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Learning Preferences

Updated on June 7, 2010

Learning Preferences - Whats the best way for you to learn?

Have you ever wondered why you may have trouble learning certain things? Have you ever questioned the fact that something have just been easier to pick up than others?

This Lens is based on Learning Preferences and in it I am going to briefly cover the 4 main learning preferences by which most of us can identify with.

Its helpful to know what style of learning you prefer, if for no other reason then for the fact that next time you have trouble learning a new skill you may be able to find an easier way for you to take in the information.


Learning Preferences - Visual Learning

How do you know if your learning preference is Visual?

- When you operate or put together equipment or models do you read the instructions first and follow the directions?

- When you need to find out where your going do you use a map and when you give directions to others do you use landmarks to help guide them?

- Do you follow recipes and read through them to ensure you have everything you need before you start.

- If you need to teach something to someone, do you put together a manual?

- Do you say things like, I see what you mean or show me?

- For leisure do you read or watch movie s, go to galleries or museums.

-If you are planning a holiday do you grab all the brochures you can get your hands on before making a decision on where to go.

- If you were asked to recall a particular event would you be seeing it in your minds eye?

- Do you enjoy things like photography or painting?

If you said yes to a lot of these, chances are your learning preference is visual.

How can you enhance your learning experiences with a Visual Learning Preference?

- If you are being given verbal instructions write these down then repeat them back to the person to ensure you have got it right.

- If you are in a class sit away from doors and windows. Anyone walking past will be a distraction.

- This goes for your work space. Keep things that may visually draw your attention away from your task at hand under a cover or move from your line of sight.

- Use graphs or diagrams to help you remember or sort through information

- Highlight important notes or text or underline them or draw a box around them for easy reference.

- When you are having a conversation with someone look at them while they are speaking, this will help you focus on what's being said.

If you have a child that may fit the visual categorization here are a few things you can do that may help them understand things easily and quickly.

- Look at them when you speak to them.

- They will enjoy activities and games like jigsaw puzzles and mazes. They will enjoy board games that have lots of colours.

- They like to do painting and colouring in.

- When you read them stories try to use books with lots of pictures.

- They will also learn to spell by seeing the word in their heads. Try labelling things around the home, the more they see the words the easier it will be for them to recall it.

- They will be easily distracted by sounds so if you are trying to get back their attention you may need to get into their line of vision.

- As these are very new concepts to me also, I would love to hear any feedback about them or any questions you may have.

"There are three forms of visual art: Painting is art to look at, sculpture is art you can walk around, and architecture is art you can walk through" - Dan Rice


Learning Preferences - Auditory Learning Preference

How do you know if your learning preference is Auditory?

- When you need to find out how to get some where you will normally ask for verbal directions

- When you are training someone you will normally do it verbally

- You say things like, I hear what your saying or tell me

- If you have a complaint you will call a company rather than send a letter or an email.

- You enjoy music and conversation

- If you want to know more about a product you will talk to the sales staff

- When you are looking at going on holiday you will normally ask friends and family for recommendations

- If you are looking at buying a new car you will get discuss it with friends first

- You may hum or talk to yourself when working

- You read aloud to help you understand and recall facts

- You may constantly have music playing while doing day to day things at home or when you are working and studying.

- You may talk a lot in class

- You may remember names easily

- You may go into lengthy descriptions

How can you enhance your learning experience with an Auditory Learning Preference?

- In classes you should sit closer to the speaker and away from doors, windows and other sources of noise.

- Repeat information to yourself silently

- Read aloud and repeat information to make it stick in your head easier.

- Work in quiet areas and minimise all noise around you

- Study with a partner so that you can voice your views and ideas.

- When you are given verbal instructions, repeat them back to that person to ensure you have it right

- Record lectures so that you can replay them over and over again

If you have a child that may fit the Auditory categorization, here are a few things you can do that may help them process and learn easily and quickly.

