The auditory learner: strengths, strategies, learning activities

Learning Preferences Jul 07, 2020

“But WHY?” If your child constantly presents you with questions, musings, jokes, and theories, there’s a good chance they’re an auditory learner. The idea of learning styles has become more fluid over the past decade or so—these “styles” are now viewed as “preferences.” But finding out how a person learns (or at least prefers to learn) is a good way of getting kids interested in learning activities.

If you think your child might be an auditory learner, here are some ideas to spark their educational inspiration.

What is an auditory learner?

Someone with an auditory learning style digests information by talking about it. They learn by hearing and retain information best when they can use verbal reinforcement. They love participating in class discussions and are highly social. They might ask questions before they’re fully done processing, or interrupt to say things over and over in different ways.

Strengths of auditory learners

Auditory learners tend to…

  • Be good listeners
  • Be good at connecting with people via conversation, humor and storytelling
  • Be engaging speakers, debaters, and actors
  • Articulate themselves with confidence
  • Have a good sense of rhythm and music
  • Have a good memory for names, details, and snippets of conversations
  • Be enthusiastic about reading aloud

Outschool offers classes to help your learner discover their preferred learning style.

Strategies for auditory learners

Auditory learners do best with less structured, free-wheeling learning experiences where they can talk through their understanding. Try the following tips for homework or other educational activities.

  • Make yourself available to be a sounding board while they talk through their homework.
  • Ask them questions to get them to verbally reflect about the content of their schoolwork.
  • Encourage them to record themselves talking about their ideas if they’re having trouble writing an essay or report.
  • Gather other students to work with them in a study group or to complete an extracurricular project.
  • Be understanding of their need to talk—sometimes repetitively or seemingly needlessly (it’s part of their process!).

Auditory learners are often talented with foreign languages.

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How to engage your auditory learner at home

To help your auditory learner be as successful as possible and avoid the frustration of trying to get them to love a task they’re not naturally suited to, try:

  • Repeating feedback about household participation, cooperation, and behavior several times, or approaching chores as a conversation rather than a list or chart.
  • Reading aloud to them, or listening as they read aloud to you.
  • Playing games like charades, Celebrity, Taboo, Two Truths and a Lie, Simon Says, Word Association, I Spy, or 20 Questions.
  • Listening to the radio, an audiobook, or a podcast together.
  • Reading the instructions for a recipe to them as they cook.
  • Learning a foreign language together (or if you speak one, teaching it to them as you engage in household tasks).
  • Asking them questions about their thoughts and the world.
  • Encouraging them to engage in imaginary play or put on a performance.
  • Buying clothes that allow them to dress up or simulate the real world, like play household items, stuffed animals, dolls, or other props as well as musical instruments or rhythm makers.
  • Playing songs with lyrics that are fun for your child to learn and memorize at home or in the car.

Doesn’t sound like your child?

If some of or all of this doesn’t sound right, your child might have one of these learning preferences:

  • Visual learner: Learns best via sight including graphics, charts, and pictures.
  • Kinesthetic learner (or tactical learner): Learns best via real-life examples and “doing” experiences.
  • Reading and writing learner: Learns best via the written word.

About Outschool

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