15 Learning Tips and Study Strategies for Auditory Learners
This is my second post in a series of three -- Learning tips and study strategies for the three main types of learners (visual, auditory, kinesthetic). Today I'm going to be writing for auditory learners, my personal favorites.
Just a reminder -- everyone has a predominate learning style, but this doesn't mean you can't benefit from multiple styles of learning!
1. Work in QUIET areas to avoid distraction
This is so important for auditory learners because noises distract them far more than the other students. Because they are particularly perceptive to sound, they need to remove as much sound as possible in order for them to focus. Tell your auditory child to go find a quiet area when he or she needs to study or focus. When your child needs to seriously focus, learn, or study, avoid television, music, and other humans at all costs!
2. Avoid homeschooling in areas that are open to auditory distraction
Just like its extremely important to avoid auditory distractions while studying, if you want your homeschooling to be as effective as possible I highly recommend avoiding doors and windows while teaching. And turn off the television and the iPods.
3. Recite orally to retain information
Duh! To learn information auditory learners should hear it! Recitations are extremely important for this type. My children loved memorizing Bible verses out-loud. Even if you aren't an auditory learner, often the best way to memorize anything is by reciting it. But for auditory learners, this goes for everything.
4. Stick to lectures and tutorials when possible
While some students find lectures terribly boring, auditory learners will usually enjoy them. There are hundreds of free video tutorials on YouTube and Khan Academy that your auditory learners will love. I would highly suggest taking advantage of lecturing if possible. Videos are also great because they have an auditory component. If it seems like your child is phasing out, he or she may have simply stopped watching and is instead engrossed in the words.
5. Tell your children to teach you!
This is my favorite tip for helping auditory children learn. I like to assign tasks to my children and ask them to give an 'oral report' once they have finished. I ask them to teach me how to do something. Or to teach me why so and so was able to overthrow XYZ government. This allows the student to really understand the material by hearing it again, and by teaching it to you.
Note: It may be a good idea to know the material ahead of time. These are the best opportunities for correcting an auditory learner -- by speaking back to him or her with the corrected information.
6. Use jingles, songs, rhymes, and mnemonics
These are all tools that associate auditory information with memorization. Don't freak out because I used the word memorization! Relying solely on memorizing is a bad thing. BUT mnemonic devises have been shown to stick with people for their entire lives! This doesn't have to be 'memorize for the test and forget' memorization. Really learning usually means that the information is understood and remembered. Good luck learning the state capitals without a jingle to go along!
7. Use tape recorders or hit the 'rewind' button
Visual learners do so well with lectures and videos that the can hear. But, they really retain information when they can hear it a second time. This is why tape recorders can be the visual learner's best friend. And why digital media is so useful -- infinite replay!
I know a homeschooled student who listens to lectures in 2x forward mode because he retains most information very quickly. However, when he gets to a spot he doesn't understand, he rewinds the video and listens to it several times until he understands it. He finishes the lecture in about the same amount of time it should have taken, except he truly understands what he listened to!
8. Remember images by converting them
Convert images into verbal descriptions! Instead of trying to remember exactly what the picture looked like, describe the picture in words. Visual learners need the pictures, but auditory learners need to convert it into something they can remember.
9. Read important directions out-loud
This is frowned upon in certain social situations, but luckily you're a homeschooler! It may not be good practice to read all of the questions out-loud during the SAT, but its an excellent way to ensure that your comprehend what the question is asking. At home, make sure your auditory learner reads all important directions out-loud. If your child struggles with reading, make sure to read it aloud for him or her. If the directions are particularly long and above the child's reading level this is particularly important. Read-write-visual learners might be okay, but an auditory learner will greatly benefit from hearing it.
When your child is stuck in a situation where silence is needed, make sure they know to mouth the words or 'say it in their head.'
10. Translate schedules into verbal cues
Most people manage their schedule in some sort of time tracker or calendar. The auditory learner will do best if the written appointments are translated into verbal cues.
11. Be as verbal as possible while writing
"Of course, auditory learners should always be verbal." Yes! But make sure that your student does all of his or her brainstorming out loud. And when editing papers and doing proofing, try to work through things out loud. When the student is stumped on a sentence, ask him or her to vocalize it and rephrase it out-loud. If you hire a tutor to do paper corrections, ask if they can send the feedback verbally instead of just written.
12. If there are notes, read them out-loud
Notes are sometimes utterly useless to auditory learners if they are unable to take the script off the page. Just looking at notes will do little for the auditory learner to actually remember anything.
13. Teach them by reading books aloud at a young age
If you have the patience for it, read, read, read, and read some more to your young auditory learner. Auditory listeners can sit -- captivated -- for hours on end.
14. Review test mistakes outloud
This is more for high school students who have had more 'standardized' tests. Studying old tests is usually an important tool for preparing for the next one. This type of skill is necessary if the student eventually attends a university. Instead of looking over old tests, the auditory learner should -- surprise -- read the incorrect questions out-loud -- substituting in the correct answer.
15. Need to read a book? Is it available in audio-book?
Books on tape were a family favorite on car rides. But, it doesn't have to stop there. Sometimes auditory learners struggle with reading. While its important to learn how to read, if a book is available in the audio edition, it is the best way to ensure the student retains and 'gets through' the information. Audio-books normally take a longer amount of time to finish vs reading the book. However, the retention is usually so much higher for auditory learners that I highly suggest it when possible.
What did I forget? Leave it in a comment!