Exploring Different Types of Language Learning Styles
By: Ayesha Zaheer
In this globalized world, we need to interact with people that speak different languages. Polyglot people are given preference over monolinguals. Each of us has a different motive behind learning a new language. For instance, if you want to migrate to a different country, want a job in a global company, or want to go for higher education in a foreign land, you might have to learn a language. Moreover, if you want to explore the beauty of the world, learning a language will make your life easier. You can communicate with people without any communication barrier. How can we learn a new language? Learning starts from our birth. In our childhood, we learned to speak by listening. We need all our cognitive senses to learn a language.
Learning a Language Using all the Senses
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain in Leipzig has done research using the artificial language Vimmish. This language is innovated to study how people can memorize foreign language terms. As per researchers, it is easy to learn vocabulary, if the brain can coordinate it with different sensory perceptions. The motor system of the brain plays a vital role. If any one of us listens to a vocabulary in a foreign language and sees the gestures of it then we can more easily memorize the vocabulary. Moreover, it is also helpful to learn from images that depict the words but to a lesser extent. Learning methods that include several senses, especially gestures, are more effective than listening and reading.
Difference Between Spoken and Written Language
Spoken and written language are different because of their distinct purposes. Written language is permanent, the reader can read it again and again if they don’t understand the message. On the other hand, the speech is temporary. Writing is passive, you don’t need to interact directly. It includes computer-based communications like emails and personal written letters. We learn to speak before we can read or write, and it usually starts at home. However, we learn to read and write when we start going to school. Some people think that written language is difficult to learn as compared to speaking. They are wrong in their perception. Oral language is also difficult as written language, however, its complexity varies because of its nature. The main difference is in the use of structures.
The other difference is that sometimes we need to think before speaking but at times we ought to speak spontaneously while thinking on the spot. In conversation, we use simpler constructions like um and er. We repeat different sentences, and sometimes we need to rephrase them. It follows intonation pauses and patterns that also convey attitudes. All these features of oral language help the listener to understand the language. People often feel difficulty in interpreting the language that is read aloud from the notes. Because in this case, the language lacks the fillers and pauses that help the people to understand the spoken language. Talks and lectures that are read from the notes are harder to follow than the content which is delivered by using gestures.
We use embedded phrases and complex clauses for informal communication. In writing, we get time to plan. However, in speaking there is no time for planning. We need to construct the conversation in our minds and go along with it.
Different Types of Language Learning Styles
Every person is unique and possesses a different characteristic, whether it is your preferences or learning capabilities. Some people learn language through a traditional classroom in which the instructor guides them everything. At present nobody has time to go to colleges and schools to learn a language, so many of us prefer to learn a language through the internet. This is not a hard and fast rule because some people learn quickly through traditional practices and some look for digital learning techniques. One size doesn’t fit all is a good phrase to define the different learning capabilities of individuals. People have a distant learning caliber. Therefore, some people learn a language quickly while others take lots of time.
There are four types of learning styles are Visual, Auditory, reading, and writing, and kinesthetic and tactile. Each style has its different features. They cannot work simultaneously for any individual. Some features that you like most cannot be liked by another person. The important thing to note is that each learning style does not supersede the other one. Cognitive abilities like hearing, watching, and experiencing are very important for learning a language. Learning a language is just like studying any subject. To make your learning venture successful, you must explore the right learning style. After exploring the learning style, you must adopt it according to your learning capability. In this way, you will be able to put all your dedication and efforts into learning and will language quickly with less time. Let’s dive into the different types of language learning styles.
People adopt a visual learning style if they give preference to seeing and observing things. They learn better through diagrams, pictures, and visual media such as videos, films, colors, and flashcards. This learning style is also known as the spatial learning style. In this approach, tangible material is used so that the learner can process the information easily. Visual materials help the learner to visualize the pictures with words. Words and phrases that are related to diagrams are easy to memorize. If the colorful diagrams and pictures attract you and make you learn things fast, then go for learning content with lots of visual aids and images.
If you are a person that likes dialogues and plays and prefer oral instructions over written instructions, then the auditory learning style is a viable option for you. Such types of learners are the people who learn names instead of faces. The visual learners lose their attention in lectures, so here the auditory learning style comes in. They listen to the lectures and memorize them. They can retain information in their mind through sounds. Fluency in any language can be best attained through listening and comprehending the information. If you are a good listener, then this is a great skill for you, and you don’t have to work harder. If you are opting for this style for learning a language then use audio materials like podcasts, audiobooks. The best part is you can also go for e-learning.
Reading And Writing
Reading and writing is the oldest way of learning. This style is mostly used in studies. People read the content and take notes. Moreover, if they find any difficult words in the content, they consult a dictionary. With reading and writing, people can also learn a language by themselves. If they enroll themselves in any course, then the instructor that is following this style also takes quizzes. In this way, the learners must memorize what they have read, then they are in the best position to write on a paper orally. The best way to learn through reading is to read the book that you like most. The book with your interest will help to retain language information naturally without any hard work.
Kinesthetic and Tactile
Kinesthetic style is also called Tactile style. In this style, people love to learn through experience and by doing activities. They interact in the activities and use their hands to touch and feel to understand the concepts. The people that follow this type of style take more breaks as compared to other styles. It is an active way of learning. The people communicate more and immerse themselves in the activity to learn the language. By using this technique, you can learn through experience and by movements. Commuting in this style is essential. You can follow this style by watching a play or movie in a foreign language, listening to foreign speakers, or talking to a foreign friend. By exposing yourself to the new language will help the learner to learn more efficiently. If you want to follow this style, then do repeat the sentences and phrases that you have listened to from the native speaker again and again to memorize the language.
The best advantage of this approach is that you will get to know the different dialects of the language. Although structured learning courses are also beneficial, you must know that people don’t prefer to learn by books. By speaking to native speakers, you can understand the different lexicons that you are unable to get through books. You can understand the phrases that you won’t be able to understand when you try to translate them into a structured program.
You should select the learning style according to your interest. For example, if you are a good listener, then go for the auditory style. Moreover, if you are an avid traveler, then you can use the Kinesthetic style. The learning style that resonates with your learning preference will save a lot of your efforts and time. Every learning style has its benefits. Therefore, it is recommended not to confine yourself to a single style. Use a mix of different styles, it will make your learning journey enjoyable and improve your learning pace.