Auditory learners are those who prefer to listen. Many have what is called a “musical” ear, although they may not be involved in music itself. They are sensitive to voice inflections and tones.
Sound waves are the primary means by which their memory is stimulated, and the assimilation of information takes place by explanation. Auditory learners enjoy listening. And they are genuinely intrigued by sound — whether it be through music, nature, or familiar voices. Auditory learners have an auditory memory. Be careful of what you say to an auditory learner, because they’ll likely remember it very accurately.
Auditory learners are genuinely motivated by interest. If they’re not listening — they’re not interested. They can tune you out with ease. They may be rather quiet, as they prefer to listen rather than talking or being listened to. Once they are engaged they are able to lock in 100% of their attention, and they generally demonstrate excellent eye contact as well.
Sound is what draws them in. It can also be what repels them. Pitch, tone, and volume all have a profound effect on the auditory learner. Auditory learners excel at listening, and listening is a skill that requires concentration. They prefer an atmosphere where the sound can resonate clearly, uninterrupted, and without distraction — which requires peripheral silence. Peripheral sounds often distract them and clutter their airspace, which they may have trouble tuning out. Auditory learners will be the ones hushing you, complaining that they can’t hear. By the same token, auditory learners can be very adept at engaging with more than one person at a time. What some may term as ‘selective hearing’ is what is called filtering. Excellent listeners can adapt their auditory filter in various situations. Their peripheral hearing may be excellent, and if they have honed that skill well, they’ll be able to fully engage with the individual in front of them, yet simultaneously listen to the person talking across the room. Auditory learners also commonly use what is known as rehearsal, when many times they don’t even know they’re doing it. They are the ones who will ask you to repeat yourself for clarity; they will rewind the movie to catch what was missed; and they will listen to the same song over and over again. However, if you tell an auditory learner once — you don’t need to tell them twice. If you know they’ve heard you, they’ve got it. Reminders are not something they likely need. In a classroom setting, they will probably use questioning to garner more information if their interest in piqued. These are individuals who, once fully engaged, become oblivious to the rest of the world.
Auditory learners prefer the following:
• Oral stories and recordings such as books on CD.
Auditory learners will remember what they’re told — many times better than the person who said it. This can be embarrassing as much as it is a blessing.
And they can make you feel very loved because they genuinely listen during intimate conversations. They love dense and deep one-on-one conversations. However, they may not do a lot of talking, as it may take them some time to consider how to respond. As a rule, they’re not the ones whose mind is calculating what to say by the time you begin your next sentence. Rather, they fully engage and will wait patiently for you to finish, and then carefully ponder a reply. You’ll know you’ve been heard when you have the full attention of an auditory learner. And you’ll be amazed at how they do finally respond, because they will offer a reply truly worthwhile which reflects their focus upon what you’ve just shared. This trait is one of their most favored and endearing.
Music is many times a strong area for them as well. And if they’re not making it — they’re certainly listening to it. Apart from being a Creative, music is something they genuinely enjoy and it has a profound emotional and mental effect on them. They will be the ones with the headphones on and their eyes closed — shutting everything out but the sound that absorbs them.
Auditory learners, above all other learning styles, excel in the traditional classroom setting. Listening, which is considered a fundamental skill that can be taught, makes this learning style one that nearly anyone can develop or to which they can acclimate successfully with some practice — and that is why the traditional classroom implements it. Therefore, auditory learners perform beautifully in the traditional classroom setting, with very little effort, especially when they can employ their secondary learning style. The most common secondary learning style for the auditory learner is the visual learning style.
Although the visual learning style is their greatest asset, surprisingly, they do not require it. If the visual portion is missing, the audio will prove to be sufficient for them. Other learning styles will listen, but the information they gather will be in part. It will be very ‘hit and miss’. And they may not remember what was said, or may even relay it inaccurately. This is where the auditory learner truly excels. Not only will they wholly listen and remember, but they will also recall with great acuity and accuracy.
Weakness or Dysfunction
The auditory learner may not be the best at communicating verbally. Listening is truly their gift. So don’t be surprised if words may be few. Music, however, may be something they excel at which can be an outlet of expression if they have creative tendencies or traits. Their intense focus or quiet nature can sometimes cause them to be misunderstood. Distraction is something that truly annoys them, and they may be very sensitive to sounds that are offensive, loud, or otherwise intrusive. They do not like repetition or monotony, which are different from their own strategic use of rehearsal. Overall, they are very sensitive to sounds of varying kinds.
VISUAL: The audio-visual combination goes hand-in-hand. This is the most common pair among all the learning styles. And the reason why is very simple: God made us that way. He created our eyes and ears to work very well together. They are extraordinarily complementary. If we can both see and hear it — the stimulation of our memory is exponentially greater. Visual learners and auditory learners will offer something to each other that the other may have easily missed, but readily needed.
VERBAL: Auditory and Verbal learners get along very well, but it’s often a one-way street. Where the Verbal will explain the Auditory will gladly listen, hanging on every word. However, the Auditory offers little stimulation for the Verbal other than the satisfaction of being heard.
KINESTHETIC: The auditory learner will be able to explain to the kinesthetic — but they won’t necessarily do well at showing them. On the flip-side, the auditory learner will listen to the kinesthetic, but they may not grasp everything they try to demonstrate. Again, explanation is key for the auditory learner. And when the kinesthetic believes they have explained it and demonstrated it sufficiently, the auditory learner may come back yet again to ask for further explanation. This can prove to be frustrating for a kinesthetic who demonstrates well, but struggles to verbalize an explanation.
LOGICAL: The logical learner and the auditory learner are a wonderful pair. These two can feed off each other. For the logical learner, the auditory learning style if often their most complementary, being their secondary learning style. As for the auditory learner, a logical can keep them entertained beautifully for hours on end.
SOCIAL: Auditory learners can be very social people, but in a different way. Because their focus is so intense, they favor one-on-one relationships rather than social networks or group gatherings. They prefer to focus on one person at a time. A social group may prove to be beneficial for them in an academic setting, offering them many varied opinions and feedback on a given topic. However, when in such a setting, you’ll often find them very silent, employing their listening skills toward each individual who takes their turn to share.
INDEPENDENT: Auditory listeners are far more likely to be independent than social. They do not like disruption, and they demand focus with a peripheral silence. That equates to their need for an independent setting marked by solitude that affords them an optimal outcome.
CREATIVE: Auditory learners are commonly drawn to Creatives in the areas of music, speaking, singing, and the like. This is where Creatives can offer them the world spinning on an axis all its own.
• Record your lessons for review.
• Focus on listening while in the classroom and take notes later.
• Rehearse your notes by reading them aloud.
• Listen to podcasts on topics of study.
• Engage in discussion.
• Attend conferences and conventions where you can listen to professional speakers.
• Excellent listeners
• Sensitive to sound (ie. volume, pitch, tone, etc)
• May be quiet
• Use rehearsal to remember
• Use filtering to focus
• Use explanation to assimilate
• Motivated by interest
• Hate disruption
• Naturally drawn to music
Required for Success
• They can easily excel in the traditional classroom
• Excellent note-taking
• Recorded lectures
• Uninterrupted silence to study