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What is Your Way of Learning?

Dernière mise à jour : 11 août 2020

Created by Ruth Avison, Founder & Director of Pep English

Learning styles for different brain types & advice on how to reach your full potential.

For all brain types, learning happens any time anywhere & can come from anything in your life, what happens in the classroom is just a fraction of your learning potential.

Therefore, the most important point to remember when learning is to encourage your own self-awareness about what works for you so you can become autonomous as a language user.

Independence is the key to lifelong learning.

In the classroom we can achieve better results when we understand how we function so you can find your own specific way. There is no monopoly of intelligence in these different learning styles. It is simply a case of understanding & accepting your own way and going with what works for you.

There are a variety of learning styles & some people have a mixture of different styles, being aware of this makes concentration easier & your learning will be more long-term & in-depth as a result.

The Main learning styles:

We all have a dominant learning style which can change depending on the situation. We often have several which we use to adapt to different contexts. There are eight learning styles in total :

  1. Visual learners

  2. Auditory learners

  3. Verbal learners

  4. Social learners

  5. Logical learners

  6. Physical and tactile learners

  7. Solitary learners

  8. Naturalist learners

The Visual learner:

Visual learners retain information more effectively when visual aids are used, such as, pictures, images, film clips, colours and diagrams. They are also good at understanding visual data presented in maps, charts and graphs. 90% of people who come to me at Pep English, for a level test & needs analysis think they are visual.

Strategies to adopt for visual learners:

  • Try to picture what you are learning to give it a clearer context in your mind

  • Visual analogies and metaphors help with visual imagery.

  • Sometimes graphics are not easy to find so consider writing key points down for visual cues.

  • Use APPS to create flashcards that are visually meaningful to you

  • Substitute words for colours and pictures where it makes sense to do so.

  • Write things down which will provide a context when visualising what you have learnt after class.

  • Put up post-its in different areas of your home of new language and every time you pass that area, make a sentence or say it aloud, linking the language point to a context you could easily experience in real life.

  • Colour emphasises key points in text. Using a highlighter or coloured pens.

  • Avoid using large blocks of text with no images. When image is not possible break up your text into boxes or shapes so you can identify them easily when revising.

  • Create context through mind maps or flow charts.

  • Use storytelling to help with visualisation.

  • Colour-code and organise or file any materials you receive as this helps organise things in your mind.

  • Visualise using phrases, not just grammar charts or vocabulary.

Auditory Learners

Auditory learners respond particularly well to sounds, music, recordings, rhymes, rhythms etc. They remember conversations well and music causes an emotional response in them. They often find just sitting in front of a page of exercises pointless or frustrating. Some do not feel the need to take notes as they are able to stock information easily in context-boxes in their minds.

Strategies to adopt for auditory learners:

  • Participating in discussions & listening to other people really helps.

  • If reading is required opt for audio books when appropriate or possible.

  • Listen to music that helps your concentration as you revise.

  • When possible record important information for future reference.

  • Pair up and explain & develop concepts with others in class.

  • When problem-solving, speak aloud. Even when alone, using your own voice to work things out really helps.

  • When reading notes at home, do it aloud.

  • Use mnemonic devises (memory system techniques) for associating learning with places or landmarks or rhyming, using acronyms or chunking information or images. This method can be adapted to help most learner styles.

Verbal learners

Verbal learners favour using words and linguistic skills in speech and in writing, such as, reading, writing, listening or speaking. They like word games, puns and rhymes etc. and are often strong public speakers. They need to use their voices & play with language to make sense of concepts.

Strategies to adopt for verbal learners:

  • Use your voice when preparing writing activities, do not be afraid of talking to yourself.

  • Discussions & presentations help make things stick.

  • Use acronyms or mnemonic devices (memory techniques).

  • Read aloud. Try reading in a varied way rather than in monotone.

  • Role-playing in a way that is meaningful to you & making short presentations or delivering an elevator pitch (short description of yourself).

  • Your learning is greatly helped when you have to explain things to others, this helps anchor things that may not have been totally clear.

  • Put up post-its in different areas of your home of new language and every time you pass that area, make a sentence or say it aloud, linking the language point to a context you could easily experience in real life.

  • Make verbal summaries or more complicated information.

  • Use APPS to create quizzes when revising.

Social learners

Social learners process information by interacting with and relating to others. They enjoy working with others and are often strong leaders.

Strategies to adopt for social learners:

  • Do not be afraid to be inquisitive and ask others what they think about a concept/ topic /idea.

  • Put up post-its in different areas of your home of new language and every time you pass that area, make a sentence or say it aloud, linking the language point to a context you could easily experience in real life.

  • Bounce ideas off of each other and compare ideas with others.

  • Discuss and share stories.

  • Group & pair- work is a strong aid for your learning.

  • A guided discovery approach through discussion works well. This enables you to find the answers yourself with others & enhances memorisation.

  • Role-play is an excellent approach for social learners.

  • Involvement in the learning process is essential.

Logical learners

Logical learners favour using logic and reasoning. They like to classify and categorise information and solve problems with data & numbers. Logical learners are especially good at analysing cause and effect relationships. They really need to understand why language works in certain ways and can get frustrated when the logic is unclear.

Strategies to adopt for logical learners:

  • Problem-solving tasks help because you can work out how things work for yourself.

  • Guided discovery techniques are a good aide, having someone ask specific questions so you can come to logical conclusions yourself enhances long-term memorisation.

  • Get into the habit of interpreting abstract information & summarising.

  • Critical thinking exercises are important.