Auditory Learning Style

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How to reach your students with an auditory learning style! These are best practices and effective techniques that really work.

While most students will either have a visual or kinesthetic learning style as their primary preferred mode of learning, there are students who truly learn best by hearing.

This individual learning style is characterized by strong language skills and an ability to remember conversational details.

Written information is often difficult for them to create meaning from until they can hear a teacher or another student speak it.

auditory learning style in the classroom infographic
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Auditory learners use active listening skills to interpret:

  • tone of voice
  • speed, pitch and other nuances of speech in order to make meaning
  • process information in the order it is presented

Clear lessons with specific objectives are critical.

Use the observation and instructional strategies below to help you identify and effectively teach your students who are auditory learners.


Instructional Strategies for Auditory Learners

The table below offers 10 specific techniques for students who learn best by listening.

Use audiotapes whenever available
Encourage reading the text aloud
Present information in a progressive, logical order
Allow the use of multi-media for recording lectures
Provide opportunities for quick discussions with "elbow buddies" during floortime
Train students how to work in study-discussion groups
Encourage studying with a friend
Allow presentations of oral reports
Create small groups for discussion of written material
Provide opportunities for repetitive learning with vocabulary acquisition


You may notice that kids with an auditory learning style really struggle with timed tests where they have to write their answers. These students will often perform better if they can respond orally to questions.

When considering seating in the classroom, put auditory learners at the front (think of your seating as an inverted triangle and the base of it is towards where you tend to teach from the most). This will ensure they can hear everything you say and be able to listen happily without straining.

Also, allow these children to read out loud, no matter what grade you teach. It is a natural action for many kids, and some really need to hear their own voices to retain information.


Note: Many researchers are now saying that there really isn't a dominant way of learning for most people - we need a combination of styles to learn best. I do know that I have a strong auditory learning style along with the need for visualization.

The best route, as always, is to use common sense, a variety of teaching methods, and don't forget to frequently check that your students are retaining information (it's surprising how easy it is to forget to do that one simple thing!).



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