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A Guide to Auditory Learners

written by: Tricia Wegman • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 1/26/2014

Students can be predominantly visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners. In this segment of our series on learning styles, we’ll focus on how educators and parents can adapt their teaching styles to better reach auditory learners.

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    How Auditory Learners Receive and Reproduce Information

    Let auditory students record their lessons and listen to them again later. Auditory learners receive information through hearing. When they receive auditory stimulation, their brains begin processing and analyzing this information quicker and in a more organized manner.

    These students must listen to learn. When reproducing information, auditory listeners usually choose to express themselves through speaking. They generally reproduce using words they heard while listening. They learn best when they participate in discussions where they are both listening and speaking.

    Characteristics of auditory learners

    • Easily verbalize what they are thinking. They often talk a lot.
    • They like languages and have an ability to pick them up easily.
    • Practice activities may generate frustration in these students.
    • They memorize what they hear.
    • They speak to learn (using discussion).
    • They prefer to learn in an independent manner at their own pace and to receive individual attention.
    • Instructions, diagrams, or written examples can be confusing for the child.
    • They speak clearly without stopping.
    • They can be hard to listen to and may interrupt often.
    • They can struggle with visually decoding words and remembering how even simple words look.
    • It can be difficult for them to sustain eye contact.
    • They like to read, but love to be read to.
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    General Strategies to Help Auditory Learners Reach Their Potential

    Since many auditory learners prefer one-to-one conversations, you may find that they need more individual attention than other types of learners. Be sure to sit the student in a place where you can give him the supervision that he requires.

    These children may instantaneously memorize what they hear. Teach them to listen to stories with their eyes closed, and imagine the sequence of events as they occur. Guide the student to listen carefully for key words, and ask her to repeat the most important information in a quiet voice.

    Auditory learners need their questions and doubts to be clarified by concrete answers. Teach them to hear the information given during any lesson and then to take notes.

    While visual learners love charts and color-coded diagrams, these types of learning aids can confuse and distract auditory learners. Make sure that all visual stimuli is clear and simple.

    To reinforce instructions for homework and other projects, ask the child to daily communicate what he or she needs to do. Encourage active discussion. Ask the student to talk out his ideas and explain them.

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    Ideas for Teaching

    When introducing a new concept, motivate the student to read out loud and give a summary of the paragraph or reading selection that was just read. Listen to videos, the news, or podcasts about a specific theme and afterwards go over the concepts with the group.

    Use music to help control the student’s mood. Try reading the lyrics of a song as they listen to it being played. Help the child create a rhythm or melody to spell a word or invent a song to summarize information.

    Create oral stories with a small group. Each member of the group will add a part of the story (make sure there is a common thread and logical sequence) until you conclude the story. Or, give the students a story and ask them to change the beginning or the end.

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    Study Tips

    Read the student the material. This will help the child remember and learn the text. Have the students fill out a graphic organizer based on information given orally.

    Let the student use a recorder and allow him to listen to and study the material in this way. Record a dictation of spelling words and have students write down spelling words as they hear them through earphones.

    A recording device can also be helpful for auditory learners when they are preparing oral presentations. Recommend that they record themselves and listen to the playback so they can hear what they are actually saying without distraction.

    Help students memorize definitions of math concepts by playing “telephone." Play guessing games using study themes. Give students oral clues regarding a mystery character, science concepts, etc.

    Auditory learners appreciate open discussion and being heard. Whenever you can incorporate debate or conversation into a lesson, auditory learners will generally feel more comfortable and be eager to participate.

References

Working With Different Types of Learners

Is your child having trouble understanding a particular concept or mastering a new skill? Maybe the lesson needs to be adapted to fit his or her preferred learning style.
  1. The Three Main Types of Learning Styles
  2. Tips for Teaching Visual Learners
  3. A Guide to Auditory Learners
  4. Teaching Kinesthetic Learners

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