People are different: our hair, voices, sizes and tastes vary a lot. We also have different needs and learning styles. In order to learn better and more efficiently, the first step is to know a little more about ourselves. How do we study? What’s our learning style? How do we learn best?
Some people learn best by listening; others by seeing; others by movement. When I was doing an exam and did not know the answer to a question I’d closed my eyes and picture the exact book page where the answer was. That wasn’t very helpful because though I knew which page the answer was probably on, I couldn’t read what was on it.
When I’m taking a class I like to look at the teacher. The same happens when I’m watching a foreign movie: I focus not only on the sound of the language but also on the movement of the actors’ lips . This is one of the reasons why I hate watching dubbed movies as the sound and movements don’t often match. My own learning style is visual. I like and need to see what’s going on to learn better. My learning strategy is using mind maps, diagrams, arrows and colors. If the teacher tells me that pen in German is “Kugelschreiber” and is a masculine noun (in Portuguese it’s feminine), I just imagine a blue pen with the name “Kugelschreiber” engraved on its surface.
Other people just can’t stand still. They need to move – use their hands, perform tasks and so on, in order to learn. They can’t study sitting in the same position for hours simply because they learn best through movement and practical tasks. There are also those who learn best by listening or explaining to someone else what they have studied. Who hasn’t had classmates who loved to explain what they had studied before an exam? These people usually do well in debates and oral presentations as they learn best creating melodies, reading out loud and talking about what they have studied.
What about you – how do you learn best?