Learning Styles

You Can’t Put the Same Shoe on Every Foot. (Publeis Syrus)

Each human being is distinctly different. Each of us has our own personal taste, style, opinions, likes and dislikes. These differences are carried over into the way we learn. All of us can learn using any of our senses but each of us does have a preferred learning style.

For example, some people remember everything they hear in a classroom.  But when that person sits down to read a textbook, the letters on the page blend together, interest is lost, and nothing is remembered. 

Or, there are people who remember things they read or see illustrated on a page.  But if tell that person something important, you better be certain that she is writing it down because it seems that everything she hears goes in one ear and out the other.

Read the descriptions of Preferred Learning Styles below, and identify the one which most closely describes you.

Preferred Learning Style Areas

Auditory Language

These students learn from hearing words spoken. They may vocalize or move their lips or throat while reading, particularly when striving to understand new material. They will be more capable of understanding and remembering words or facts that could only have been learned by hearing.

Visual Language

These students learn well from seeing words in books, on the chalkboard, charts or workbooks. They may even write down words that are given orally, in order to learn by seeing them on paper. These students remember and use information better if they have read it.

Auditory Numerical

These students learn from hearing numbers and oral explanations. Remembering telephone and locker numbers is easy, and they may be successful with oral number games and puzzles. They may do just as well without their math book, for written materials are not important. They can probably work problems in their heads and may say numbers out loud when reading.

Visual Numerical

These students must see numbers on the board, in a book, or on a paper in order to work with them. They are more likely to remember and understand math facts when they are presented visually but don’t seem to need as much oral explanation.

Auditory – Visual – Kinesthetic Combination

The A-V-K students learn best by experience, doing, and self-motivation. They profit from a combination of stimuli. The manipulation of material, along with accompanying sight and sounds (words and numbers seen and heard) will aid their learning. They may not seem to understand or be able to concentrate or work unless totally involved. They seek to handle, touch, and work with what they are learning.

Individual Learner

These students get more work done alone. They think best and remember more when the learning has been done alone. They care more for their own opinions than for the ideas of others. Teachers do not have much difficulty keeping them from over-socializing during class.

Group Learner

These students prefer to study with at least one other student and will not get as much done alone. They value others’ opinions and preferences. Group interaction increases their learning and later recognition of facts. Class observation will quickly reveal how important socializing is to them.

Oral Expressive

These students prefer to tell what they know. They talk fluently, comfortably, and clearly. Teachers may find that they know more than written tests show. They are probably less shy than others about giving reports or talking to the teacher or classmates. The muscular coordination involved in writing may be difficult for them. Organizing and putting thoughts on paper may be too slow and tedious a task for them.

Written Expressive

These learners can write fluent essays and good answers on tests to show what they know. They feel less comfortable, perhaps even stupid, when oral answers or reports are required. Their thoughts are better organized on paper than when they are given orally.


Source: Tindall, L.W., et.al, (1980). Puzzled about education special needs students?: A handbook on modifying vocational curricula for handicapped students. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Vocational Studies Center, University of Wisconsin.

Reproduced with permission from Center on Education and Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison.