ESL educators who teach kids should be aware of young students’ preferred learning styles and how these differ from one child to another. This is because identifying and empathizing with the different types of young learners in any given classroom will help teachers effectively introduce and reinforce language concepts.
As the term suggests, visual learners are students who respond strongly to what they see. A liberal use of visual aids will help educators effectively reach out to this type of learners. Lesson concepts complemented by flashcards, films, pictures, whiteboards, computer graphics, diagrams, charts, posters and other visual stimuli is the best teaching approach when engaging this learner type. This means that for each classroom session, teachers should develop and integrate compelling visuals that help introduce and reinforce lessons.
Auditor learners learn best when the lessons they listen to are clear and exciting. Because listening is their preferred method of learning new concepts or skills, auditory learners are some of the most ideal students in most teaching scenarios. This type of learners adopt pretty well to spoken instructions and generally learn faster when concepts are showcased using music, sound effects, stories, poems or songs. When engaging this type of students, be prepared to mimic the sound of animals or to create sounds that elicit different emotional responses such as fear, laughter, amazement, puzzlement, concern, pity, anger and affection. However, a well performed story telling session — certainly one that is complemented by emotive actions, music and sound effects — remains one of the best teaching tools for approaching auditory learners.
Being able to touch, feel and manipulate interesting objects in their environment strongly drive tactile learners to discover and appreciate lesson concepts. Tactile learners easily get excited and interested when lessons are taught using three-dimensional puzzles, laboratory experiments, handicrafts, building blocks and board games.
Kinesthetic learners are very active students and generally resonate well with sports, games, dance and other physical activities. Many kinesthetic learners easily get bored when just made to sit and listen and teachers need to integrate a physical component to their lessons when this type of learners are present in their classes.
This type of learners are the scientists, artists and craftsmen of the class, getting their fill of excitement by closely examining and taking apart puzzles or concepts, and building or forming their own contraptions or ideas. Analytic learners enjoy well-structured and clear lessons or games.
Global learners prefer the big picture over the nitty gritty parts of a lesson or language concept. Students belonging to this learner type may get easily bored when teachers delve too much on the specifics without citing an interesting object that exemplifies the idea being taught. To keep this type of learner interested, teachers would do well to integrate games, group activities role-playing and theatrical plays in their lesson plans.
Total ESL is a great resource for those looking to teach English around the world. Find everything you need to start your new adventure teaching abroad! The many acronyms and abbreviations used in the field of English teaching and learning may be confusing so here is a helpful guide: English as a Second Language (ESL) | Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) | English as a Foreign Language (EFL) | Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) | English as an Additional Language (EAL) | English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) | Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) | English Language Teaching (ELT) | English Language Learning (ELL) | Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) | Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) | Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)
Being a great ESL teacher is so much more than just knowing a lot about the English language. Nothing exists in a vacuum. You’re never just explaining English grammar principles or drilling vocabulary. You’re interacting with real live human beings, each with their own unique temperaments, needs