Do you know your learning style?
While it’s common for people to use a combination of styles to learn different things, there’s probably one style that works best for you.
In the article 7 Essential Habits to Help You Master a New Language, we talked a bit about the importance of knowing your learning style. When you know how you learn best, you’re able to choose study activities that suit you, which will boost your chances of success.
Think of it this way: If you’re someone who hates to read, studying a textbook might not work well for you. Not only will you be wasting your time, but you’ll also become frustrated at your slow progress.
Of course, understanding your learning style is important no matter what you’re studying, but today we’re focusing on English-language practice.
Read on to learn more about three learning styles—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic—and check out some real-life activities you can try for that extra boost in your English practice!
If you’re a visual learner, you learn and memorize by seeing. This could mean reading or writing words on a page, but it might also include watching videos or looking at graphs, symbols, and pictures. Visual learners have a hard time remembering oral instructions.
- Watch English movies and TV shows (with subtitles first, and then without). Take notes and write a summary.
- Read English blogs on topics that interest you.
- Start your own blog about your hobbies or experiences.
- Read English news articles online and write short summaries of each story.
- Keep a journal in which you write about your experiences.
- Read English novels and write chapter summaries.
- Join English discussion groups on Facebook or follow English Twitter accounts.
- Use a lot of color and draw diagrams in your notes.
If you’re part of the auditory group, you learn best by listening. You remember oral information well—paying attention to and understanding a speaker in a lecture hall is no problem for you.
- Listen to English audiobooks.
- Listen to English podcasts on topics that interest you.
- Use the speech-to-text function on your phone to practice speaking and pronunciation.
- Do song gapfill activities online: Listen to a song and try to complete the lyrics.
- Try to write your own songs to memorize things like vocabulary or grammar points.
- Listen to English news stories online or on the radio.
- When reading, try reading aloud to yourself.
- Discuss study topics with friends or classmates.
If you’re a kinesthetic learner, you learn by doing. Instead of being told what to do, you’d rather try it yourself; you want hands-on experience. Kinesthetic learners also usually like to move around while learning.
- Volunteer at an English event.
- Join an English social club or go to English meet-up events.
- Join a sports team, drama club, or dance class where the instructions are in English.
- Use flashcards or online review games.
- Play English board games or trivia games with friends.
- Listen to English recordings (pronunciation lessons, for example) as you go for a walk.
- Try music! Some kinesthetic learners focus best with background noise.
When you’re learning English, you want results as quickly as possible. Whether you’re learning by distance education, using an app, or attending a classroom-based course, you can always benefit from some extra practice. Figure out your learning style, try some of the above suggestions, and watch your skills grow!