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Differences between Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic Learning Styles

Generally, there are three different learning styles recognized as the most prevalent ones. Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic learning styles (also known as VAK) utilize the 3 main sensory receivers mentioned above which determine the dominant learning style. Due to it being simple, the VAK system is most probably among the most popular models these days. The model assumes that among the three learning styles, one is dominant and results in acquiring more information than the other two styles of learning. However, the model is not always the same for different assignments – a person who learns may prefer one style for one type of task, and another style for some other task. Retrospectively, the U.S. education system “forces” different styles into different age groups. New information is presented to kindergarten children to 3rd graders in a kinesthetic manner while 4 to 8 graders acquire information in a visual manner. And lastly, from grade 9 to college, students are taught using the auditory style.


How to Determine which Learning Style Your Child Prefers?

If your child is moving its lips while reading or even reading out loud, it is most probably an auditory learner. These children are often much better in verbal communication, and they talk and hear clearly. Teaching a child that is an auditory learner involves starting every material with an introduction of what is coming. The session should be finished with a conclusion of the information that was presented. Teachers should introduce activities on an auditory level, like brainstorming. It is also important for these children to verbalize questions regarding the lecture, in addition to the teacher forming a discussion environment between themselves and the children.

Learners that are visual use two channels to acquire new information – linguistic and spatial. Visual-linguistic learners like to learn by reading books and writing assignments. Even if they read it only once, these learners can remember information they have written down. Visual-spatial learners acquire new information more easily through charts, videos, presentations and so on. So, in order for a visual child to learn successfully, it is crucial to use above-mentioned tools and as many visual aids as you can imagine. A teacher can even use handouts, but they have to make sure that blank spaces are left for the students to take notes.

And lastly, there is the kinesthetic learner. He or she learns best with touching and moving. These learners also use two channels – the kinesthetic and tactile channel. The environment of these learners should always be full of external stimulation. If their assignment includes reading a book, they always like to scan through it first in order to get the big picture. Teachers should include music in their lectures, emphasize key facts using highlighters and get the students to visualize completed tasks.

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