Adapt your lessons to cater for the different learning styles of your students
When we are teaching English to kids, as teachers we need to be aware of the differences in learning styles of our students so that we can incorporate all of these learning styles into our lessons. Being able to identify which types of learners our students are will help us to make sure they don’t get left out of learning effectively.
Below are the 6 different learner types and details on different activities to suit their learning styles.
Visual learners learn best by looking. The enjoy reading (and often prefer to see the words they are learning) and seeing pictures.
Visual learners respond well to:
- information on the whiteboard
- colorful pictures
- story books with pictures
- computer graphics
- maps (e.g. treasure maps)
- board games
When teaching kids, we can ensure our visual learners are well catered for by having lots of visuals and a wide variety of things to look at. If you can, fill your classroom with colorful, attractive posters. Make use of flashcards (we have lots on our website) and pictures when teaching new vocab. Use readers with lots of colorful illustrations. If you have the resources, use video and computer graphics. Whenever you are planning your lesson, think how you can visually stimulate your learners.
Auditory learners learn best by listening. They work well with spoken instructions and learn quickly by listening to stories and songs. They will not need to see written words to learn.
Auditory learners respond well to:
- listening to stories
- poems and riddles
- verbal instructions and explanations
- listening activities
- participating in oral activities
As audio learners tune in to sounds, try and provide as many opportunities to have sound and noise added to your lesson. Songs are an obvious source and encourage your learners to listen and sing along. If you can find a song which fits your lesson theme or target vocab, all the better – we have a growing selection of theme based ESL songs on our website. Using stories in lessons is something all kids love. There are lots of readers available, but you can also make up your own stories to fit in with your lesson (also try to add pictures for your visual learners).
Always think how sounds can be added to lessons, such as teach animal noises along with animal vocab, sounds of cars, airplanes, trains, etc. when teaching transportation, and so on. You’ll be surprised at the amount of sounds you can teach! Concentrate on pronunciation of sounds as well, from the letters of the alphabet to words and sentences – your audio learners will really pick up on this if you provide the opportunity. Also, do listening exercises which require students to listen to your instructions in order to complete a task (see our section on Top 10 listening activities without a CD).
Always allow for oral communication during activities – set up pair or groups work together where your students have to talk and listen to each other to complete the tasks.
Tactile learners learn physically by touching and manipulating objects.
Tactile learners respond well to:
- songs with gestures
- playing board games
- making models (e.g. with play doh or lego)
- craft activities
- feeling in the bag activities
- following instructions to make things
Tactile learners need to feel and touch – without this they won’t internalize new vocab / structures as easily. Let them touch and feel everything! When using flashcards, always pass them around (you’ll see the tactile learners really come to life at this point). Have lots of objects available to teach new vocab (cars, plastic fruit, animal toys, blocks, colored paper, etc.) so when you teach new words you can let your students touch and play with the objects.
Use puppets for role playing structures and let your students touch, cuddle, tickle and even use the puppet themselves. Also, try setting up feeling type activities – place an object in a bag and have students feel and guess what it is, use blindfolds and have students feel things or find their way around the classroom.
Let your tactile learners express themselves by drawing and making things. Have them draw a scene with new vocab that they have just learned, or build and make things with lego or play doh. Crafts are also a great way to teach and reinforce new vocab.
Kinesthetic learners learn physically by moving around.
Kinesthetic learners respond well to:
- songs with gestures
- playing games in which they need to use their whole body (e.g. Charades)
- doing exercise type activities which require running and jumping
- movement activities
- making models (e.g. with play doh or lego)
- craft activities
- following instructions to make something
- setting up experiments
Kinesthetic kids always want to be on the go. Just sitting and watching/listening won’t keep them interested for long. Have lots of gestures to use with songs and let them act out new vocab (e.g. teach “horse” and let your students run around like a horse, teach “eat breakfast” and have them pretending to eat cereal and toast, etc.).
Set lots of action activities which lets them express themselves with movement (see our Top 10 Flashcard Exciting Games & Activities). Include craft and model making activities (your tactile learners will also thank you for this) and always encourage your students to experiment actively when learning new things – if a student wants to roll around on the floor like a ball when you are teaching the word ball, let him.
