What’s the best order to study ? listening-reading

it beats me what the best order to study is in order to make progress.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that it’s best to read first and then listen to the lesson and other people say it’s better to listen first and then read the transcript/ subtitles. I was wondering if there are any differences between both forms of study or I can choose whichever one I feel comfortable in and I will reap the benefits nonetheless


I don’t think it makes too much of a difference as long as you’re doing both. Maybe there’s science out there on this but I don’t know.

I would prefer listening first, only because either your lack of knowledge in the language or your native language (depending on the alphabet) could cause some incorrect assumptions in how the language sounds in your head until they’re corrected by listening and you’d have to go through and read it again correctly. But reading’s not the same as speaking either so maybe it’s not such a problem.


If unknown words are, say 8% or 9% or less, I’ll listen first.

If higher, I’ll read it first which helps me still follow when listening.

Depending other factors such as speaking speed and existence of background noise.


I prefer to read on Lingq at the same time I listen to a Youtube video or podcast and I link in real time trying not to stop the audio. If I see a paragraph coming up with many unknown words, I pause the audio, read and link, so I understand the paragraph, and then restart the audio. I think there is probably a good benefit in then listening a second time without the text, but I prefer to just move on to new material since it’s more interesting to me. If I’m at a very beginner stage, I’ll read a sentence and link everything first, then listen to that sentence and continue doing the same, sentence by sentence.



Not quite sure of your question exactly. Are you talking about reading vs. listening the entire lesson first? I don’t do either. My lessons tend to be entire chapters of books.

When I’m working on a text in LingQ, I go through it a sentence at a time. I skim the sentence to get a sense of it’s meaning, sometimes reading it aloud, noticing the blue and yellow markups, noticing where I lose the thread of its meaning. Then I make some guesses about the blue and yellow text, before hitting “Show translation.” Then I right-arrow to the blue and yellow, consider the translation possibilities, and rethink the sentence.

Then I listen to the sentence and iterate through listen/repeat/shadow as necessary to get the sentence in terms of listening/pronouncing/understanding. Finally, I work to listen to the sentence without looking at the text until I can get all the words in the sentence. Sometimes, if the sentence is long, I can’t

It’s a lot of work for one sentence, but I find it satisfying and it seems to work.


Since my attention span is very very short, I tend to rely more on reading then writing the important points. This way, I need to be focused and I won’t miss any important detail.

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Perhaps there is some research on this, but I’m not aware of any. I listen first. Then I read through, and look up unknown words and phrases. Then I listen while reading. Lastly I listen without reading. I guess there are two aspects here. The first is to acquire new words. The second is to improve comprehension of spoken language.

As others have said, I’m not so sure the order matters. The aim is to get exposure to spoken language and learn vocabulary and grammar.

I often relisten to a podcast after a gap of a few weeks, and I am usually pleasantly surprised at the improvement in comprehension. I guess that proves that my methods work.

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BEST: In my opinion, read first, then listen. You will have read and understood the topic, perhaps even gathered a bit of the vocabulary, but at least knowing the story, it will make it easier to follow when listening. If you listen first, unless the material is at your level. You may not understand much, if any, of what you are listening too, depending on the level. It will usually be hard to get and understand new words from context, unless the material is mostly highly comprehensible.

Having said that, I don’t always do this, mostly out of convenience. I have certain times where I can listen to material (driving, doing certain chores, etc). It’s a convenient time to listen and I don’t necessarily have the time beforehand to read through. I don’t even necessarily have the time to go through the transcript later through reading!

So you have to play around with what works for you. It’s not a bad thing to listen first. It won’t hurt. You are still being exposed to material that you can hopefully comprehend a decent amount and if you have time later you can read the transcript and get a better understanding of the material and new words. In fact, from his videos, Steve Kaufmann has said that he often has listened to aterial first and then later read it, so certainly not bad.

Listening → Reading if you have a good amount of passive vocabulary relative to the content at the time
Reading → Listening if you don’t have a decent amount of passive vocabulary relative to the content at the time