Understanding the Auditory Learner

The auditory learner is someone who is often overlooked in the classroom. Teachers often focus on visual learners and kinesthetic learners because it is more difficult for them to make every lesson adhere to these types of learners. An auditory learner is someone who learns while listening. A visual learner likes to see things or read them and a kinesthetic learner likes to do things and understand by doing. Teachers work hard to make sure kids are active and are able to “do” things such as labs and projects, etc. Teachers also work hard to make sure kids are able to see things on the board or through maps, etc. Auditory learners often get left behind.

An auditory learner doesn’t always pay strict attention to what is going on around them, but rather just listens and absorbs. They may sometimes appear to be day-dreaming, but may actually be listening just not looking. Sometimes it helps them to even listen while they do something else. They may get tired if all they are doing is listening. It is difficult for auditory learners to try to function in classrooms when it is not lecture-based. They do best with lecture-based classes because they simply absorb everything that is being said. They also do well in discussion-based classes as long as they do not contribute but rather they listen to everyone else. 

The best thing that a teacher can do for an auditory learner is make sure that they have enough audio things. Make sure when they show images or presentations they either describe it or if it is a movie that there is an audio compotent. Auditory learners are still able to learn when visual things happen at the same time, they are just less likely to pay attention. When working on kinesthetic “doing” activities, teachers should make sure to also encourage dialogue-discussion among students and of course provide a commentary for his or her class. This commentary does not detract from the kinesthetic aspect of the activity. In fact, it is more substantial because it helps both groups.

I hope that this article has helped you understand more about auditory learners. I am both a visual and an auditory learner and I have sometimes been very frustrated when teachers had focused on the visual and kinesthetic aspects of learning much more than the auditory aspect. Mostly this is because elementary school teachers are worried about children’s attention spans and want to make sure that those who need to “do” things can. However, they should not forget about their auditory learners who love to listen!