Analytic learners focus on the details of language, such as grammar rules, and enjoy taking apart words and sentences.
Analytic learners respond well to:
- well-structured and clear lessons
- information and instructions given in steps
- clearly stated goals and objectives of tasks
- activities which require thought, such as matching exercises, puzzles, missing letters, etc.
Your analytic learners will enjoy activities and tasks where they need to think and work on the specifics of the language. Play games like concentration with flashcards when learning new vocab, do worksheets with matching and word scramble activities. Play games on the whiteboard where student have to guess the missing letters of a word (hangman is a great choice). Give out alphabet letter blocks and have your students put the letters in alphabetical order and make words. When giving instructions, always take care to be clear and give step-by-step details.
For even very young learners they are a lot of things you can do which require some analytical thought: put colored fruit and colored paper around the room and ask your students to match the fruit with their colors (red paper with red apple, etc.); put objects of different sizes and tell students to put large objects in one box and small objects in another (or soft / hard, heavy / light, etc.). Most activities can have a thoughtful element.
Global learners focus on the whole picture and do not care so much about specific details. They do not want to get bored with slow moving lessons and enjoy interesting and attractive materials.
Global learners respond well to:
- group activities
- story writing
- lots of action based activities
- computer games
- talking without being interrupted for correction
Make sure to include lots of fun games and activities for your global learners where the language learning objective is not so forced or obvious. Let them play with the objects or write stories simply for the fun of doing them (although they are still learning they won’t realize it). Get them working in pairs or groups to complete tasks and let them move around the class as they do their activity.
Global learners tend not to like being interrupted when doing their activity (why would they? It stops them doing what they are trying to do!) so correcting can be done at the end of the task or you could chat to the students during the task asking questions which are based on checking their understanding of the main teaching point.
You may have read the above and thought “How on earth do I include all of these different learning styles in all of my teaching points and activities?”. Yes, there are a lot of different styles and many contradict each other – Analytic and Global learners, for instance, are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The key is to include different styles at different points of the lesson.
For example, when you teach some new words use flashcards and get all of the kids to listen to you and say the words clearly with associated noises (for the Visual and Auditory learners), then have the students run around acting out the words (for the Kinesthetic learners), next do a feel in the bag activity to guess the objects and then have your students do a drawing activity (for the Tactile learners), after that have your students in teams make models of the objects with play doh with a prize for the best team (for the Global learners) and finally have a worksheet activity where students need do matching or guessing activities (for the Analytic learners – be sure to clearly explain how to do the task).
You don’t have to include all learning styles for each teaching point, but try to include a variety of styles throughout the lesson so all of your students get catered for at some point.
Finally, if you are able to identify the type of learners you have in your class you can adapt your lesson on the spot if you see some are having trouble understanding or losing interest. For example, if a student is looking puzzled at your big / small presentation, have him or her stand up big or curl up small, make a big play-doh ball and small ball, color in a worksheet with big and small objects, etc.
Having a wide variety of styles included in your lesson will really help your students understand, internalize and enjoy your lessons.
57 thoughts on “6 different types of ESL learners and how to teach them”
this is a great source which motivates the kid learner. Many thanks
This no doubt an insightful illustration on the type of learners.I appreciate your help to me at this point.thank you
This article mainly introduces different kinds if learners and the appropriate teaching activeties and materails catering for them,which reminds me of the theory of multiple intelligences proposed by Garnder.It’s really beneficial for both inservice teachers and preservice teachers,which is very insiring.When design teaching activities,teachers should really take these factors into consideration so as many kinds of leaners can be motivated and their learning can be ficilatated.
Different students have different learning styles. Teachers need to figure out that which learning style students belong to and then use different activities to cater for their different preference of teaching.
This passage has clearly explained six different learning styles and has also introduced some useful tools and activities for teachers. This is wonderful. And I also find that pictures and flashcards are the most useful and common techniques to stimulate all the students belonging to different learning styles. They can be seen, read and touched.
But one thing I want to point out is that teachers’ handwriting(with colorful chalks) can also be a good way to attract student’s(especially for visual learners) attention.
Thanks for Eudora’s introduction of this passage. It’s really useful and practical.
