Even if you haven’t taken a learning styles quiz, you can probably determine whether or not your child is an auditory learner by knowing this one characteristic: they like to talk—a lot! Auditory learners not only like the sound of their own voice, though. They prefer to take in the world by listening rather than seeing or touching. Since so much of learning to read is about learning distinct sounds, auditory learners have an advantage.
Remember, though, becoming literate is about more than just recognizing sounds. Your little one needs to be able to match these sounds with specific letters and recognize written words. Thus, you may need to employ some strategies at home if you notice that your child becomes frustrated after moving on from phonemic awareness to phonics instruction. It’s a good idea to talk to your child’s teacher about his learning style as well. Though most of today’s teachers employ a variety of different instructional methods that appeal to their students’ diverse learning styles, it certainly can’t help to give her a head’s up about how your child learns best.
Need some tips on how to reinforce literacy acquisition at home with your auditory learner? Consider these strategies:
I think all children (and probably even most adults) love to be read to, but this is especially true of auditory learners. Read aloud to your child often, and continue to do so even after he’s learned to read on his own. This is a great way for auditory learners to build their vocabularies.
Play Verbal Games
There’s no getting around the visual aspect of reading, of course, but you can help your child recognize phonemes and word families by practicing them out loud. Try this easy game, for instance: Begin with a member of a word family such as “rat,” for example. Then, ask your child to add to the family with another word in the word family such as “bat.” Go back and forth until you can’t think of any more additions to the family. To make it competitive, set a timer. If it buzzes before you say the word, the other person wins!
Make Up Songs
Songs are a great way to teach high-frequency or “sight” words to auditory learners. While visual learners need to see these words over and over again to be able to recognize them readily, auditory learners benefit from hearing them spelled aloud. My child’s teacher uses a simple song that can be used to teach virtually any word:
R-E-D spells red, R-E-D spells red. I know and you know that R-E-D spells red.
You can replace the word “red” for whichever word your child happens to be learning. Sing it over and over again. It never gets old!
How do you help your auditory learner at home? Share your expertise with us!