Magazine topic: 
Life around the world
Total votes: 91

How learners learn

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by : 
DanielT

When I was younger, I never paid any attention to my learning process - I just did what came naturally to me. In school, this meant that I would see a problem and try to solve it in my own way, using the clues given to me by my teachers and trying to piece together the answer, like a jigsaw. When I look back, I can see that this process was organic and relied upon me using the skills I had to their best advantage at the time, but I never felt in control of that process.

Now I am older, I am more aware of the type of learning I take part in; whether it be listening, speaking, reading, writing or doing something, I feel much more aware of the different ways in which I consume information. This means that I am able to direct my learning time in a more effective way, and I can steer it in a way that feels right. Sometimes I find myself reading a news article and wanting to find out more about it, so I will turn on the radio or a podcast to listen to the coverage of the event. Other times, I will speak with my friends about recent sporting events where I currently live and find that I want to write abut them to my friends back home. The point is, I choose which form of communication to use or consume, that suits me best in the individual circumstance.

This is a huge help to me in my profession as a teacher, as it means I can see the signs that other learners project and try my best to create a classroom environment that is comfortable for all. Some learners are visual (they learn by seeing something), which is why I always attempt to demonstrate the idea or intention of an activity visually. I find that using bright colours, clear writing and fun pictures really helps to create these connections in the best way. Other learners are auditory (they learn by hearing something), and for this reason I will explain the activity in words, perhaps even more than once. The words I use are simple and memorable, I speak clearly so that all can hear and I walk around the room to see if all the students understand.

By doing this, I do my best to create an environment that encourages learners to come out of their shell and feel comfortable in the classroom. In time, my hope is that this confidence transmits to a fuller and more meaningful understanding of the subject, and one that is more memorable. Finally, it is designed to begin to allow young learners that first opportunity to do what we all wished to do when we were younger; take control of our own learning.

Language level: 
Discussion

What kind of learner are you? Can you tell what kind of learner your teachers are from the way they teach?

Comments

AnD's picture
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AnD 5 May, 2014 - 06:54

I'm pretty much an auditory learner. I always learn by audio books and courses. I call myself "listen and guess, write and find" learner. Oh yes, the best way of learning for me is to jump to the subject of the next grade, where I understand almost nothing, listen to it twice and then search on Wiki for the words I don't get. That way I learned English - LISTENing to the "Robinson Crusoe" audio book. I had to GUESS how each word is written. After that I WROTE the part of script. And then I went to Wikitionary to FIND words I didn't know. And this is a great way for other subjects, where you have lot's of theory. And the best thing about it, is that you learn faster and things you learn stick up in your head for a long time. Yet some of my friends tryed this method and got angry on me, because it didn't work. Maybe they are just another type of learners, or probably, they were not so excited about the learning process and challenges it makes :D And I just love learning everything and everything! And unfortunatelly, the "write and read" method, as for me, works greatly for only one purpose - to get fast asleep :/ !

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telldili's picture
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telldili 2 May, 2015 - 16:29

For me, studying is a kind of journey. Everyone has his/her own way. As well as many classmates, I have to accomplish a lot of difficult homework, take off a parrot to learn by heart the lessons every day and cram (burn the candle at both ends) for exams. If the results were unexpected, I will be sure of being called" lazy princess". Sometimes I want to give up just because all things are too stressful which put me under pressure. I need help .

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DanielT's picture
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DanielT 6 May, 2014 - 19:38

That`s fantastic, AnD! Thank you so much for sharing your learning experience, I`m sure there are many people who learn in exactly the same way as you :)

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justcricketforme's picture
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justcricketforme 26 January, 2014 - 05:14

I am a keen learner. Always ready to improve my mistakes. My teachers well, some do improve but others ignore. To learn, you should always have this in mind that you are not always right!

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DanielT's picture
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DanielT 28 January, 2014 - 19:12

I totally agree that often the best way to learn is to try, make mistakes and then to learn from those mistakes. It is advice I would give to all language learners, especially for speaking.

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DanielT's picture
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DanielT 13 January, 2014 - 14:38

It sounds like you are a good student! Also, perhaps you are an auditory learner from your comment :)

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Harabeli Supersweet's picture
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Harabeli Supersweet 4 December, 2013 - 15:30

I'm a really good learner. I always pay attention to my teachers, do my homework and study a lot. I'm so curious and it makes me enjoy the proces of learning. I get excited when I learn new things and I want to share them with the others. I don't know what kind of learners are my teachers, maybe because I've never thought about that.

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DanielT's picture
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DanielT 16 December, 2013 - 19:20

Thank you for your response!

It`s great to hear that you enjoy the process of learning, could you explain in more detail that process for me? I think it would be really interesting to know!

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