As more students, teachers, and parents begin to emphasize the importance of learning styles, learners empower themselves to be more successful. Understanding how you learn is a crucial part of being a lifelong learner, though it can be a struggle to first determine how you learn best—and then act on it.
If you’re an auditory learner, you may find traditional classroom setups in which there is a lecturer beneficial to your process, and then struggle when you’re studying alone. Fear not! There are plenty of ways auditory learners can tailor their study routines for maximum success.
While auditory learners benefit from hearing material read aloud, they can be especially successful when they’re able to repeat information and hear it for themselves. They’ll tend to remember tone, especially if they’re the one saying it. Sure, you may feel silly repeating information when you’re in a room alone, but it can help secure it in your mind.
Similarly, you may also ask your teacher for permission to record a classroom lecture. By hearing it yet again, you’ll have an easier time committing it to memory.
Grab a friend
Because repeating a lecture can only get you so far, auditory learners can really benefit from studying with a friend. The collaborative process of repeating information can be helpful, especially if your friend is also an auditory learner. By grouping up, you can hold discussions, quiz each other, or read the text aloud.
Variations of peer tutoring can work well for auditory learners also, so don’t be afraid to find other students who are interested in a study group.
Keep it quiet
As an auditory learner, you’ll want a study space that is relatively free from audible competition. This means turning the television off and (depending upon the situation/learner) monitoring your music. It will be important that you’re able to read and hear yourself read, so quiet is often best.
Your study area should also allow for you to make noise, however—a library may not be the best choice for learners who need to read aloud, listen to lectures, or discuss material with others.
Check with your teacher
Learners sometimes forget that teachers are often willing to accommodate different learning styles in unexpected ways. While this doesn’t mean assuming a teacher will be fully onboard for your out-of-the-box thinking, it can’t hurt to ask.
Find out if there are accommodations that can be made. Perhaps your teacher can provide video resources to supplement learning or will accept your essay in an audio format. Maybe he or she is willing to be recorded or have audio lectures available—either way, you’ll be better off asking permission rather than forgiveness in this case.
Today’s learners have a potential advantage over learners of past generations—we’ve got tons of technology at our fingertips. As an auditory learner, you’re in a great place to take advantage of the many tools available to you.
Podcasts are a great way to reinforce learning and can be great supplements for the materials presented in class. They’re usually free, easy to access, and portable. There are also audio recorders, text-to-speech programs, and other helpful websites available at little to no cost. Find out what resources might be available to you and try a number of them (even some paid services offer free trials) to see what works best for you.
The bottom line
While teachers are doing their best to accommodate most learning styles, you’re ultimately responsible for your own learning. Work with the teacher to establish a study setup that works for both of you, paying attention to the things you know you need as a learner.
Learning is often about experimenting, and this is true for all learning styles. By being open to new experiences, you’ll be able to tailor your auditory learning study routine for maximum success!
Heather Hamilton is a contributing writer for Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.