It looks very nice and helpful,really. It seems that I’ve always tried my way to motivate sudents, and also, I’ve learned about various learning styles of different students. But I didn’t make connections between them. It occurs to me that now I can design activities based on these different styles. If so, I won’t confused much about “which activities should I use?”. What I need to do is to take all the learning styles into consideration throughout a lesson.
I like this website very much because it provides a lot of vivid materials for us to prepare lessons. Now in a successful english class, a teacher needs to consider different learning styles and design diverse activities ,such as show pictures,watch videos,sing songs, role play,etc. to cater for individuals.Therefore,to be a teacher, you need to equip yourself with some knowledge in teaching psychology and be able to identify your students learning styles to make your teaching more effectively.
Thank you for sharing this useful and comprehensive article about different types of learning, which remind us a lot of considerations bout how to teach different students effectively in the future.
Confucius, a famous Chinese thinker once puts the idea of teaching students in accordance with their aptitude, which is almost has the same spirit with this article. Since there are 6 kinds of learning styles, we can’t just treat all the students in the same way. Each student is unique. Visual learners and Kinesthetic learners might prefer different kinds of learning materials and teaching methods. As teachers, we should firstly try to find out the learning style of each student belongs to. And this article can perform as a useful guide for us to refer to.
It is not easy to teach, and it is more difficult to teach well. However, it is not the excuse for us to stop trying and endeavoring.
In this year, we’ve been bombard with a term “student-centered” which is put overwhelming emphasis on by contemporary educators. In current education system, students are the core of teaching. Their basic background information such as personality, learning competence, learning style and learning experience is crucial for a teacher to obtain in order to instruct effectively. In this article, not only can we have a good understanding of six different kinds of students, it also gives us some useful suggestion which can be exploited in our future teaching. It is true that involving students with various learning style in one class is a tough work. But it’s just those challenges that make teaching amazing and valuable. As a teacher, we need to try our best to make every student raise their potential. To achieve the goal, well-preparation before class is so important that we must take it seriously and design diversified activities to cater for different students. When we design our teaching plan, we are expected to bear students’ discrepancy in mind and make the use of all the supplementary sources. Actually, Miss Xiang sets a good example for us. In her class, there are plentiful activities including visual one, auditory one, writing, speaking, small games and so on. It is abundant. All the students’ attention is attracted. It is worth learning .
This article is very helpful for me , thanks for professor xiang providing for us. I even don’t know the other two types of ESL learners, the types of anylytic learners and global learners are new for me. To know your students better, you will make your class more successful.
This article reminds me of two phrases. They are individual differences and diversified teaching. It is obvious this article is taking a student-centered perspective and calling for ESL teachers and educators to fully consider learners’ learning styles while designing and conducting classroom teaching. For learners, because of individual differences they are bound to have their own preference in learning styles and learning strategies. Thus when they are gathered to have a class, great demands for teachers’ teaching adjustment and adaptability become a real challenge. Since learners are known to respond best visually, auditorily, tactilely, kinesthetically, analytically, and globally respectively, it would be necessary and wise to get teaching and learning activities featured in the six types learning styles involved in one period so as to diversify the ways of learning the same materials and cater for learners with different learning requirements.
One example of this united teaching is when introducing a new unit with the topic of friendship, music, computer and things alike, it is visual learners’ task to open up the topic by interpretating the provided cards, pictures, flashes, or videos. Auditory learners may be the big winners of the formers’ introduction and tactile learners at the same time will benefit from related realia, especially when the topic is about some concrete objects. For kinesthetic learners, acting out what has been displayed may be the most interesting and efficiency way to learn. Analytic learners may think deeply about almost every specific of the topic with the facilitative introduction and acting of other groups. And global learners will probably be attracted by the performance of their active peers and progress their own learning in the whole.
Honestly speaking, though necessary, it is in deed challenging to satisfy every learner in classroom teaching. Teachers and educators should first realize it and bear it in mind. And then take gradual actions to diversify their class. Just as the writer said in the end of the article, there is no need to include all learning styles for each teaching point, but it is of great significance to include a variety of styles throughout the lesson. Since learners are placed at the core of teaching and learning, teachers had better spare effort to cater for all of them at some point of the class and it is believed learners with different learning styles will learn better under this circumstance and may get their other learning preferences cultivated within the immersion.
