Speech Buddies Parents’ Corner – Is Your Child an Auditory Learner?
If you picture a room full of rambunctious 2nd graders, you might not expect them to all be “good listeners”. Listening is a skill that is not always easy for some to acquire, but if your child is an auditory learner it might just be how he or she learns best. There are three main types of learning styles that are commonly recognized – visual learners, kinesthetic learners, and auditory learners. Of these three, auditory learners account for the smallest group.
What Is An Auditory Learner?
Auditory learning is about not only the sounds a person hears, but about the sounds a person creates and seeks out in the environment. It is a learning style that is often characterized by people who:
- Prefer lectures and discussions to written assignments
- Pay close attention to voice, pitch, and other slight variances in speech patterns
- Prefer to hear directions as opposed to following a map
- Repeat what has been said as a way of reaffirming the information
- Talk to themselves as a means of sorting through information and reaching decisions
- Prefer both listening to stories read aloud and reading aloud oneself
- Seem more emotionally affected by the words you speak and the tone of your voice
- Like to contribute orally in class
- Enjoy talking with people and seem very social
- Pay close attention to sounds other than the spoken word (background noises, auditory cues, etc.)
Auditory learners often make up the smaller portion of the classroom, especially in the younger years. Listening well is often an acquired skill, and many children rely on other learning styles to accompany the auditory portion – such as listening to a story being read (auditory) while playing with a set of blocks (kinesthetic). Many times the main learning styles overlap and this is actually when the most effective learning often takes place. Perhaps one learning style will be more prevalent at certain ages or during certain situations. However, individuals often naturally rely on the learning style that is most effective and efficient.
How Can I Help My Auditory Learner to Succeed?
If you see signs that your child is often more naturally inclined to be an auditory learner, there are ways you can support this learning style and help build the other learning styles as well.
- Give your child quiet space so he can read aloud or talk to himself.
- Get creative and find opportunities for your child to express himself verbally and listen to others do the same. It doesn’t have to be as elaborate as this unique Story Portal, but auditory learners tend to thrive when expressing themselves verbally and hearing others do the same.
- Take time each day to read aloud to your child – it can be at bedtime or even while reading the morning paper.
- Encourage your child to teach others how to do things. Expressing instructions orally is usually a task auditory learners excel at.
- Have various types of music available for your child to listen to each day. It helps to stimulate their learning.
- Encourage your child to use mnemonic devices to remember lists or school assignments. There are many different auditory clues mnemonic devices can provide a child to help them remember school assignments or even the names of people.
- Have a tape recorder or computer and microphone available for your child to use to record her own voice or even classroom activities and play these back.
Whichever learning style your child seems to gravitate towards, help him or her embrace it and build those skills. Paying attention to those natural tendencies is an important part of becoming an effective learner – a lifelong skill.