Knowing what type of learner you are, will make you a better student.
Do you sometimes go into a classroom and feel that you remember vocabulary better when you hear it than when you read it?
That is because different people learn in different ways.
Learning a language is difficult so, if you know what type of learner you are, you can make it easier!
In 1992, Fleming and Mills suggested that there are four types of learner. They found that students can be Visual, Aural, Read/Write, Kinaesthetic or Multimodal learners.
Today we are going to explain what each learner type is and what strategies you can use outside of class to help you learn better.
Visual learners remember things better when the information is in the form of maps, spider diagrams, charts, graphs, flow charts, labels, diagrams and visual graphics to represent what could have been presented in words. This does not mean photographs or video but shapes and patterns which are used to express information.
If you are a visual learner you might find it a good idea to:
- Annotate your notes: Use underlining, different colour pens and highlighters to annotate your notes and make them more memorable.
- Make lists: Make sure lists of vocabulary and grammar are neat and clear and try different layouts.
- Draw: When creating a vocabulary list, try drawing a picture next to them to help you remember.
- Reconstruct: When you have finished creating your notes, try drawing your pages from memory.
Aural or Auditory learners prefer information which is heard or spoken. You learn better when you hear vocabulary from the teacher, through listening exercises and repeating information aloud to yourself.
If you are an Aural learner try to:
- Listen to podcasts or videos: This is a brilliant way to hear colloquial English and practise your listening skills – there are plenty of YouTube videos that explain grammar.
- Record your notes: Use your mobile phone to record yourself reading out your notes.
- Create a study group with friends: You can use this to ask questions and then answer questions, listening to each other as you study.
If you are a reading and writing learner you will prefer information shown as words. This is probably the most common type of learner and your coursebook, handouts and notes help you a great deal.
If you are a Read/Write learner try these tips:
- Repeat: Write out your vocabulary again and again
- Rewrite: Try rewriting your notes – maybe from memory
- Arrange: Try arranging your vocabulary notes into hierarchies and points.
Kinaesthetic learners love interactive activities. When you see the teacher has cut-up activities, you are excited and you especially enjoy roleplays or anything where you get to physically use English.
After classes, why don’t you try:
- Vocabulary box: write out your vocabulary on pieces of paper and the definitions on separate pieces. From time to time match them up.
- Go out: The best way to practise is to go out and use your English! If you can, get a job or a voluntary position to practise your English in a real situation.
- Roleplay with friends: Get your friends together and roleplay different situations – you may feel silly, but it is a brilliant way to practise!
Some learners learn best with a combination of all 4 strategies – this is why at TEG English, our courses try to incorporate all the learner types!