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    • #8654


      Which type of learner do you think you are, visual, kinaesthetic or auditory? Why do you think this?

      Post your ideas in a reply below and comment on other teachers’ ideas.

    • #8680

      Steven Herder

      In the past few years, I have read or seen in a few different places that this idea of visual, kinaesthetic or auditory learners (VAK) has been debunked.

      To whatever degree you agree or disagree, I still think this concept can be a very useful tool for teachers. What I mean is that, as teachers, we tend to all do a few things the same:

      – We teach the way we were taught
      – We teach in ways that appeal to us personally as learners
      – We have a 3 or 4 core activity types that we reuse over and over again.

      Considering the VAK differences allows us to mix things up better for our students. Certainly, there is truth to the idea “different strokes for different folks” and the wider the range of activities that we present, the more students we can get to join us.

      I am definitely auditory in that I need to hear things to process them. I’m visual in that I color code almost everything, and I’m kinesthetic in that I love collaboration and group work. I love to do stuff and “learn by doing”.

    • #8721

      Rhett Burton

      I don’t think of myself as a visual, kinaesthetic, or auditorial learner.

      I think I am a learner of varies degrees of knowledge, skills, competence, and attitudes towards a situation or challenge. I believe we learn through a full range of senses that are used to solve specific tasks. When we listen to a song, we build aural skills. When we learn a series of actions, we learn kinaesthetic skills. I believe that visual skills are one of the most used techniques when teaching because we rely so heavily on sight.

      I think this because I believe that our bodies are sensors that collect data around us and make decisions based on our experiences and reflections on how we ‘handled’ those experiences.

      • #8743

        Barring physical impairment, we all learn visually, kinaesthetically, and auditorily although we may have a preference to use particular modalities for any given activity or situation. Hence we might not always rely mostly on the same modality or modalities for everything.

        Similarly, we can make use of all our senses; and even if we mostly rely on sight, sound, and touch, both taste and especially smell can evoke strong memories. One interesting area of study is the use of our imagination and association memory to learn new things, even if we don’t actually physically experience them at the time. For example, if we picture a lemon and imagine how we’re holding it. Feeling the texture of the skin, then bringing it closer to our nose to smell the outside first before putting it down. We can then imagine taking a knife, cutting into it, and hearing the sound of that lemon, and the smell as some juice squirts out. Picking it up and smelling it even more strongly, we then lick and taste the bitter sourness, noting now that we may be salivating even though there actually is no lemon!


    • #8749

      If you’re interested in NeuroELT, check out Mind BrainED Think Tank +, a FREE publication originating from a number of iTDi Faculty:


    • #8770

      Barbara Bujtás

      I cannot decide which learner type I am. I took a survey which says I’m a visual learner but I’m quite skeptical.
      Also, I’m quite puzzled because..if we break activities down into smaller parts–nothing seems to be only visual, auditory or tactile.
      Let’s see writing, for example. Taking notes has always been my way to remember data necessary for exams. But is it the visual element that helps or the movement of my hand as I write?
      I love videos that explain things, however, I don’t always look at the screen, just listen to them.
      I tend to agree with Rhett there, the more senses or the bigger amount of sensory memory is involved, the better.

      • #8773

        Good point/question about whether or not writing is considered visual as well as kinaesthetic. The popular VARK model includes R for both reading/writing, and, like you, most educators appreciate that learning is multimodal so it’s valuable to have a multisensory approach.

    • #10877

      Masatoshi Shoji

      Interesting observation
      – We teach the way we were taught
      – We teach in ways that appeal to us personally as learners
      – We have a 3 or 4 core activity types that we reuse over and over again.
      As I occasionally learn other foreign languages, I strongly agree with the above although I might not use them entirely.
      However, deep in my mind, they are stuck somewhere.

    • #10878

      Masatoshi Shoji

      Probably, auditory in most times, and visual in some times.
      Kinaesthetic may be never.

      These days, I use youtube to learn many things.

    • #12894

      Rhett Burton

      I took a personality test from 16 personalities two years ago.

      Link-> https://www.16personalities.com

      At that time, it gave me some interesting perspective into why, what, and how I live and formulate my teaching principles.

      Here is a brief walkthrough of what my test said.

      A Protagonist (ENFJ) is a person with the Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging personality traits. These warm, forthright types love helping others, and they tend to have strong ideas and values. They back their perspective with the creative energy to achieve their goals.

      In the context of this thread, I believe that I try to be a more empathic teacher who tries to understand my learners. I work hard to support my beliefs by collecting evidence that showcases what I do and don’t do. I am often worried that my biases impede my ability to learn from others. I am becoming more informed in SLA, which allows me to see and understand the value of approaches, techniques, exercises, activities, and tasks that nurture my learners’ experience. Also, I wonder if my personality is conflicting with my ability to do more pair-work in class.

    • #12942

      Jessica Sohn

      I think I’m more a visual and kinaesthetic learner.
      When I was in school, if classes went too long, I couldn’t sit still for a long time. Liked to move around. Always took notes, went into doodling. I say visual because I like colors and fashion. Well understand charts too. But as some teachers mentioned above, I agree that it’s hard to exactly define learner type. I also see myself with a well mix of all three now. 🙂

      • #12947

        That’s definitely reflected in your teaching approach and I can relate well.

        To help ensure a balanced approach, I find it useful to look at my lesson activities to see which of the 4 skills are being used LSRW and which are predominantly visual, auditory, or kinaesthetic, then make adjustments if needed, plus consider individual-, pair-, and group-work to better suit the extraverts and introverts in class.

    • #13309

      scott gray

      I am all but predominantly more visual I think. Although going by my gut feeling is a close second. I tend to visualize dialogues and watch them in my head. I have carried on whole conversations and tried out a few different responses inside before speaking out loud at times. So we need to use all and we do but we need to watch ourselves that we don’t get too stuck in one system. Two of the guys who helped create NLP told of how California paid them to figure out why some kids were bad spellers and they found most good spellers use the same system of seeing the word in their head and then checking how it sounds or feels when spelling. They said most of the Kids who were labeled as bad spellers were trying to sound it out the words or the teachers weren’t picking up they were spelling aurally and not visually. So think different styles we all do but in some ways it’s useful but not for all and more useful at times not all the time.

    • #17032

      Rhett Burton

      I wager that I am a kinaesthetic. I have to learn from my experience before I know it enough to express myself how I understand it . I also feel that a lot of my classes stem from this belief. I tend to get students to learn how to do it through listening and speaking then some reading and writing skills after they have experience with the activity.

      I try to make my lessons multi-modal with various ways to stimulate the senses to gather knowledge about what they perceive. I am very interested in this topic because there is a lot of rich input that can be used through dogmatic teaching methods by describing the present situation and interacting through the content using the senses.

      Playing Cards
      These days, I have been watching kids hold cards. They hold them too tight. They bend them. They make sounds with them. They place them in their hands with strange sequences. There is a lot to observe from the way they sequence the cards in their hands. I am sure a poker player would agree.

      • #17047

        It’s worth looking back through the posts above and also review some of the insightful articles, especially surrounding the great debate on learning styles. I definitely see the range of modalities you provide for in your classes, with particular consideration for YLs and their need for more kinaesthetic and tactile approaches, notably learning by doing.

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