Different learners may have different learning styles. But I haven’t known the characteristics of each type until I read this article. The activities that we can adopt to cater for different learners are introduced as well. This reminds me of the importance of learner roles. As teachers, we are supposed to take individual learners into account when we are designing the classroom activities. How to integrate the learner styles into our specific lesson is what we should consider. In my opinion, learning to indentify learners is the first step for us to do. Then as the author has suggested, at different points of the lesson the various styles can be included.
The six different learning styles are very useful and effective in ELT. They can arouse students’ interest, raise learning effect and improve teaching result. It is very popular in small-class system, especially in elementary school. At the same time, we must take students’ age, level and school’s settings and resources into consideration. If they are used in the high school, I am afraid of the distribution of the time. Every style seems to take up a lot of time. In addition, it is unfavorable to the large-class system. If these activities are not controlled and managed, the class will be in a mess. In our daily teaching, the teacher should be reasonable to make use of them based on students’ situation and needs. Dewey has appealed that learning by doing something rather than receive knowledge passively. There is no doubt that effective and innovative learning styles should be used to improve students’ interest and create opportunity to develop students’ leaning potential step by step.
Thanks for this informative and detailed article. In the contemporary language education, we place increasingly emphasis on the how students learn instead of how to teach them in a consistent way. Students sitting in the classroom have different language learning experiences, family background, language proficiency, and more importantly they have slightly or even completely different cognitive styles, which all to some extent affect students learning styles and strategies. Therefore, in our daily language instruction, we should match our teaching styles with learners’ learning styles. However, it is quite difficult to achieve especially in China where it has large class size and a strongly influential traditional Confucian culture that highlights respecting both the teacher and his/her teaching.
Anyway, this is an excellent article that stimulates me to think about my own future language teaching practice. I will always consider how to incorporate all of these learning styles into our lessons so that each learner can make progress every lesson.
Every learner owns his or her own learning style due to different backgrounds and experiences. It is this kind of student diversity that makes teaching more demanding but interesting. Also, each student’s learning style should be respected because the teacher’s attitudes toward students’ ability will influence how the teacher presents materials to their students and evaluates students’ capacity. It requires us to consider as many activities as possible and make them compatible with each other. If we can provide opportunities for authentic learning based on students’ interests and needs, students will be able to present their strengths, while acquiring more motivations to be an expert and gaining increasing confidence. Similarly, through a variety of work, students can nurture the undeveloped abilities for all-round development in every aspect. When understanding trouble or distraction occurs, we could make the most of specific tasks to deal with the unexpected problems.
This article offers me an access to know more about different types of ESL learners and how to teach them efficiently, especially the hyperlinks in the sub-sections attract me a lot.After thinking twice,however,it may just suits small-size classes well.In Chinese Pedagogical Settings,teachers will be in a dilemma when thinking about different types of ESL learners for each class contains too many students. What’s more, teachers will ignore different types of ESL learners to save time for test-oriented practice. Anyway, it’s a useful article which worth a second reading for the sake of myself and my future students.
We know that teaching is an art as well a science. As teachers, we need some related knowledge about teaching and our students. Here from the above article we know that there are six learning styles and different students may have different learning methods for better and efficient learning. So as teachers we must know our students well if we want to teach them well. We need to take their learning styles, interest, learning motivations into consideration. But sometimes in the traditional English class, there are so many students and it’s difficult and challenging to incorporate all of these learning styles into one class at the same time. But a good teacher should design different learning activities to involve our students into class participation. And be creative and motivating when teach different students.In our future teaching, we need to pay more attention to students’ learning styles and teach students according to their aptitude and help them find the best learning methods for themselves.
such a great article! After reading this article, I thought deeply. In taday’s student-centered classroom, we should focus on students’ individual difference in learning. According to thier different types, we can use various activities to attract attention in class. This article gave me some guidelines to be a better teacher in the future.So thanks for sharing this again.
From my point of view, this article is very useful for us. In this passage, the author has divided the students into six different types and each type has its own preference. Although it may be difficult and challenging for us teachers to design a class that can cater for every student, all of these give us a better understanding of learning styles and provide us a clear instruction on how to improve our teaching.
