Some people are auditory learners: people who learn by hearing. They might read something or do it, but it’s not real for them until they hear it. They might read a textbook chapter four times and not get it, yet understand after one explanation from the teacher.
Like other learning types, auditory learners can be in conjunction with other types, and it has subtypes that aren’t acknowledged by most treatments of the topic. Auditory learning is, however, one of the primary learning types, roughly equal with visual learners for its pervasiveness.
Some audio learners might find discussion better than strict listening or speaking, with it as a combination of the two. Pick discussion-based classes when or if you have a choice. See if you can find classmates willing to discuss what you learned in class, or friends who will chat about concepts you need to know to help you learn them well.
Heed what others say. Take very close notice to whatever the teacher says in class, and when possible, study from others’ speech. See if you can find classmates who learn better by speaking; maybe one will be willing to speak loudly enough for you to hear.
Read your lesson out loud. Pay attention to what you’re saying; hearing yourself say it can stimulate learning. Especially do this if you only have something written to work with, like a book. Reading aloud while researching for a paper might also help you best process it. It needn’t be loud; the only one who needs to hear you is you, unless you’re helping a listener study.
If your teacher allows it, bring a tape recorder to class. Record your teacher if possible, and if not, you can always record yourself reading your material. You can listen to this in the car or when convenient, though you’ll probably have the best results if you listen to it for the second time within 24 hours. Listen to the recording as many times as necessary. If your teacher rambles, make your own concise recorded versions of the notes so you’re studying just what you need.
When listening to or reading something, deliberately resay it in your head. Don’t just be a sieve—catch what’s said and deliberately think that thing. For example, if your Spanish teacher says at one point that acabar de plus and infinitive verb means “to have just finished” doing that action, think that to yourself as if you’re in the middle of trying to translate it.
This isn’t strictly a visual method. Find a film documentary or TV program talking about what you’re trying to learn. This can help auditory learners with a secondary learning type of colored visual or, if you end up making your own videos for watching to study, kinesthetic. Can’t find a show on your topic? Check online; the myriad of free videos on the Internet might have what you’re seeking.
This will primarily help those auditory learners who also learn well from motion. Yo-yos produce a buzzing sound while twirling on the string. It might be enough white noise to help you study, especially if you’re kinesthetic; chances are, if you’re yo-yoing, you’ll be walking, too.
Auditory learners have the advantage in most classrooms. They learn the most from lecture, and many teaching styles cater to this learning style. That doesn’t mean that all do, nor that auditory learners won’t still have to work to learn. It’ll just be a bit easier for them, sometimes, then for others.
But they still have to work.
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