Learning Style (Auditory, Visual & Kinesthetic) & Dyslexics

We talk constantly about finding ways to reduce the mental energy a Dyslexic student or adult expends when they are doing cognitive tasks. The less energy used for processing, the more can be devoted to memory, comprehension and using what is learned. To accomplish this we focus on several different areas of a Dyslexic's learning, life, self-esteem, and their personal mental perception of anything they are experiencing. One very important part of the tools that people use to learn with is our senses.


Tactile Learners learn best by doing. They need direct involvement; fidget when reading and are not avid readers; remember best what is done, not what is seen or heard; images are accompanied by movement; easily distracted when not able to move; find reasons to move; express emotions physically by jumping and gesturing; do not listen well; try things out by touching, feeling and manipulating; need frequent breaks when studying.



* Add physical movement or opportunities to touch and feel objects for kinesthetic learners. Use objects like miniature animals, people or vehicles (sold as math manipulatives in school supplies) to teach math skills such as counting, sorting, addition or subtraction. Incorporate the use of physical objects for children to hold or touch during science or social studies whenever possible. If studying rocks, for example, kinesthetic learners benefit from exploring the features of the rock with their hands.
* They are better able to understand information by writing it down or doing hands-on activities.
* When learning about counting, for example, a physical learner may need to use blocks, an abacus, or other concrete materials to practice the new concept.
* Physical learners (also known as "tactual-kinesthetic learners" "tactual" for touch, "kinesthetic" for movement) discover the world best when they're using their hands or bodies. In some ways, all children are natural physical learners. As babies, they rely on their sense of touch to grasp new ideas and concepts. Remember how yours discovered their toes and almost every other body part by putting them in their mouth? By the time children reach preschool or kindergarten, many have begun to adopt other learning styles, but some children maintain a strong affinity for physical learning.
* A physical learner may need to use blocks, an abacus, or other counting materials to practice a new concept.



* Move around to learn new things (e.g. read while on an exercise bike, mold a piece of clay to learn a new concept, throw a bean bag back and forth)
* Work at a standing position.
* Chew gum while studying.
* Dress up your work space with posters.
*If you wish, listen to music while you study
* Skim through reading material to get a rough idea what it is about before settling down to read it in detail.
* While in class, experiment with ways of moving without disturbing the class; for example, cross your legs and bounce your foot that is off the floor, roll a pencil between your fingers, squeeze a large rubber eraser or doodle on a piece of paper.
* Write vocabulary words or terms on an index card and walk around while reviewing or reciting them.
* Take frequent notes and write important facts several times while studying.
* Try to act out words or events with simple gestures which will aid your recall such as smiling at the word "amiable" or making tight fist for the word "penurious" or "miserly."
* Whenever possible, use graphic note-taking methods such as mapping, concept trees or time lines.
* Use a highlighter for main ideas and important facts in your textbook or notes.
* Try studying in different positions; for example, lying on your back or stomach, and change positions frequently.
* Take frequent, short breaks and do something that involves light activity such as getting a drink of water.
* Try writing key terms in the air or with your finger on a smooth surface or in the carpet.
* Study with background music that isn't too distracting.
* Whenever possible, experiment and do your assignments, experiments and projects in an active way. For example, make drawings of key events.


Auditory Learners learn best by hearing or listening. They prefer talking about a situation; express emotions verbally; enjoy listening, but cannot wait to talk; like hearing self and others talk; learn best through verbal instruction; move lips or subvocalize when reading; remember auditory repetition; study well with a friend to discuss material.



* Include auditory stimulation for auditory learners. Short lectures of 10 minutes or less, followed by verbal interaction, help auditory learners acquire and process information. Rhymes and chants are useful in teaching skills. Include music or auditory cues to signal schedule changes or transitions
* This type of learner may want to have background music while studying, or they may be distracted by noises and need to work in a quiet area.
* Auditory learners understand new ideas and concepts best when they hear the information. They learn a song easily just from hearing their teacher sing it, or who can follow directions to the letter after being told only once or twice what to do.
* Other auditory learners concentrate better at a task when they have music or white noise in the background, or retain new information more accurately when they talk it out.
* When learning about a new math concept, for example, an auditory learner will remember the information if they can listen to the teacher explain it or sing it and answer their questions.



