AUDITORY (Aural) Learning
It’s estimated that about 30% of Americans prefer either listening or discussing/talking as the main way of receiving information, & retain up to 75% of what they hear. The Temporal Lobes handle aural content, the right lobe being especially important for music.
The human ear can detect pitch changes as small as 3 hundredths of 1% of the original frequency in some ranges. Some people have ‘perfect pitch’ – the ability to name any musical note heard or sung correctly, without help = to map a tone precisely on the musical scale without reference to an external standard
It’s estimated that less than 1 in 10,000 people have perfect pitch, but speakers of tonal languages like Vietnamese & Mandarin show remarkably precise absolute pitch when reading out lists of words, as pitch is an essential feature in conveying the meaning of words in tone languages.
Sound plays a crucial role for everyone when learning, but especially so for auditory learners. In a typically developing child, hearing & vision work in tandem, to take in information about things around them. This helps them absorb their environment better, providing another layer of understanding that sight alone can’t offer.
Like other skills, listening takes practice. Developing good listening habits helps children get important information from family, teachers & friends.
EXP: Using tapes with pictures, names & sounds are best. Children may know what an animal looks like, but also hearing the sound it makes allows they a fuller experience.
As a group, strong auditory learners are somewhat difficult to describe. Some learn best by listening, & some by talking, but most combine them, with strengths & weaknesses in each. This style is considered a difficult way to learn new material.
Auditory Listeners learn mainly by hearing. When listening to a new topic, or overhearing conversations – they focus on what’s being said, often remembering key words and phrases, directions & descriptions – in great detail. They may like to hear stories, or learn the context of a subject, while others may actually find off-topic background confusing.
Since listening requires more concentration than seeing, they’re usually slower at reading than other learners, preferring plays & dialogue to lengthy passages. Hearing an overview of a lesson is helpful, allowing them to better absorb subsequent info. Some auditory learners find it hard to listen & take notes, or to listen & watch something at the same time.
Also, some study better with ambient sounds (TV, music, people talking….) – to block out distraction, while others find noise breaks concentration.
Auditory Talkers need to discuss what they’re learning. They ask a lot of questions to solidify new info, & helps them pass it on to others. By discussing what they understand about something new, they form links between that & what they already know, clarifying their grasp of a topic.
Speaking also gives a chance to learn by listening – to themselves. When studying on their own they’ll move their lips or talk to themselves. Because of a fine-tuned ‘ear’ they may find learning a foreign language relatively easy.
Strong verbal skills allows them to express ideas clearly, carry on interesting conversations, have an appreciation for words & with a well-developed vocabulary. Auditory learners become skilled at interpreting info & reproducing it. This giving many a knack for deciphering the true meaning of someone’s words – from tone of voice, pitch, speed & other vocal nuances.
Speech patterns include phrases “I hear you // That clicks // That rings a bell // That sounds about right // It’s coming through loud and clear // Tune in to what I’m saying // That’s music to my ears…..”
Those with an Auditory Numerical Style understand numbers best if spoken or heard. They’ll say numbers to themselves when mentally figuring math problems, learning a phone number, or add 3 numbers together without writing them down – & then easily remember sequences later.
Auditory learners often have Musical talents & like to work with sound – with a good sense of pitch & rhythm, hearing tones & individual notes.
Many can sing, play or at least identify musical instruments, find themselves humming or tapping a song or jingle, that pop into their head without prompting. Some music will invoke strong emotions in them.
EXP: Research shows that playing certain classical music while studying, such as a Baroque Largo, is highly beneficial. This is because its BPM (beats per minute) is the same as alpha brain waves, providing our most receptive & alert mental state. Also, waltzes have a BPM that are in tune with the natural rhythm of our body, creating positive mental energies & consciousness
Re. INTUITION (Clear hearing)
This is hearing in the mind’s ear as if remembering a sound (words, letters, music….), although sometimes it’s so strong you think it’s real.
General AUDITORY Characteristics
Regardless of which style you prefer, you’re not going to identify with every characteristic. That will depend on other factors, such as mixing in other learning styles, education & native personality
NEXT: Kinesthetic Learning (Part 4c)