auditory learner

Multiple Intelligence Learning Styles: Auditory Learner

Part 1 of 8 in our Blog Series on Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences

An auditory learner has the greatest potential to learn new information when they hear it spoken out loud, versus just reading about something or watching it being demonstrated. Among the school-aged population, it is estimated that 30% have an auditory learning style. In this post we will go over the strengths of the auditory learner, as well as some strategies which complement the auditory learning style.

Auditory Learner: Strengths & Strategies

In general, auditory learners will remember 75% of the information they hear during a lesson at school. Since they learn best through spoken information, auditory learners enjoy participating in classroom discussion. Due to understanding information best when it’s heard out loud, auditory learners typically do not have to be told information more than once in order to recall it. Auditory learners also excel at delivering verbal information in this form on presentations and speeches.

If your child is an auditory learner, here are some strategies you can practice with him or her:

  • Group Study: Encourage your child to study with friends so they can all discuss the information out loud.
  • Repetition: If your child is struggling to grasp certain bits of information, try having them read it out loud over and over again until it sticks.
  • Record: If your child has a device capable of recording sound, such as an iPod, have them record audio notes if important pieces of information so they can hear it out loud again when they need to.
  • Read: Reading is an important part of learning for any child, but for auditory learners it’s especially important for them to read out loud when possible.

In addition to these teaching strategies, it’s possible you may also have the school teachers work together with your child on strategies that best compliment his or her learning style. For example, if your child struggles with producing written reports, perhaps it can be arranged that your child produces an oral presentation on the subject to demonstrate their learning.

Struggles of the Auditory Learner

The most counterintuitive way to teach an auditory learner how to do anything is to present them with a set of written instructions and then telling them to follow it. It’s also challenging for auditory learners to be shown how to do something without being told what’s being done and why.

Auditory learners are naturally inquisitive; not shy to ask questions when something is not immediately understood. That means when assigning a task to someone with an auditory learning style you may have to explain ‘why’ something has to be done as well as telling them ‘what’ to do.

It may be a challenge to find somewhere with an appropriate noise level for auditory learners. Auditory learners are easily distracted when the setting they’re in is either too loud or too quiet. You may find your child is frequently commenting on the noise level when studying or completing homework.

Conclusion

If you would like to learn more about your child’s learning style, we encourage you to have them try some of our free games which explore the full range of a child’s multiple intelligences.

The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. It suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on IQ testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults.

This is part 1 in our blog series covering all 8 of Howard Gardner’s proposed 8 intelligences.

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