As the name suggests, Auditory learners learn best while they are actively listening.
Auditory learners find conventional study practices, such as making notes directly from a textbook, not terribly effective. They much prefer to ingest information through audio or video clips, or by discussing a topic.
While they are not rabid note-takers in class, they are able to take in what they need simply by listening intently.
Combine this with a tendency to want to talk, auditory learners can sometimes appear disruptive or uninterested in class.
Is your child an Auditory Learner?
Here’s a few main characteristics of Auditory learners. See if these remind you of your child at all.
- tend to have incredible memories for past conversations (such as jokes).
- have a great memory for music and lyrics.
- enjoy discussions, debates, and talking to others.
- enjoy listening to music, and sing/hum/whistle to themselves.
- They prefer to give oral presentations over written reports (although this also has a lot to do with confidence!).
- may read slowly.
- may have difficulty interpreting complicated graphs, maps or diagrams.
Study Tips for Auditory Learners
Auditory learners should try to incorporate study techniques that have them either listening to information and repeating it out loud.
All auditory learners should aim to ask questions during a lesson. Even a simple question will greatly increase information retention. This way, their teacher will put an idea into words, or paraphrase what they’ve been saying.
Plus, this makes your child actively involved in the lesson, and shows the teacher that they’re paying attention!
Use a dictaphone
Using a dictaphone during class can be a great way to review a lesson without having to rely solely on textbooks or written information. Many audio players now come with recorders built in – but just make sure that the teacher knows that it’s there for study purposes (and not to help them ignore the lesson!)
Also, Auditory learners could benefit from taping their notes once they’ve written them. This will force them to say out loud what they’ve just learnt in a way that makes sense to them – cementing it into their head. They can also use the spoken notes to revise later.
This is another thing that Auditory learners can do during their study periods. The Khan Academy website is a great place for this. The site currently has over 1800 videos (all produced by one very smart guy with 4 university degrees, whom Bill Gates’ professed as his favourite teacher!) predominantly science and maths focussed.
YouTube is another website that has hundreds of educational videos. But be careful – it’s also one of the most powerful procrastination tools in the world!
Use word association
Word association can be a great way to learn facts and lines. Auditory learners make better connections when facts can be repeated out loud – especially when in a memorable fashion. Mnemonic devices are a great way to help remember facts.
Auditory learners can benefit from repeating information out loud to themselves. Even better than pure repetition would be to paraphrase, or pick out the main points of what they’ve just learnt and say it to themselves.
Participate in discussions
Unfortunately discussion groups at high school can be quite distracting, meaning they aren’t a normal part of classroom life. But you can talk to your child about what they’ve learnt today. If you don’t understand it – even better! Teaching is the best way to learn!
Avoid auditory distractions
While everyone is different, and some people study well with music (I know I do), Auditory learners are incredibly susceptible to aural distraction. A bit of quiet music might put your child in the mood – but make sure your child is sensible about it! It’s pretty easy to tell when something is distracting.
If you or your child is an Auditory learner, and you have a suggestion for us to add to the list we’d love to hear it! Tell us here.
A cautionary note
Most people don’t fit perfectly into one of the four learning style categories. Most students have a combination Learning Style!
So, what does this mean? It means that your child should explore different ways of learning and choose to use the ones that they find most useful.