Learning a language can feel like a real challenge, no doubt about it! But fear not! The key to conquering this linguistic adventure lies in uncovering your very own learning style. Yep, we all have our secret sauce for absorbing knowledge in the best way possible. Some of us thrive through the written word, while others groove to the beat of audio. Yet others need to see information to believe it. It’s never too late to uncover your unique learning style. Once you discover it, you can start using it to optimize your language studies—you’ll be unstoppable!
To understand yourself better, it’s useful to know your learning style.
Knowing how your brain processes information most effectively, as well as which way you prefer to learn, can help you make the most of every study session. When you understand how you best absorb and retain information, you can tailor your learning approach to suit your unique strengths.
It’s like having a personalized roadmap to success, making your learning journey smoother and more effective.
So, what are the learning styles?
The most common models place people fall into one of the following three learning styles or learning preferences. There are:
- visual learners: who learn most efficiently by seeing information,
- auditory learners: who best pick up information that they hear,
- and kinesthetic learners: also called tactile or manual learners, who learn best by touching or “doing.”
Not sure where you stand? No problem! Let’s take a closer look at the different learning styles and what sets them apart. Once you’ve got a handle on your own style, get ready for some seriously efficient language learning!
💡 MosaTip: Pssst! If you already know you’re a visual or auditory learner rather than a read/write learner or a tactile learner, scroll down to the end of the article for a video summary!
Many different frameworks have been developed to describe the various learning styles (it’s also worth noting that not everyone agrees that they are relevant, or even exist). We based this article on the VA(R)K learning style model, the most prevalent theory at the time of writing.
It’s also helpful to know that, according to research carried out by VARK, most people actually fit into more than one of these learning styles. So, don’t be afraid to mix and match the activities we recommend, to keep yourself engaged!
First up are the visual learners. They have a knack for absorbing information through maps, diagrams, charts, graphs, and all those fun symbols like arrows, circles, and bulleted lists that represent ideas.
Now, some of these learners find their sweet spot in the realm of the written word. We’re still under the visual learning umbrella, but this subset of people loves diving into text—reading, writing, essays, manuals, reports, you name it!
If you’re part of this text-loving bunch, you’re probably all about PowerPoint, lists, newspapers, dictionaries, quotes, and, of course, the magic of words! Some call this 4th “semi-category” of visual learners the read/write learners.
If you’re a visual learner, here are a few ways to get the most out of your language study sessions:
- use flashcards to learn new words,
- use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to help with pronunciation woes,
- try to visualize things you hear or read,
- write down key words, ideas, or instructions,
- draw pictures to help you explain new concepts, then explain the pictures,
- use color coding in your notes, such as for different vocabulary categories or grammatical tenses.
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Now, let’s meet the auditory, or aural, learners—the folks who thrive by listening to information. For them, reading aloud and reciting important concepts are helpful habits that come naturally.
When an auditory learner is in the zone, they dive deep into words and sounds. They tend to think in sequences and decipher meaning through patterns and procedures.
So, if you’re more of an auditory learner, here’s what you should put at the top of your list of learning resources:
- verbal analogies,
- catchy songs,
- chatting with a language partner or practicing self-conversation,
- and even flashcards you can listen to and repeat, or read aloud.
I also recommend recording yourself speaking and practicing new vocabulary and then listening back to your recording. This is especially helpful for pronunciation and intonation practice.
You could use the built-in recording device on your phone… Or, better yet, use your MosaLingua app, which has this fantastic exercise integrated right into the learning path whenever you learn a new word or phrase!
If you’re an aural learner, you might also love MosaSeries. It’s a thrilling MosaLingua original audio series (for you visual learners out there—after you listen to an episode through once, you’ll also get the script!) about a man who wakes up in the hospital with no memory of who he is or how he got there. It’s available for learners of Spanish, French, Italian, German, and English.
Last but definitely not least, let’s talk about kinesthetic learners. These individuals have a unique way of understanding and retaining information—they thrive when there’s some physical interaction involved. They can easily recall things they’ve experienced firsthand, but might struggle a bit with things they’ve only seen or heard.
We also call them tactile learners. They’ve got a thing for touching, moving, building, or drawing as they learn. You might even catch them animatedly talking with their hands. And sitting still for too long? Not their cup of tea!
For kinesthetic learners, communication through touch is like a secret language, and a little pat on the back goes a long way in motivating them.
If you think you’re a hands-on learner, check out these tips to make your learning experience more fruitful:
- write down what you want to say before a conversation, and take notes while you listen,
- create your own flashcards on Post-it notes and stick them on objects around your home,
- integrate language learning into the activities you already enjoy doing to associate new words with concrete actions,
- act out stories that include the vocabulary you’re learning,
- and if you’re a MosaLingua learner, take advantage of your app’s hands-free mode and review your vocabulary on the go, as you walk through your favorite park, for example.
I hope I’ve been able to give you an idea of how understanding your learning style can be beneficial for making language learning more fun and effective. So, whether you’re trying to learn a new language for personal or professional reasons, take the time to discover your learning style and adapt your methods to suit your needs!
Explore your learning style with this video by Abbe, a MosaLingua English teacher. You can turn on subtitles if you need them by clicking the gear button ⚙️ in the bottom right-hand corner of the video.
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