When we are designing a lesson, we need to take our students needs into account. In my opinion, one thing that decides their needs is their learning styles. So it is essential for us to understand students’ different learning types before we plan our lesson. As for theory, I think many of us know how to fit students’ needs, that is to design different kinds of activities. But for practice, we find it difficult for us to decide how to design different types of activities and what types of activities do we really need. From this passage, we can get some ideas. At first, we need to understand our students’ learning styles and know what they prefer and what they don’t like. Then we should know that what we need to do is to include different styles at different points of the lesson rather than every point of the lesson. This not only helps us to fit different students’ need, but also helps us to save time. Furthermore, it can give students opportunities to experience and develop other types of learning styles.
In the past, even nowadays, some teachers and educators pay much attention to the teaching style while ignoring the students’ different learning styles. However, it is of great significance for us to cater for our student’s unique style in that their special way of learning will determine greatly their learning results. Moreover, different language learners may have various learning styles, but it does not mean one student only have one style. In my opinion, probably one studys vocabulary with auditory aids while he studys grammar in analytic way. One’s learning style are likely to be a dynamic and flexible. When we are going to design classroom activities, we are supposed to take the above learning styles into account. We could either combine the styles in one big activity or include several seperately during one period so that most learners could gain something.
After reading the article and the comments of others, I strongly feel that there are more room and improvements for us to do when we are design classroom teaching. As we can see, we learned much theoretical knowledge about classroom teaching and activities design. Sometimes we feel confused because of many reasons, such as we still have no idea how to design effective classroom activities or even when we teachers think this activity is good for students, but its result may not as well as we thought before. There are many reasons for this. For me, I think the most important thing is to know clearly about our students. Just as the article says different people have different learning styles, in order to achieve better efforts in learning teacher and students together should first make clear what kind of learning style students belong to, or put it another way, students should find their own way of learning effectively both in class and after class. Teacher should help their students especially younger students in finding their own style of learning effectively and interestingly.
When it comes to designing classes based on different learning styles, teachers had better make sure their classroom teaching and activities suit different learning styles. For example, when teaching grammar which is hard and abstract for students to learn, teachers should try their best to follow and cover the six different learning styles to design their class. In this class, teacher presents materials both in visual and auditory ways. Then students choose their own way of practicing grammar in pairs or groups. Sometimes it is efficient to learn together when students are from the same learning style, but we can also put students together from different learning styles, in this way they can benefit form each other.
It is easy to say but hard to act. I hope to learn more about how to design our class based on different learning styles. Thanks.
I have to say I really love this article for the vivid and colorful pictures as well as the logical writing order. In my opinion, we have to know what kind of learning style every learner belongs to before conducting the lesson so as to maximize the teaching result. And in order to achieve that purpose, we as teachers, have to know ourselves first. How can we know that? I put myself into the category of auditory learner. Because I always get the most information from hearing, which probably accounts for the best performance in listening among all the parts on the test paper. If this is true for me, we can use this method to tell students’ possible learning style. However, one thing has to be pointed out that we can’t simply say one student belongs to visual learner or auditory learner because he or she sometimes learns best by seeing and sometimes by hearing, which makes the teaching process much more complex and difficult. Needless to say taking all the students’ learning styles into consideration.That is the challenge for us. But the good news is that we do have a way to know our students if we want to. It is only a matter of time!
It is also the first time for me to read such kind of article.They divide students into six types and we can design different kinds of activities by taking different types of students into account.Now I slightly agree the view that it is the teacher’s fault that student has no interest in the subject they teach.If they can design various activities which cater for different type of students,I am sure the student will gradually love his/her class. As a pre-service teacher, there are so many things which concerns English language teaching need us to learn. Thank for sharing us such useful article and i will apply them in my future class.
As a teacher, we have to care about and observe keenly our students to get a good understanding of them, thus drawing a conclusion what learning style they belong to, further more, we need to be aware of the features each learning style reveals, in this case, we can design classroom activities to cater to different types of learners, and provoke their development purposefully.
