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Aural Learning 101

Aural Learning 101

Welcome to our What Type Of Learner Am I? series! With each post, we’ll explore one of the eight different learning styles, so you can better support these folks in your life or explore new ways to learn.

In my own experience, understanding the various ways people learn has helped me immensely not only as an educator, but as a mother, wife, and friend. As a parent, it’s easy to get frustrated when you ask your kiddo or partner to complete a chore or task and then either it was done incorrectly or not at all. The initial reaction and question is generally, “why didn’t they listen?” However, the better question to ask is, “how am I explaining or describing this task?” Because more often than not, it isn’t that they weren’t listening, it’s that they hadn’t processed or understood what was asked.

With every person, there comes a different kind of learner. Did you know there are eight unique learning styles? Per psychologist Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, the eight types of learners are visual (spatial), aural (auditory-musical), verbal (linguistic), physical (kinesthetic), logical (mathematical), social (interpersonal), solitary (intrapersonal), and naturalistic. Once you know your learning style, digging into new information and recalling old knowledge becomes way easier. You’ll also be able to adapt to the learning styles of those around you, sharing information in the way that makes the most sense to them.

Today, we’ll be shining a light on aural (auditory-musical) learners. Auditory processing disorders run in my family, so supporting this type of learner is super important to me. 

Aural learners absorb information by listening and understanding it in spoken form. Through hearing tangible directions, statements, and stories, aural learners can put the puzzle pieces together and distill information through conversing with others. Aural learners excel in the lecture hall, where they can retain information from lengthy discussions. 

Where aural learners struggle is gaining new information from textbooks—and in today’s reading-heavy educational path, this makes absorbing information especially difficult for them. Aural learners can combat this by reading their textbook aloud or checking out an audiobook. Hearing the words on the page helps aural learners retain new information. 

Aural learners don’t just benefit from hearing information; they also benefit from discussing it and sharing it with others. An ideal learning session for an aural learner would include a lecture followed by small-group discussions. They also thrive in deep, philosophical talks about a topic as well as back-and-forth debates. 

If you’re an aural learner, there are many tips and tricks that will make adapting to your learning style easier:

1. Tape Yourself Reading

When studying, tape yourself reading some of the material aloud, and play it back to yourself. This will help your brain retain important test topics. 

2. Set Up Discussion Groups

Set up an in-person or online discussion group, where hashing out topics will help you learn new material. When you’re presented with new information, ask questions and repeat key information to allow it to sink in.

3. Podcasts!

Listen to podcasts when you want to dig deeper into a new topic. Try listening to podcasts while you’re walking the dog, at the gym, in the car, or even washing the dishes!

4. Quiet Place

When working or studying, seek out a quiet place, as auditory distractions might throw your study session off course. And don’t be afraid to talk out loud or in the mirror!

There are many ways to support the aural learners in your life. By understanding the learning styles of others as well as your own, sharing information and learning new things becomes a whole lot easier for everyone.

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