The Auditory Learning Style

Auditory learners learn most effectively when they are listening to sounds. They are very good at comprehending, processing, and memorising any information they hear. An auditory learner also finds it easier to understand verbal instructions and solve problems that are presented verbally.

If you have discovered you are an auditory learner, you may be wondering how it affects your life. This article has the answers! We will explain the learning preferences of auditory learners and how they differ to other types of learners. We’ll also share the strengths and weakness of auditory learners before identifying some career paths that are perfect for auditory learners.

How auditory learners are different to other types of learners
Every human being is unique. In addition to looking different and having unique personalities, we also learn and process information differently. Some people prefer to listen while learning, some prefer to look at things while learning, and others like to perform the task they are learning.

Researchers have created categories to represent these three styles of learning — Visual Learning, Auditory Learning, and Kinaesthetic Learning. Most people learn using all three styles, but they tend to have a strong preference for one style.

A person’s dominant style of learning can also change depending on the activity they are performing. It is possible for a person to discover they are an auditory learner when absorbing studying but a kinaesthetic learner when performing a mechanical task.

If you discover your learning style and adapt your lifestyle to match it, you will learn, comprehend, and remember information much more effectively! You be you will also be able to solve problems more easily and communicate more effectively. Here is a short overview of what it means to be an auditory learner and how it differs to other types of learning.

Auditory Learners
The brains of auditory learners are wired in a way that makes it easier to learn, solve problems, and remember information when they are listening to something. They absorb information very easily when they are listening to a lecture or an audio recording. Their brains are also more receptive to learning new information when they listen to music or a person talking. In fact, the presence of most sounds will help them read, think, and work more effectively.

Approximately 30% of all people are auditory learners. This makes it the second most common category of learners, behind visual learners (65%).

You may be an auditory learner if you:
• Prefer to listen to information instead of reading it
• Are a good listener
• Find it easy to remember the items discussed in a lecture or meeting
• Find it easy to remember things if you repeat them verbally a few times
• Enjoy music and drama
• Find it difficult to work in quiet or very loud environments for long periods
• Prefer to call people on the phone instead of emailing or texting them
• Enjoy group discussions and brainstorming sessions
• Work more effectively when listening to music

Strengths of auditory learners
An auditory learner remembers up to 75% of the information they see. They do particularly well when working with audio recordings, lectures, speeches, video recordings, verbal instructions, and group discussions. When an auditory learner listens to a lecture or participates in a discussion, they will remember most of the information mentioned. This is a particularly useful skill for students and business people.

Auditory learners like to talk to themselves or other people as they learn. They are most effective when discussing ideas or sharing information in small groups and fantastic at giving speeches.

If an auditory learner is working in a quiet environment, they will find it harder to retain or process information. They often have to resort to humming to themselves or repeating the things they have learnt out loud. Most auditory learners are excellent conversationalists, thanks to their great listening skills.

How are visual learners different from auditory learners?
Visual learners excel at learning information that is presented visually. They find it easy to absorb anything written on a black board, in a book, on an infographic or on a screen. They can remember pictures and diagrams incredibly well and most visual learners can retain up to 75% of the information they see.

A visual learner can memorise text very quickly, which is something that an auditory learner will struggle with. An auditory learner would prefer to verbalise the items that they are trying to memorise.

Visual learners can find it difficult to memorise information during group meetings, lectures and audio recordings. An auditory learner will gobble this information up like a vacuum! A visual learner will always prefer to read about a new concept or idea, while an auditory learner will prefer to have someone explain it to them verbally.

If a visual learner struggles to understand an idea, they will look for reading material or diagrams to explain it. An auditory learner would prefer to ask questions instead. Auditory learners can easily be distracted by loud noises, while visual learners can usually ignore it and remain focussed on their work.

Kinaesthetic Learners
Kinaesthetic learners like to learn while physically active. They are extremely skilled at memorising mechanical tasks and solving problems that involve the use of their hands. Kinaesthetic learners enjoy using tools and performing experiments because they can move and use their hands while working. They tend to have excellent motor skills and can pick up new skills efficiently. About 5% of people are kinaesthetic learners.

How are kinaesthetic learners different from auditory learners?
Unlike auditory learners, kinaesthetic learners struggle to learn from verbal instructions and lectures. They prefer to see a task performed and then repeat the process with their hands.

A kinaesthetic learner benefits from moving around while learning. That is why they are more inclined to fidget and struggle to sit still. Many kinaesthetic learners like to throw a ball at a wall or walk around while brainstorming or discussing something. Auditory learners can learn and communicate effectively while sitting still.

Kinaesthetic learners won’t feel engaged in group discussions unless they are moving their body. Auditory learners, on the other hand, will be right in their element — absorbing information rapidly, communicating easily and being mentally engaged, whether they are still or moving.

