For several years we lived in Germany. When we first arrived, it was not uncommon for someone to approach me and begin speaking in German. My blank expression must have been pretty telling, because it usually didn’t take long for them to clue in that I did not understand what they were saying. But what happened next always amused me. They would begin to speak LOUDLY and S…L…O…W…L…Y…
As if that helped! 🙂
I’m not deaf, nor am I stupid. I’m just not German.
If communication is to take place, it helps if the speaker and the hearer both use the same language!
The same is true with learning styles. If you are a visual learner and your child is an auditory or physical learner, one of you is going to have to learn to translate into a means of communicating that the other can easily understand.
It’s not that difficult, really, when you understand how they think.
Visual Teaching Tools
- Since they rely on visual input, visual learners need to sit where they can see best.
- Use pictures, drawings, diagrams, and illustrations as visual aids to reinforce oral teaching.
- Graphs, charts, graphics and flowcharts help them visualize concepts.
- Videos make an impact.
- Flash cards are useful for memory drills.
- Encourage them to take notes, record their observations and/or make sketches.
- Outlining helps them visualize how parts relate to the whole.
Auditory Teaching Tools
- Since they rely on audio input, auditory learners enjoy lectures, performances and group discussions.
- They respond well to a “Socratic” method where they can shadow a mentor and talk about what they’re learning.
- They benefit from discussion sessions with a peer group
- Let them record audio notes so they can focus on the lecture and replay it later.
- They may enjoy listening to podcast lessons and/or audio books.
- Let them memorize to music. They remember what they sing or chant.
- Beating out rhythms is another memory cue.
- These learners perform best on oral quizzes.
Physical Teaching Tools
- Let them move! A number line for math class can become a giant hop-scotch, for example.
- Live demonstrations and labs let them get their hands into what they’re learning.
- Take them on field trips.
- Take recess breaks between assignments that require sitting.
- Assign projects and practical activities. These guys like to be productive and busy.
- Let them teach through skits, plays, or videos.
- Consider apprenticeships for some subjects.
- These learners perform best on a practicum or course project that tests their knowledge.
Just as it’s possible to learn another language, your child will eventually become more skilled at understanding different teaching styles. But especially when introducing new material, it will be much easier for a student to concentrate on the lesson when it’s presented in his “native language” style.