Reading - Learning styles

2013.09.23 18:16

Try some of these suggestions and create some more that will work for you.

Suggestions for Haptic Learners

You will learn best by doing, moving, or hands-on experiences. Getting information from a textbook (visually) or a lecture (auditory) is just not as easy.

• To memorize, pace or walk around while reciting to yourself or looking at a list or index card.

• When reading a textbook chapter, first look at the pictures, then read the summary or end-of chapter questions, then look over the section headings and bold-faced words. Get a “feel” for the whole chapter by reading the end selections first, and then work your way to the front of the chapter. This is working whole-to-part.

• If you need to fidget when in class, cross your legs and bounce or jiggle the foot that is off the floor. Experiment with other ways of moving; just be sure you’re not making noise or disturbing others. Try squeezing a tennis ball.

• You may not study best at a desk, so when you are at home, try studying while lying on your stomach or back. Also try studying with music in the background.

• If you have a stationary bicycle, try reading while pedaling. Some bicycle shops sell reading racks that will attach to the handle bars and hold your book.

• Use a bright piece of construction paper in your favorite color as a desk blotter. This is called color grounding. It will help you focus your attention. Also, try reading through a colored transparency. Experiment with different colors and different ways of using color.

• When studying, take breaks as frequently as you need. Just be sure to get right back to the task. A reasonable schedule is 20-30 minutes of study and 5 minutes of break. (TV watching and telephone talking should not be done during break time!)

• When trying to memorize information, try closing your eyes and writing the information in the air or on a desk or carpet with your finger. Picture the words in your head as you do this. If possible, hear them too. Later, when trying to recall this information, close your eyes and see it with your “mind’s eye” and “hear” it in your head.

Suggestions for Auditory Learners

You will learn better when information comes through your ears. You need to hear it. Lecture situations will probably work well for you. You may not learn as well just reading from a book.

• Try studying with a buddy so you can talk out loud and hear the information.

• Recite out loud the thing you want to remember (quotes, lists, dates, etc.)

• Ask your teachers if you can turn in a tape or give an oral report instead of written work.

• Make tape cassettes of classroom lectures, or read class notes onto a tape. Summarizing is especially good. Try to listen to the tape three times in preparing for a test.

• Before reading a chapter, look at all the pictures, headings, and talk out loud and tell what you think this chapter will be about.

• Write vocabulary words in color on index cards with short definitions on the back. Review them frequently by reading the words aloud and saying the definition. Check the back to see if you were right.

• Before beginning an assignment, set the specific study goal and say it out loud. Example, “First, I will read my history chapter.”

• Read aloud whenever possible. In a quiet library, try “hearing the words in your head” as you read. Your brain needs to hear the words as your eyes read them.

• When doing complicated math problems, use graph paper (or use regular lined paper sideways) to help with alignment. Use color and graphic symbols to highlight main ideas in your notes, textbooks, handouts, etc.


Suggestions for Visual Learners

You will learn better when you read or see the information. Learning from a lecture may not be easy.

• Write things down because you remember them better that way (quotes, lists, dates, etc.).

• Look at the person while they are talking. It will help you to stay focused.

• Copy over your notes. Re-writing helps recall.


• It’s usually better to work in a quiet place. However, many visual learners do math with music playing in the background.

• Ask a teacher to explain something again when you don’t understand a point being made. Simply say, “Would you please repeat that?”

• Most visual learners study better by themselves.

• Take lots of notes. Leave extra space if some details were missed. Borrow a dependable student’s notes.

• Use color to highlight main ideas in your notes, textbooks, handouts, etc.

• Before reading an assignment, set a specific study goal and write it down. Post it in front of you. Example, “From 7:00 to 7:30 I will read the first chapter.”

• Preview a chapter before reading by first looking at all the pictures, section headings, etc.

• Select a seat furthest from the door and window and toward the front of the class, if possible.

• Write vocabulary words in color on index cards with short definitions on the back. Look through them frequently, write out the definitions again, and check yourself.


Learning styles exercise – True(T) or False(F)?

1.  For VLs it’s hard to work in an environment with noise or movement.

2.  ALs love dialogues but hate storytelling.

3.  It’s best for VLs to underline or highlight information when possible or draw to associate with facts or words.

4.  VLs are drawn back with mind maps and visual organizers.

5.  ALs can’t read well quickly and silently for prolonged periods of time.

6.  KLs like activities requiring physical movement.

7.  ALs can’t read aloud well or music and sound effects don’t help them.

8.  Imagery, i.e. demonstration, movies, drawings, graphs and photos help VLs.

9.  KLs have relaxed legible cursive handwriting.

10.       KLs shouldn’t write notes or highlight information while listening.