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What is Lipreading?

Lipreading is an empowering skill used by many people to improve their communication skills. Despite a common misconception, almost everyone can benefit from learning to lipread.

If you have hearing loss, lipreading is a tool that can help you pick up on words that your hearing technology or available hearing may have missed.

If you don’t have hearing loss, lipreading can help you communicate better in challenging listening environments and improve your overall communication skills.

How does lipreading work?

Lipreading involves looking for visual cues on the mouth, such as lip, tongue and jaw movements which are associated with different speech sounds. For example, the Read Our Lips course teaches you how to identify the lip movements associated with the speech sounds F, V, PH, P, B, M, TH, and more.

When lipreading, watching facial expressions, eye expressions and body language are helpful to interpret speech correctly. It’s also helpful to know the context of a conversation to help you process words more quickly and accurately.

Using visible cues allows a person to “fill in the blanks” when they may not have heard exactly what has been said. Lipreading requires a person to be alert, focused, and willing to practice. Like any skill, lipreading will take practice, but if you have time and patience to dedicate to learning you will succeed!

When is lipreading useful?

Lipreading is useful in a wide variety of situations, especially in situations where there is background noise preventing you from hearing clearly.

Lipreading enables you to create a toolkit of ways to troubleshoot your hearing when faced with a situation when it’s challenging to hear.

Examples of Challenging Listening Environments

Who can benefit from lipreading?

Almost anyone can benefit from learning to lipread! Lipreading involves picking up on dynamics that are shared by both hearing and speech which helps people communicate more effectively with others. Learning to lipread makes people more aware of their own lip movements which help people learn to speak more clearly. Lipreading often helps reduce feelings of isolation and enables people to include themselves and others in all types of conversation.

Learning to lipread has proven to be beneficial for many people of all ages and backgrounds. Lipreading is a skill that takes time and practice to perfect, but the more you learn the more you can benefit!

Blog post and the video adapted from Read Our Lips . Sign up for their lip-read practising sessions from here.