When you start out on a new study programme, it is useful to reflect on your own personal learning styles and methods. Research into learning has shown that many students have natural preferences for particular learning styles, but may also mix the strategies they use. Understanding your own preferred style and learning about other approaches can help to improve your language learning skills or other skills.
What kind of learner are you?
One of the most common ways to classify learning styles is into visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners:
Being a visual learner means that you are good at remembering things through pictures, notes, or other visual material. If you think you are a visual learner try these tips to help with your language learning: colour code your notes and work; make lists or diagrams relating to vocabulary or grammar; draw pictures to go along with vocabulary or other notes.
Being an auditory learnermeans you learn best by hearing and listening. Try the following approaches to language study: read your vocabulary, notes, or other texts aloud; try to recognise patterns of rhyme and rhythm in the new language; listen and speak in the new language as much as you can with your teacher and other students in the class.
Being a kinaesthetic learner means you like to learn through movement and interaction. To draw on these skills in your language learning try the following: act out scenarios from your language classes (e.g. going to the shop, buying a train ticket); make up hand movements or facial expressions to go with new vocabulary; move around while studying at home; listen to recordings in the new language while going for a walk.
Other ways of classifying learning styles
There are other ways of classifying learning styles as well. For example, learners are often either holists or serialists. Serialists prefer to learn about a new topic one step at a time, while holists prefer to have an overall understanding of a subject before learning about specific topics. Learners may also take different approaches to learning: reflective, active, abstract, or concrete. The following exercise may help you understand these approaches and assess what kind of learner you are: Ways of Learning.
After assessing what kind of learner you are, you might want to choose the right language course that matches your learning style and methods at: LanguageLearningPortal.com.