Last Wednesday, I wrote a post dedicated to the topic of the visual learning style. I discussed different characteristics, traits and learning styles of these students. I offered some ideas about how you can spot one in your classroom. Additionally, I listed some things that may help these students do better in your class. I hope you enjoyed that article, and if you haven’t read it yet, I urge you to. Here’s a link: Visual Learners and How to Adapt to them in the Classroom.
So, this week I want to discuss the different aspects of a student who is an auditory or audio learner. Let’s talk about the difference between these two learning styles, some characteristics and ways to help them do a little bit better in your class.
So, first of all, what does “audio learner” even mean? An audio learner is a person, who learns best by hearing what they are being taught. Their sense of hearing is key in their learning process.
Characteristics and Personality Traits
Think of these guys as your social butterflies. One of the tell-tale signs you have an audio learner in your classroom is if the student is very chatty! Audio learners tend to be chatter mouths and often can’t control it. Additionally, not only do these students talk a lot, but you may also hear them singing, humming, tapping or doing other things that create sound. For us teachers, these students can be a little difficult to manage. However, there are ways that we can captivate them and get them interested in what we’re saying, rather than what their other classmates have to say. Furthermore, the signing or humming may be occurring even if the student is paying attention. Many auditory learners are capable of listening intensively while creating sound, however, this can still be disturbing to you and to the other students.
Auditory learners learn best from the spoken word. This means that they’ll grasp on to a concept if it is presented in a way, such as a lecture or an oral report. They will almost always prefer an oral report, a debate, a discussion over a written research paper or any written report, for that matter. Also, you may notice that they are slower readers and that they will usually use their pointer finger to guide them along a reading. Due to the fact, that their brains prefer hearing, reading silently can be extremely difficult for these students. It’s important to have them practice it, but sometimes this is something that remains for life.
Some Ways to Help them in the Classroom
As a teacher, we try our best to accommodate everyone in our classroom, even though that can be extremely challenging sometimes, it’s worth it. There are small things you can do that will help everyone. Here are some ways that you can enhance the learning process of your auditory learners.
Read everything aloud. This will help tremendously. By reading directions, exercises, reading assignments, etc. aloud, your audio learners will be able to better grasp things. Similarly, your visual learners are able to follow along and read, helping them just as much! It’s a win-win.
Encourage students who you may think are audio learners, or whoever thinks they are one, to sit in the front of the classroom. This way they will be close to your voice so it will be loud and clear for them.
Answer any and all questions loudly, so everyone can hear. This is a suggestion in general since it will really help everyone in the classroom.
Lastly, encourage lots of group discussion! This will also help everyone in your classroom, but especially the auditory learners! They will be able to listen and understand others points of views and will, most definitely, be the first to give their answers and opinions. Of course, in certain classes, group discussion is a little more challenging, but you can always aim for a little in every class.
You more than likely have both visual learners and audio learners in your classroom. It may seem like a lot trying to accommodate everyone, but all it takes are a few extra details each day. For example, anything that you write on the board, you should also dictate. Visual learners tend to be more introverted and audio learners, more extroverted. So, it’s important that you begin to recognize who’s who (if you haven’t already) and try to disperse them amongst each other. They are quite opposite in learning styles so having them co-mingle could allow them to help one another!
Thanks for reading and please let me know if you have any questions or ideas in the comments below!