Consider the following learning situations, and decide which one YOU would prefer:
- You record a university professor giving a lecture. Later, you listen to the lecture again at home.
- Your teacher draws a lot of words and diagrams on the white board. You copy those words and diagrams in your notebook.
- Your teacher asks you to work on the computer. He doesn’t give you a lot of explanation; he lets you figure things out on your own, but is willing to answer questions.
All three examples represent good teaching and studying techniques, but if you prefer one situation over the others, it may tell you something about your learning style.
What is a learning style? Your learning style is how you, personally, like to learn. By understanding your learning style, you can find study strategies that will help you learn best.
Three Learning Styles
Educators have identified three main learning styles:
- Auditory style. Auditory learners use their ears to learn. They like to listen to lecture, engage in conversations, and repeat information to themselves.
- Visual style. Visual learners use their eyes. They like to look at charts and diagrams, take detailed notes, and form pictures in their mind.
- Tactile/kinesthetic style. Tactile learners like to learn by doing. They enjoy working with physical objects, and figuring out problems on their own.
No one style is better or worse; all three styles are equally effective. But if you have a strong preference for one style over the others, it may help you study more effectively.
Work According To Your Style
If you are an auditory learner, consider the following study techniques:
- Record lectures and conversations. Listen to them later.
- Study with other people, and talk about your ideas.
- Read out loud, and talk to yourself while studying.
- Listen to study materials while doing other things (cooking, driving, etc.).
If you are a visual learner, you may use these study methods:
- When working with other people, take lots of notes, and review them later.
- Draw pictures, graphs, and charts to illustrate concepts.
- Underline or highlight information in books.
- Use different colors to take notes.
If you are a tactile/kinesthetic learner, consider the following methods:
- Get hands-on experience. Don’t just watch other people.
- Move around when learning. Don’t sit still for too long.
- Use note cards, or cut up papers, to arrange your thoughts.
- Work with 3D models, sculptures, and other things that you can get your hands on.
Understanding your learning style will help you learn everything – English, history, computer skills, science, etc. It can help you choose your classes – or even your career!
Understanding your learning style will certainly improve your results. But don’t let yourself get stuck. It’s good to mix things up. For instance, if you’re a visual learner, go ahead and record a lecture sometime. There’s a lot of research showing that taking a multi-sensory approach usually helps people learn.
What Do You Think?
Do you think people have different learning styles? Are you a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner? How can your learning style help you learn English? Let us know in the comments section below!