* let them use headsets to listen to books-on-tape
* Participate in class discussions/debates
* Make speeches and presentations
* Read text out aloud
* Create musical jingles to aid memorization
* Create mnemonics to aid memorization
* Discuss your ideas verbally
* Dictate to someone while they write down your thoughts
* Use verbal analogies, and storytelling to demonstrate your point
* Tape record classroom lectures and class notes. Summarizing is especially helpful.
* When preparing for a test, tape record review sheets and important notes and listen to the tape 2 and 3 times.
* Write vocabulary words on index cards with definitions on the back. Review them by reading words aloud, repeating the definition and then checking to see if you are correct.
* Verbalize things you want to remember such as dates, key terms, quotes and important events.
* Ask your teacher if you can turn in a tape or give an oral report instead of a written report.
* Use a highlighter for main ideas and important facts in your textbook or notes.
* Read aloud whenever possible.
* Study with a friend so you can discuss and hear the information. If you can verbalize the information, you increase the probability of understanding it. Have your friend ask you questions and vice versa. Verbally review facts and terms which must be memorized.
* Preview a chapter before reading it by looking at the titles, introduction, subtopics, key terms and conclusion/summary. This increases your ability to maintain your focus while reading the chapter because you have familiarity with the information.



Visual Learners learn best by seeing. They prefer watching demonstrations; have intense concentration and ability to visually imagine information; remember faces but forget names; write down things and take detailed notes; doodle; find things to watch; look around and study their environment; facial expression is a good indication of emotions; quiet, do not talk at length; become impatient when extensive listening is involved; learn best by studying alone.



* Brightly colored and child-friendly images activate learning and serve to focus these children. These children learn from what they see. It is vital to present information through visual cues and imagery that appeal to the age of the child.
* A visual learner will grasp the material more quickly by watching his teacher solve a problem in front of them.
* They will process new information by reading, looking at graphics, or watching a demonstration.
* Children with this learning style can grasp information presented in a chart or graph, but they may grow impatient listening to an explanation. That's because visual learners rely primarily on their sense of sight to take in information, understand it, and remember it. If they don't "see" it, they're not able to fully comprehend it.
* A visual learner will grasp material more quickly by reading about it such as arithmetic in a math book, watching her teacher solve a sample problem on the black board, or seeing themselves solve the problem with concrete materials.



* Write things down. Take notes in class to help you remember things better and for use in studying for tests. Compare your notes with those of a friend who is a good note-taker.
* Write science and social studies vocabulary words on an index card with the definitions on the back.
* Ask your teacher to repeat something when you don't understand it.
* Use a highlighter for main ideas and important facts in your textbook or notes.
* Preview a chapter before reading it by looking at the titles, introduction, subtopics, key terms and conclusion/summary.
* Pay attention to graphs, pictures and charts.
* Learning from a lecture is not easy for visual learners. When listening to a lecture, always look at the speaker to help you maintain your attention. Summarize important concepts but don't try to write verbatim what they are saying.
* Sit close to the front of the room and away from distractions such as your close friends, doors or windows.
* It is better to study alone rather than with a friend.
* Study in a quiet place with no interruptions. If you need to have music, make it soft background music that will not be distracting.
* Practice visualizing or picturing important information. Use flashcards to help you isolate and mentally "see" facts and their chronological or sequential order.


Educators have identified two kinds of visual learners: picture learners and print learners. Many children are a mixture of both, although some are decidedly one or the other, according to Maria Emma Willis and Victoria Hodson, authors of Discover Your Child's Learning Style. Picture learners think in images; if you ask one whether an elephant is gray, he'll probably summon up the image of an elephant that he's seen at the zoo or in a photograph. Print learners think in words; they quickly learn to read and easily can memorize the correct spelling of words. They're also the ones who like to practice writing and forming letters. If you ask a print learner if an elephant is gray, the first thing he'll conjure up is the word "elephant," and then he may try to recall what he's seen in a book about the animal. *We believe the picture learners are right brained and possibly Dyslexic as this is a common trait.


Most people learn from a combination of these learning styles, but more strongly lean towards one style in particular. Whatever your child's learning style, finding ways to accommodate and take advantage of it can help your child to better absorb and remember what he's learned, and reduce frustration for both of you.

Allow students to demonstrate learning via their preferred learning styles. Open-ended projects that allow children to express their knowledge and demonstrate learning in a variety of ways provide equal opportunity for children to show what they know, what they have learned and what they can do.

Learning style refers to the primary mode a child uses to obtain information about the world around him. Although nearly every child gathers information in more than one way, each has a preferred mode that makes learning easier. Learning styles consist of auditory, visual and kinesthetic or tactile learning. According to Tech News, the breakdown of learning styles varies, but a typical K-12 classroom contains 30 percent visual learners, 25 percent auditory learners and 15 percent kinesthetic learners, with the remaining 30 percent consisting of students with mixed learning styles. What this means to you as a teacher is that, to reach all students, teaching must incorporate all three learning styles.

SOURCES: -SYLVAN LEARNING CENTER WEBSITE (Learning Styles) HOW THE RIGHT BRAIN LEARNS by Janice Turner and Karen Hope (Learning Styles) (Learning Styles)

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