In this series, we are exploring different learning styles. The second way the brain can process information is by listening.
Traits of auditory learners
Auditory learners understand information best when they are given verbal instructions. Only 30% of school students are auditory learners. They often memorise best by hearing and speaking out loud. They may talk a lot and interrupt others. They remember names better than faces. Noise and music is very distracting and they don’t benefit as much as other learners from pictures or practical activities. When listening, they often look distracted, and like they are listening to their thoughts, with their eyes looking down to the right. They often play musical instruments and sing or hum to themselves when busy. They may be slow readers and find it hard to understand graphs and diagrams or read maps.
Auditory learners often work in areas such as writing, journalism, teaching, law, languages and speech pathology.
Learning strengths of auditory learners
Auditory learners are great at:
- explaining decisions
- telling stories
- detecting changes in speech, tone and emotions
- responding to lectures
- class discussions
- understanding grammar
- learning languages
- remembering conversations, music and lyrics
- speaking off the top of their head
Learning strategies for auditory learners
Recognising if you are an auditory learner is a great starting point. If you recognise these traits in your children, or the children you are working with, you can help them to learn these strategies too.
If you are an auditory learner, study works best if you:
- read out loud
- make and listen to CDs and audio tapes
- study in groups so you can discuss
- watch videos
- use word association and mnemonics
- repeat information with your eyes closed
- sit where you can hear the teacher well
- make up songs or jingles
- record lectures and discussions
- explain information to other people
Teaching strategies of auditory learners
If you are teaching an auditory learner:
- use technology with sound, music or speech, such as computers, CDs, videos or musical instruments
- encourage discussion
- encourage students to explain topics to each other
- encourage oral presentations
- explain information through songs, raps and poems
- allow times when the classroom is silent then times with quiet music
- allow students to record lectures
- give them lots of individual attention and instruction
- ask for the student to talk to you regularly about what they are learning.
You can find out more about auditory learning at the following websites:
- What is my Learning Style?
- Bright Hub Education - a guide to auditory learners
- The Study Gurus Visual Study Tips
- Education.com – Auditory Learners