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Learning Styles - Articles Surfing

A discussion is needed about the importance of offering students a range of learning experiences. I always feel aware of learners' frustrations when I watch classes based purely on reading and writing. Yet often learners don't themselves understand these frustrations. For many learners, studying is associated with this method and they don't consciously question it. Yet if teachers gradually introduce other elements into the classroom, you can see learners blossom.

The first step to try is to use pictures to appeal to the visual sense. Even students whose primary learning style is not visual can benefit. The advantage is that the written word with its complexities is not there as a block to understanding. The picture speaks directly to the learner and they can interpret it as they wish. Any written work can come after use of the pictures as a means of reinforcing the message. One exercise I have used repeatedly is to get students to choose three postcards from a pile I scatter on the table. I ask them to associate each picture with an incident in their past, an issue from their present and a hope for the future. They each talk about their pictures and ask for help if they get stuck with a word or a structure.

Using sound-scapes will appeal to students with auditory preferences. Again the sounds are open to interpretation and the students can give free rein to their imagination. Both pictures and sounds act as powerful anchors for the memory too.

Action-oriented lessons will appear to students who like to involve their whole being in learning, and don't forget that some students will prefer solitary study while others like group activities.

I think it's important for the academic program to have varied activities that can engage many different learning styles so that classrooms are truly dynamic.

Submitted by:

Brenda Townsend Hall

Brenda Townsend Hall, a contributing editor to ESLemployment, is a writer in the fields of English for business, cross-cultural awareness and business communications. Interested in receiving TEFL job listings weekly for free? To learn more visit TEFL Jobs.



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