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By: Helen Perry MSc/Lipreading Tutor 

Lipreading – what’s it all about?

Lipreading is a skill often naturally acquired when an individual experiences hearing loss, in fact even people with good hearing use lip movements, facial expression and gesture to aid communication. Now everyone is wearing a mask we are realising how much we rely on these visual clues!

If Lipreading is a skill that can be acquired naturally; why attend a class? Well, lipreading lessons are found to dramatically improve self-confidence and communication skills.

Classes are fun, very relaxed, and friendly with no desks, tests or exams to complete.  Students learn the different lip shapes, we observe and practice these lip shapes with lots of different exercises, but we also learn how to use context, residual hearing and our knowledge of language to help improve communication.

We spend a good portion of time discussing how to manage hearing loss.  We cover listening and communications tactics, how to be more assertive about telling people you have a hearing problem, the limitations of hearing aids and how to get the most out of them.  We talk about assistive listening devices, apps and services that are available to assist them. Guest speakers will often attend to inform and educate students about services and assistance available to support them.

The classroom environment means that the participants will benefit from shared experiences, good and bad.  Friendships form, students learn from each other, the social aspect of the lessons means that confidence improves, learners don’t feel so alone, they realise that everyone in the class struggles to hear in a restaurant or in the car.

Having to communicate with others who have hearing loss helps students appreciate how difficult it can be for family and friends to communicate with them.  Classes can be empowering because students are learning a practical skill to help themselves, this promotes independence and self-worth.

COVID 19 means that local face to face classes have for the time being had to be cancelled, but the City Lit college are running online classes; beginner’s courses are due to start in November.

To express your interest in learning to lipread and to find out more about my classes, contact me, Helen Perry: or to find out more about various classes in the county: visit:

Details of City Lit beginners lipreading courses can also be found here:

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