All students learn in different ways. We are all familiar with ‘visual learners,’ and ‘auditory learners.’ However, when it comes to ESL learning styles, often programs ignore the different ways in which children learn. Instead, children are lumped together into one ESL program and are expected to keep pace with one another.
Most experts agree that there are four basic types of ESL learning styles, although some would argue for a fifth and sixth. A great program will address all four ESL learning styles in the classroom:
AUDITORY ESL LEARNERS will respond best to spoken instructions. They will learn better with storytelling games and reciting passages. In addition, music is very important to these types of learners, as is the consistent use of spoken language.
VISUAL ESL LEARNERS do best with written instructions, demonstrations, pictures and video. They retain a lot of information from flash cards and other visual cues. Board games and other visual games are also effective for these learners.
TACTILE and KINESTHETIC ESL learners are arguably the toughest type of learners to teach. Tactile learners learn from hands-on exercises where they must physically engage with objects. Similarly, kinesthetic learners must use their whole bodies to learn, including games in which learners must move about the room. Imagine placing large words on the ground scattered around the room and asking students to assemble themselves based on word meanings – this is just one potential exercise for kinesthetic learners.
One thing all of these learners have in common is the sense of gaming. Introducing language games into your child’s development will do wonders for your child’s advancement. Not only are games fun, but they also address all four of the main learning styles. When it comes to ESL learning styles, any technique that employs all four learning styles will make every child learn faster and more effectively, with greater retention.