In china, most of the English teaching classes are large-sized classes, there are so many students with great diversity that teachers can not pay enough attention to every single individual, even according to the article, all kinds of learners share the six learning styles, it’s still difficult to cover all these styles in the lessons in limited classroom time, this is quite a big problem against learner-centered teaching background.
I think, to some degree, it is necessary for teachers to realize students’ learning styles and adjust their teaching strategies and design activities accordingly, but what is more important is to arouse students’ awareness of their own learning styles, only when they have a good understanding of their own learning, can they adjust learning process and methods with the teacher’s guide automatically.
first thanks a lot,our teacher, Eudora shared this excellent article with us.I am an in-service teacher and often need to deal with different students, who act differently in class.sometimes we tend to blame our students for their wrong behaviour, but in fact it is because teachers don’t use proper methods to induce them. I often wonder how i can attract my students to english study. so this article is quite useful. it is the first time i get to know there are 6 different types of ESL learners and we teachers should try to use different methods to cater for them. In the future i will try to achieve this.thank you so much!
Its very informative to ESL teacher s
From my perspectives, what we need to do first is to find out the different types of students in our class which requires us to have those concepts in our mind. And then we shall think about how to implement the different strategies for those different types of learners. Just as the author says, we do not need to include all types in one teaching point, but wo should adapt our lesson to these learners. For example, when you teach a new lesson in the lead-in part about a story, use the story book with some pictures (for visual learners)and let them listen to the story by using some recordings (for auditory learners), then have your students do a drawing activity related to the story (for tactile learners) and then in order to reinforce their memory of the topic, design a role-play activity for them (for kinesthetic learners), next give them instructions to do some exercise . Finally use the story writing activity to let students redesign or continue the story.
Maybe it is too complex to incorporate all of these six types of stragies in the only forty-minute lesson, but it is quite useful for us to understand those concepts.
After reading this article, I know that different learners have different learning styles. As a teacher, we should design many activities to cater for each learners’ needs, do not just use one activity or the same task all the time. Try to design various activities and involve as many students as possible.
Besides, the teacher should be patient with each student,because they are different learners, the same task may not be suitable for everyone. So, the teacher must treat every student equally and be tolerant.
Firstly, i’m very grateful to you for providing us the helpful essay, and all of these activities designed for different styles of learners are extremely interesting.Secondly, we may pay more attention to designing some activities suitable for visual, auditory,analytic and global learners in high middle school because of students’ developmental characteristics and teaching requirements from school leaders.Moreover, the procedures should be simple and concise when we conceive of these activities.Becasue most of teachers would prefer to spend sufficient time teaching vocabulary and grammar which have to be remembered by students.Finally, primary school teachers can take the other two learning styles( kinithetic and tactile learners) into consideration when they are designing activities, so that they would attract students’ attention and cultivate their learning interest.
Such a thought-provoking article! Before, I only realized that some students are good at learning by looking, and other by listening. But now I realized there exists other four types of learners and I should bear them in my mind when designing lesson plan and activities. Also, this article has given some practical and innovate activities about how to include these 6 types of learners in our class, and many of these activities are which I have never thought of. By the way, it’s a useful website giving a lot of inspiration for ESL teachers.
Before I read this article, “learning styles” are merely abstract theories which are written in textbooks. However, this informative essay makes those intangible ideas concrete and applicable. What is more important is that the last question raised by the author really pushes me to think about how to integrate a variety of activities in order to cater for different learning styles of students. To have a better illustration, a specific example will be provided. In one lesson which aims to familiarize students with the vocabulary of different sports. When presenting the words, the teacher could do the action which emulates the sport and at the same time speak out the word and present the flashcard. During this process which will meet the needs of visual learners, the students are expected to associate the pronunciation of those words with teacher’s action. Then, the children will be asked to do the action with the teacher and read after him or her. This time, kinesthetic learners will be satisfied. After this process, the students will respond to the teacher’s instructions by doing the correct action. Auditory learners will be benefited a lot from this procedure. To cater for analytic learners, another activity needs to be designed. Some envelopes within which there are words or pictures will be hidden at different places in the classroom. The children are supposed to find the envelops first and try to match the word with the correct picture. These teaching procedures are immature, so there must be a lot of problems with them. However, I believe with appropriate modifications, they can be applied in my English class in the future.
