Learning Styles and Habits

knowledge of learning styles requires much attention when it comes to language learning. Every learner has their own particular learning styles and techniques, therefore it would be counterproductive to try to make them follow a certain learning strategy. The best way to tackle learning is to become aware of how and when you learn best and share that with your tutor or use it to better learn on your own. To do this, you need to ask yourself some questions:

Questions to ask yourself

When do I find it easiest to learn? (early morning, evening, before going to sleep)

You can figure out about when you learn best by trying to practice and learn at different times during the day. Some people learn best in the morning, while others seem to do better in the evening. There are certain cases where learners prefer to practice early morning or late at night. You need to give each a shot and realize when you can focus and learn best during the day.

How long can I focus on learning something new? (15 minutes/1 hour)

There are certain techniques that people use to stay focused on a certain task for a specific period of time. One such technique is the Pomodoro technique. But before you move to time management, you need to figure out how long you are able to focus on a single task like learning before you start feeling bored or tired. There is no need to pressure yourself to practice for long hours. The important issue is learning quality. If you make yourself study for hours without rest or play, you may start to resent learning and practicing.

Instead, take time to test how long you can focus on learning without starting to daydream about something else. Do this a few times and you will realize that after a certain period of time, the quality of your practice starts to decrease; this is a signal that your mind needs a break. Now you can use the Pomodoro technique to create a time management plan that includes X amount of time for learning and Y amount of time for a break.

Can I learn something in the first try or do I need to repeat the same lesson?(1×30 min plan/2×15 min plan)

Using the knowledge you have gathered about yourself from the two previous questions, you can now design a learning or practice schedule. If you want to spend two hours learning business English, you learn best early mornings, and you have only 15 minutes before you go to work or school, you can divide your two hour plan into 7x15min daily learning schedule at the appropriate time. Since your optimal learning time is full, you can schedule the last remaining 15 minutes for a break during the day, an afternoon, or a night practice before sleep, whichever works best for you. Now you have a practical and customized learning schedule and time management plan!

Do I learn better when watching something or by listening? (visual/auditory)

Which type of stimulus helps you learn better? If you learn faster and better when you see something, you prefer visual stimuli, and if hearing something helps you learn and remember things more than visual or other types of stimuli, then you are an auditory person. If you don’t have certain preferences, you can use both to practice, but if you clearly know that a certain type of stimulus makes a difference, then plan to include such stimuli in your learning plan.

Do I learn better when I read or when I write? (reader/writer)

If you are the type of person who loves a pen and paper, or your notebook or iPad, then writing while practicing English can make a huge difference in your learning and practicing sessions. Do not take this skill for granted, as it can immensely increase learning and retention potential. research has shown that people who write more, remember more. On the other hand, if you learn through reading, use books, newspapers, magazines, websites, ebooks, and other tools during practice. Using preferred tools and techniques helps with smooth learning processes and prevents the practice from becoming uninteresting or cumbersome. Keep yourself engaged using what you know about yourself.

Do I learn better when I am alone or if I practice with someone else?

This depends mostly on your personality style. If you are an introvert, you will likely prefer practicing on your own, while extraverts love spending time with others and practice learning English. However, this doe not mean that an extravert can never learn alone or an introvert is unable to participate in pair or group practice. It only shows your preference. you can design your practice to include individual learning, group learning, or both. Keep in mind that each has its benefits and shortcomings.

Do I learn better through retention or through teaching or talking about it to someone?

Do you learn better when you try to remember what you have learned on your own? You might like to do exercises or take quizzes; you may prefer reading and reciting what you have read or do some writing. Any of these techniques can help you learn, but they can help more with your learning if you enjoy it. you may, on the other hand, prefer talking about what you have learned or teach and explain it to someone else. In that case, you will need a practice or learning partner who can spend time with you face-to-face or online to practice. Again, you can choose one or both techniques based on your preferences to design an interesting and enjoyable learning experience.

Am I more comfortable with repeating a lesson or do I enjoy going through new lessons and practice through trial and error?

Some learners love doing something again and again until they get it right. These people don’t mind the repetitive work, but others enjoy novelty and prefer new exercises and practices instead of going trough a single item multiple times. If you get bored with repetition, you can design your learning and practice sessions to include new stimuli that have the same items that you are trying to learn. This preference have a significant impact on your learning experience. Don’t take it lightly!

Conclusion

The better you know yourself, your preferences and weaknesses, the better your learning experience becomes: you can utilize your preferences and strengths to create an enjoyable and effective learning experience for yourself, while considering a plan to tackle your weaknesses and avoid boredom and fatigue. You can add to these questions right now or pay more attention to the conditions under which you better enjoy yourself and learn at the same time.

Based on the information you gather using these questions, you can design a learning plan that helps you tackle your course without feeling tired, disappointed, or worried about the process. After you figure out how and when you learn best, you need to be aware of the processes the brain goes through to analyze data and store information. Learning techniques helps you be more aware of the stages of your language learning, and use strategies to make the most of it. Refer to learning techniques for more information. You can also share this information with your teacher so that they can incorporate them in their teaching plan and provide you with a teaching process that is tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

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