The tasks that auditory learners find easy
Some of the tasks that auditory learners find very easy include:

• Listening to lectures or speeches
An auditory learner will absorb, process, and remember information very effectively during a speech or lecture. They will be able to understand other people’s ideas and create their own ideas during a lecture or speech.
• Learning languages
Auditory learners can pick up languages faster than other types of learners.
• Working in moderately noisey environments
Auditory learners can learn in locations with people talking or music playing. Other types of learners may struggle in these environments.
• Dealing with people on the phone
They find it easy to carry out conversations on the phone and retain more information from phone conversations compared to visual or kinaesthetic learners.
• Listening to verbal instructions
An auditory learner can listen to verbal instructions and retain almost all of the information they are told. This makes them good at tasks like receiving directions when traveling or taking verbal orders from other people.
• They can collaborate well in group discussions
Auditory learners are at their best when participating in a group discussion. They will be fully engaged — absorbing the words that others are saying and contributing to the discussion.
• Giving speeches and leading discussions
An auditory learner will usually do well at speeches or leading discussion groups.

The tasks that auditory learners find difficult
The kinds of tasks that auditory learners may struggle with include:

• Working in silent or extremely noisy environments
Auditory learners prefer conversational environments that are not too noisy or too quiet.
• Reading from textbooks
Auditory learners aren’t as good at learning from textbooks as visual learners. They may retain less information from reading and sometimes have to repeat sections of text. Auditory learners can verbalise parts of a text to improve their understanding of it.
• Reading maps
Reading maps is another difficult task for auditory learners.
• Making graphs and charts
While visual learners love working with graphs and charts, auditory learners will struggle with them.

How auditory learners should adapt their communications with other people
Your preferred learning style can have a dramatic impact on how well you can communicate and collaborate with other people. If another person has a different learning style, you may have to adjust the way you communicate with them. If you are communicating with another auditory learner, try the following techniques:

• Have face-to-face conversations whenever possible
• Use videos and audio recordings to share information
• Use the phone to communicate
• Go over the details of projects in group meetings and discuss any finer points verbally
• Speak clearly and precisely
• When speaking, repeat or emphasise the most important concepts
• Make recordings of group meetings that you can listen to or share with colleagues

If you are communicating with a person who is a visual learner:
• Create written transcripts of any meetings
• Incorporate whiteboards into business meetings or study groups, so you can write down any key points
• Use emails to communicate
• Use Mind Mapping when working with other people on a project.
• Use powerpoint presentations to combine images with audio so you reach different kinds of learners in the audience
• Look them in the face when talking
• Use colours to highlight any important terms that you are talking about

If you are communicating with a person who is a kinaesthetic learner:
• Have practical demonstrations which are hands-on
• Present information in an environment where people are free to move around
• Encourage kinaesthetic learners to take their own notes instead of giving them printed material
• Incorporate multimedia sources
• Use activities that involve drawing, touching, or building

Making the most of your learning potential
Here are a few techniques that are proven to help auditory learners absorb and process new information.

Study with friends
The best way for an auditory learner to study is to talk about the things they are learning. Run a small study group where you study the material you are learning, then discuss the key points.

Recite information out loud
Auditory learners can vocalise information they want to remember. This works for everything from the location of your car keys to an important piece of information for a test. When flipping through a book, read the chapter titles and headings out loud. Do the same when studying with flash cards.

Create tape recordings of important information
Many auditory learners benefit from recording important information on a tape recorder or on their mobile phone. The act of vocalising and recording the information helps you to remember it and lets can review it at a later date. This technique works extremely well when studying for a test. You can also record any meetings or classes that you attend.

Talk to people instead of emailing or texting
An auditory learner processes, comprehends and memorises the information discussed verbally more efficiently than written information. This means you will find it easier to learn from a face-to-face meeting or phone call than a static written document.
What types of careers are ideal for auditory learners?
Auditory learners have many exciting career prospects available to them. Here are just a few:

Translator
Because auditory learners are very good at listening and understanding the spoken word, they make very good translators.

Speech pathologist
A speech pathologist helps people deal with speech and communication problems. Because an auditory learner is highly skilled at verbal communication, they are very effective as speech pathologists.

Counsellor or Social Worker
An auditory learner’s ability to communicate well also comes in handy if they are a counsellor or social worker. They are better equipped to understand what a person is saying and to provide help.

Lawyer
Although lawyers spend a great deal of their time pouring through legal texts, they must also have excellent verbal communication skills. An auditory learner has the right skills for listening to testimony and arguing legal matters in a court of law.

Journalist
Journalists must have exceptional communication skills. An auditory learner’s ability to comprehend the verbal statements of the people they are talking to helps them succeed in this profession.

Therapist/psychiatrist
A therapist or psychiatrist spends most of their time listening to a patient talk about their thoughts. An auditory learner has the perfect skillset to listen to their patient and understand the meaning behind their words.

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