Just as we don’t all look the same, we don’t all learn the same way. And our different learning styles can have a major impact on our ability to comprehend and remember new information, or acquire a new language. A commonly used model to understand the different types of learning styles is VAK — or Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic. Visual learners learn by seeing, often through reading, pictures and diagrams. Auditory learners learn by listening and speaking; they often move their lips and read aloud to take in information. Kinaesthetic learners learn best through the sensation of touch, movement and doing.
Interestingly, while most children operate in all three styles, they usually show a preference for one or two. The VAK model provides a quick and easy reference by which to assess children’s learning styles, and more importantly, to design learning methods and experiences that match their preferences.
How can teachers use their understanding of learning styles in the classroom? By providing a variety of activities catering to the children’s different needs. The visual learner likes to see and observe — looking at pictures, props and displays. Typical activities would include showing a set of flashcards while the children name what they see, games in which children identify cards that have been removed (What’s missing?) and memory games.
The auditory learner likes to listen and speak — listening to the spoken word, songs, or sounds. Typical activities would include games using instructions. For example, the game Chinese Whispers (sometimes called Telephone) involves giving an instruction to one child who passes it on. The last child must perform an action based on the instruction. The kinaesthetic learner prefers practical hands-on experience (touching, feeling, holding) to help her acquire new information easily. Singing songs while performing movements that correspond to the meaning of the lyrics can be a useful activity. Another activity is pantomime in which children take turns picking cards from a pile and miming them, while the others try to guess the words. Enjoyable games such as Relay Races and Blind Man’s Bluff involve challenging the children to identify an object from its description or from how it feels (tactile stimulation).
If you want your child to acquire English as a second language with ease, look for a learning methodology that incorporates all three learning styles. Lessons should be well paced with a skillful blend of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities, so children sit, stand, dance, sing, move around and play games throughout the lesson. Keeping children active, engaged and having fun leads to more effective acquisition of new language skills. And using a combination of learning styles makes English learning easy for all types of learners.
Helen Doron English classes incorporate all these learning styles to help your child learn easier.
Find out more and sign up for a free, no-obligation trial lesson at www.helendoron.de.