it’s useful to apply different methods to teaching different style learners,but it is really hard to use all the methods to satisfy different style learners at the same time. and it will waste a lot of time. so we need to choose some of them accordingly. sometimes we need to take age into consideration.
as for senior high school students ,there are massive words to learn in one unit,i want them to remember them easiy but i am afraid it take too much time to do the activities designed. so i wonder how i can teach high school students vocab in a more interesting way mentioned in the article in fixed time
Six different learning styles reflect students’ different characters to some extent, classifying which learning styles students belong to is another way to get close to students. Teacher’s better understanding of various learning styles will undoubtedly contribute to designing more practical and interesting activities. One issue puzzles me: Are students’ learning styles static all the time. If not, how can we exactly classify students’ learning styles? Eg. Some may be visual learners for the aspect of vocabulary, while they may be analytic learners in terms of grammar.
First of all, I want to thank Pro. Xiang for sharing this very useful article for us. It impressed me a lot for its comprehensive introduction about different learning styles of students. I think it is the first step to know which type each of our students is and then the teacher can design and adopt appropriate teaching method or technique to arouse our students’ interest and help them to learn in their own way according to their personal individual differences. Actually, I contend that the teacher cannot put such ideal idea into reality in China. On one hand, the size of the class is often very big, that is, the number of the students in one class may be over forty or even fifty in some places in China. It is very hard for teachers to satisfy each student’s taste. Beside, each teacher has her own personal teaching style, she may satisfy parts of the students in her class, but it is impossible to all students. On the other hand, it is very hard to do too many activities within forty-five minutes in class, such as playing video, showing pictures, singing songs with gestures and so on, teacher may choose several proper activities as she has more important things to do. As a matter of fact, I do really love this article. Just as this article says, we can adapt our lesson on the spot if we see some of our students are having troubling understanding or losing interest in class if we are capable of identifying the type of learners who he is. This article is really very useful to us and we should keep these six different types of learners and their particular solutions in mind and use them properly.
A class is a small society. Each student is an independent individual. They have different characteristics, personalities, interests,learning styles etc.. They enter into the class with different expectations. For most English teachers,especially less-experienced teachers, it is a big headache of how to involve all the students of different learning styles in the class.Sometimes, it seems an unresolved problem. However, there are still several ways to deal with such problems. First,it is required that English teachers should have a holistic understanding of students with different learning styles and expectations through careful observing,chatting and so on. Accordingly, teachers should try his best to design various activities to motivate students. Even the teaching of grammar can be less boring in this way. When preparing the teaching plan, teachers should ask himself several questions, such as ” If I were the student, would I like this kind of activities”and so on.Think more about the students.
Such a thought-provoking article! Before, I only realized that some students are good at learning by looking, and other by listening. But now I realized there exists other four types of learners and I should bear them in my mind when designing lesson plan and activities. Also, this article has given some practical and innovate activities about how to include these 6 types of learners in our class, and many of these activities are which I have never thought of. THANK you so much, Eudora, for your sharing. By the way, it’s a useful website giving a lot of inspiration for ESL teachers.
That’s not even 10 minetus well spent!
Comprehensive introduction about students’learning styles. We can obseve and analyze studens’learning styles according to these key points from this article. After reading, I may draw a safe conclusion that my cousin is an analytic learner, because he’d prefer information presented by logic sequence,and likes grammar exercises. Maybe next time I could design some activities,such as word matching and word-related practice, to help him remember words and ensure his learning efficiency. But as we know, the classroom size in Chinese school education is totally different from western countries. Though this article gives us an example about designing different activities at different teaching points ,it still a pratical question for me to take most of students’learning styles into concern. I will endeavour to reflect this issue in my future learning and teaching. Thanks for Eudora’s sharing!
For big size class, it may be difficult for teachers to identify the learning style of each student. But teachers can design classroom activities of different styles as many as possible and diversify learning materials. I believe if students can learn in their way, it will be more efficient and enjoyable.