- Sound out new words and ask them to repeat them

- When you give a child verbal instructions ask them to repeat them back

- Sing lots of songs and nursery rhymes

- When you are playing with toys use lots of accompanying sounds

- When they start school ask the teacher to ensure they are close to the front

- Take ever opportunity you can to talk to them and ask open ended questions to help them verbalise their thoughts

- Play lots of music in the home and get them to sing along

A poet is a professional maker of verbal objects.

W. H. Auden


Learning Preferences - Read - Write Learning Preference

This learning preference is part of the Visual Preference but it deals mainly with text based learners.

So, how do you know if your learning preference is Read-Write?

- You learn better through text

- You read through written instructions when setting up electrical goods and kit sets and you follow the directions to a tee

- If you travelling somewhere you will write down the directions rather than use a map

- You use a dictionary rather than ask someone else when you need to know how to spell a word

- You are a strong reader and consume text quickly. You enjoy reading a lot and can easily recite parts of the books you have read

- You prefer to read things to yourself rather than out loud

- You use manuals and texts to help you understand things

- You are a list person and know how to make up schedules

- You will turn diagrams and charts into words so that you can better understand them

- When you are out looking to purchase a product you prefer to read through brochures and pamphlets rather than speak directly to a sales person

- In classes your enjoy lectures that provide lots of information and notes

- You may be a little shy when it comes to conversation but can write a very explanatory letter with a lot of detail

How can you enhance your learning experience with a Read-Write learning preference.

- When in class take lots of notes

- Reread all your notes over and over again

- Rewrite text in your own words so that you can understand topics better

- If you have to work with diagrams and pictures, use words to describe them

- Arrange text into points

If you have a child that may fit the Read-Write categorization, here are a few things you can do that may help them process and learn easily and quickly.

- Play lots of word games such as scrabble and crossword puzzles

- Recite rhymes to your child

- Use flash cards

- Make colourful notes

- Use highlighters for important points and you use different colours for grouping information

- When telling a story, find ones that are relevant to the child's age but have lots of information in them

- Make things like dictionaries and encyclopaedias available where your child is able to gain easy access to them

- Get your child to rewrite words over and over again to help them remember them

"You learn something every day if you pay attention" - Ray Le Blond


Learning Preferences - Kinetic Learning Preference

So how do you know if your learning preference is the Kinetic?

- You learn better through action and doing

- You may have had early large muscle development

- You do tend to lose concentration if there isn't any external stimulation or movement

- When you take notes its mainly to incorporate movement

- When talking to people you like to stand close to them

- When you are talking you use a lot of hand gestures

- Physical contact is the best way for you to communicate

- You like going on field trips or walking

- You enjoy working in groups

- Your touchy feely

- When your bored you tend to walk around from room to room

- You respond well to physical rewards such as pats on the back and handshakes

- You prefer to demonstrate things rather than explain

- You say things like "Do you get what I mean" or "I feel what your saying".

- You are a do-er

- You will have good hand-eye coordination

How can you enhance your learning experience with a Kinetic Learning Preference?

- Use your finger as a pointer when reading

- If you are trying to memorise something walk around while your doing it

- Chew gum while studying

- Take classes that incorporate a lot of physical activity

- Take dance classes or cooking classes to get rid of some of your access physical energy

- Ask questions and try to participate as much has you can in group discussions

- Take a stress ball or some plasticine with you to class and play with it in class while you are taking notes or listening to a lectureTry using diagrams to rewrite text

- Before you sit down to study, do something physical like jumping jacks

- Highlight important text

- Only read for a certain period of time and reflect and make notes on what your have read so far

- Stand and stretch whenever possible

- Relate the information you are learning to something or someone in particular, or personalise it

- Use flash cards

If you have a child that may fit the Kinetic categorization, here are a few things you can you can do that may help them process and learn easily and quickly.

- Only read short stories and use lots of hand gestures

- Play physical games like hide and seek, charades, tag

- Activities such as cooking and painting will keep them moving

- Take them out on field trips and to play ground often to get them moving

- Sing songs that have actions to them

- Enrol them in dance or drama classes

- Age appropriate modelling kits will help them use their minds while they use their hands

- Give them hugs and cuddles often especially when they have done something really well

- Play ball games with them

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.- Benjamin Disraeli:

What is Your Learning Preference

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