Auditory Learners and The Auditory Learning Style


How Do People with an Auditory Learning Style Learn Best?

Auditory learners prefer learning through hearing and audio presentation, whether the information is presented via books-on-tape, lecture, audio-visual programs, or even the person’s own reading aloud.

If your child has an auditory learning style, and does not have any underlying neurological learning difficulties or other learning issues, he is likely to perform fairly well in a traditional classroom.  Most schools use lecture, books, discussion, writing on the board, and other auditory means of conveying information.

The majority of teachers have an auditory teaching style, thus the traditional classroom favors auditory learners the most.  If your child is an auditory learner, then you should have a relatively easy time finding instructional materials to use when schooling your child.

Math and Auditory Learners

There are several math programs you can use for homeschooling that favor auditory learners.  To teach your child, you can use any program that has an auditory component explaining the mathematical concepts.

Math curricula that favor auditory learners include Teaching Textbooks, Math-U-See, Chalkdust DVDs, or Math Tutor DVDs.  Each of these programs includes auditory explanations of mathematical concepts while an instructor is teaching the concept.

When explanations take place using digits and symbols on a board rather than visuals, the math programs are more effective for auditory learners than they are with visual or kinesthetic/tactile learners. A clear exception is Math-U-See, which uses manipulatives to demonstrate when explaining concepts, so it is suitable for visual, kinesthetic, and tactile learners too.

Reading And Writing for Your Auditory Learner

Teaching reading and writing to an auditory learner is generally easy if the child has no visual processing issues or underlying speech-language issues. If your child has an auditory learning style, and struggles with reading or writing, it would be a good idea to have your child evaluated for underlying issues that may be causing his struggles.

If your child has a lot of difficulty with learning to read, you can use an Orton-Gillingham based reading program to effectively teach your child to read. The multi-sensory nature of Orton-Gillingham based programs makes them effective for most learners.

Auditory Learning Style Activities for Teaching

For all content learning, you will want to select an Auditory means for teaching concepts to your child.  If you’re teaching an auditory learner, it will be easier for you to find curriculum for working with your child than it is for visual or kinesthetic/tactile learners.

Given that most teachers chose to teach because they like talking, explaining, etc., most classroom teachers are auditory learners and they create materials are geared towards the auditory style.  You can present information using the ideas listed in the table below or come up with your own ideas for auditory presentation of information.

Bees (Geography, Spelling) Make your own “Walk and Talk” tapes for memorization Rhythmic Clap and Tap Spelling
Audio Books Mnemonics Role Playing
Debates Mock Trials Story Telling
Educational Videos Music (Making songs or tunes for memorization) Talking Books
Expressive Reading Plays or Skits Text-to-Speech software
Flash Card Drills Poetry (Making rhymes for memorization) Use background music or “white noise”
Interviewing Read Alouds Walk while listening to Audio Books
Lectures Reading Writing

Reading as an Auditory Learning Activity

Although some people think reading is a “visual” activity, reading words on a page provides little to no meaningful “visual” information.  When a child is reading, the intake of the letters and words from the page is a visual process, but the letters and words are “interpreted” and transformed into language-based information then processed in the language-processing center of the brain. Therefore, reading is a unique activity requiring both visual and verbal (auditory) processing capabilities.

The visual aspect of reading is a small portion of reading skill and the actual content processing takes place in the language-processing centers of the brain. Thus, reading is more suitable to a verbal/auditory learning style than it is to a visual learner.

A failure to recognize the auditory nature of reading is where people get bogged down in thinking true dyslexia is a “visual” problem, but on the contrary, it is a Phonemic Awareness problem.  The processing of sounds as they relate to the symbols printed on a page does not function correctly for a person who has dyslexia, so the solution is usually more deeply related to understanding sound-symbol correspondence than it is about anything visual.

If a child has no visual difficulties, no other interfering learning difficulties, and he is an auditory learner, then reading is likely to be an easy skill for the child to acquire and use in his schooling.

Since auditory learners have processing strengths in language-based areas, once they know how to read, any program that involves reading is likely to be a good curriculum choice.

MOST persons with dyslexia are not auditory learners, henceforth they usually learn better through visual or kinesthetic/tactile channels of learning.

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