Different kinds of classfication of ESL learner types have been illustrated in textbooks or somewhere previously. 6 types of ESL learners mentioned above maybe classified from the perspective of what they’re interested in and what advanages they have over others. By doing what they enjoy most probably is the best way to cultivate their interest in learning English and communicating with the target language.I’ll try to use those activites in my future lessen plan. Thanks, Eudora!
we know it would be effevtive for teachers to apply different teaching methods to fit each student’s learning style. we all recognize that we need to put students as center in learning, but we have to admit it’s hard for novice teachers to know their students’ learning styles. so it would be challenge for novice teachers to design many differnt kinds of activities before they giving a leasson. however, we still have to keep in mind that we have to meet every student’s requirements. at least, the easiest thing we can do is designing different activities at different teaching points. Gradually,we as beginners will know which activities are much effevtive in our classes.
Very helpful information about the second language learners. After reading, I have two concerns. The first is that whether the students themselves know which type they belong to. In my opinion, only the students themselves know what they really like and need can we teachers conduct a lesson according to individual differences. But the fact is most of them don’t have a comprehensive understanding of their own learning habbits. It is better for their future study. After all, there is one day they must learn by themselves. And second, it is difficult to control such a class containing so many activities. Once the students heard there would be a game or something like that, they would get really excited. It is hard for a new teacher to pull students back from the exciting activities.
I get to know some specific ways of incorporating different types of students into one lesson from this article. We as prospective teachers need to have this kind of consideration and try our best to not leave out any one student.I also find many useful teaching resources in this web. Thank U,Eudora,ESLKid Stuff.
As a pre-service teacher, I find it very helpful to know these types of learners. We can cater for students’ needs and teach in the way they like to be taught and regard them as diversified humans. In fact, their interests are not exclusive and there is lots of overlapping among the types. Tactile learners love games and craft activities, so do kinesthetic learners. So we can design those activities that can involve as many students as possible. Teachers should try to observe students and recognize their learning types so that they can explain English in a simpler way.
It is also important for teachers to know some classroom management skills in case students are out of control during activities. I hope it can improve my teaching in the future.thanl k you.
I really have learned a lot from this article. It has just reflected one of the most important factors, the individual differences, we should take into consideration when we are teaching. Every students has different learning attitudes, styles, strategies and even personalities. As a teacher, when we are about to having a lesson, we should take every child as an individual, choosing the best way of absorbing knowledge for every one. This is very difficult in large classes. But it is possible. Since I will be an English teacher in a few years, I will try my best to let the children learn as much as possible. And the large amount of activities mentioned in the article will be sure to help me a lot in selecting and designing classroom activities. Thanks!!!
It`s the first time for me to realize the types of ESL learners so specifically and individually, which will be sure to make a tremendous impact on my futher teaching especially when the teaching plan is designed.Thanks for Eudora, my teacher sharing such excellent article with us.Thanks a lot!
As an teacher educator I find this article very helpful and I plan to share with my students, some of whom are already excellent teachers and some are becoming English teachers soon. Hope they’ll find it helpful too!
I am teaching English at senior secondary level and this new insight will help me tailor my future lesson plans effectively. Thanks a lot.
I am teaching English language to ESL students. And i am glad find this article, it helps me to understand my different types of students/learners. More Power!
very informative and applied in the all the ages and grades .
Thanks alot for this an important information
I knew about the Three types of learners but in this article I came to know about 6.That is wonderful!Thank you
We get a lot of educational knowledge concerned with different types of learners. Thus, we can apply these knowledge in our classrooms. Thanks a lot.
How to do all this with highschool children. Is it possible to use all activities in 30 min lecture.
These activities are generally aimed at younger learners but the same principles apply for all ages. When teaching any age group and any class size it is worth keeping in mind the different learner types that you may have. Activities that will engage those different learner types will help them to learn better, so it is always worth giving consideration to these learner types. In your case, a 30 minute lecture may be quite difficult, especially if the class is a traditional lecture style lesson. These lessons are generally favorable for Auditory Learners as they like to learn by listening to the class, but by providing different stimulus (e.g. lots of colorful visuals for the Visual Learners, practical activities for Tactile and Kinesthetic Learners, etc.) you can really help make the lessons become easier to follow for all of your students.
this is a very insightful article. i am the director of development for the ESL program at an international school in thailand. i am currently working on revamping our current program and developing a language lab. i will certainly incorporate the information i have obtained from this article into my developmental plans. thank you.