Between 1910 and 1925 the emphasis in reading instruction in elementary and secondary schools switched dramatically from oral reading to silent reading. Emphasis on oral reading was almost totally neglected. Educators of the 1920s believed that silent reading was more efficient than oral reading in the areas of rate, comprehension, and convenience. As McCluskey (1942) explained, "a theory was put forth that the faster one read, the more one understood. Speed, therefore, became thoroughly entrenched and oral reading with its slower ways was politely placed in solitary confinement" (p. 15).
Negin, G. A., & Rios, J. L. (1980). Read it with Meaning: Aloud. Reading Horizons, 21 (1). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol21/iss1/2