Understanding the Auditory Learner

An auditory learner is someone who learns best by utilizing their sense of hearing.  They are usually very in tuned to intonation and voice level.  These are the students that often whisper read aloud during silent reading time because hearing their voice helps their comprehension.  Teachers should be aware of the auditory learners in their classroom and use strategies to help these students gain knowledge using their individual style of learning.

Auditory learners may need to hear directions repeated several times before they understand what to do.  The teacher should give oral directions and then ask one or two students to repeat the directions back for the class.  Sometimes it helps auditory learners when they hear the same words repeated a few times by different voices.

Encourage auditory learners to read aloud to help comprehension.  While this is not always possible in the classroom, it is a great at home strategy.  Homework and studying for tests will be easier when the student hears their voice as they read.  Young students would benefit from an adult reading information and directions out loud to them as they do homework.

Teacher suppliers sell a device that is very beneficial for the student that learns best by hearing the words read aloud.  It is a simple plastic tube that the student holds up to their ear and mouth like a telephone.  The student can read very quietly and the tube will magnify the sound to the student’s ear.  This device allows the student to stay focused by reading aloud while not bothering the other students in the class.  Some teachers use an elbow shaped piece of plumbing PVC pipe to get the same results.

Teaching an auditory learner how to visualize is an important skill for comprehension.  While information is being presented orally, the student should close their eyes and make a picture or movie in their mind of what is being said.  With repeated practice this skill becomes automatic and the eyes do not have to be closed for the student to visualize the material presented.  This strategy can be very helpful for understanding science and social studies material.

The instructor of an auditory learner needs to very aware of the tone and volume of their voice.  When the teacher uses their voice to make the words come alive or stress important words, all the students in the class will benefit.  A voice with no expression or change in volume is boring to listen to and does not promote learning.  A monotone voice will not provide the best learning opportunity for an auditory learner.

A good teacher will be aware of all the different learning styles in their classroom and differentiate teaching accordingly.  The above strategies will benefit the auditory learner.