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Learning Styles and Learning a Language

Before I started Chapter 2 of Schaum’s German Grammar, I took a free learning styles inventory to determine my learning styles. This was recommended in a post in Laurel’s blog Expat in Germany. While I suspected what my learning styles would be, it was interesting to see the breakdown. Each score is out of 20. Mine were:

learning styles

Example of a Learning Style Inventory

Visual 10
Social 15
Physical 11
Aural 15
Verbal 20
Solitary 17
Logical 8

Each learning style had an explanation of it and techniques for learning in that style. (Click the links above to learn more). I checked verbal, the style I scored highest on, and saw it includes both speaking and writing. One of the learning techniques suggests repetition, which I have practiced on my own and through Schaum’s German Grammar. Another says that mnemonics are my friends. I find this to be true.

Hangman (game)

                        Hangman Hanged

I can still remember the first 12 letters in the English letter frequency (E T A O N R I S H D L F) thanks to the sentence my 5th grade class made up for it: “Even though apples open nicely, remember in spelling hats don’t look funny.” Considering those 12 letters supposedly make up 80% of letter usage in English, it’s not too shabby a portion to remember. If nothing else, remembering the order of those letters has helped me considerably in games of Hangman (which probably explains why people either want me on their team or don’t want me to play).

With verbal being my predominant learning style, followed closely by solitary and aural, I suppose it makes sense why I can listen to something, write it down, and remember it. I can repeat something to myself by way of mnemonic device or write it down various times, and it will stick, possibly for years. And that happens, even if I’m studying independently. Of course, I still plan to take a class, but it’s good to know which exercises are going to benefit me the most and to have a better understanding of why I am able to remember the things I do.

Interestingly enough, the information on solitary learning style also suggested keeping a journal. I suppose a blog is close enough to a journal, and so far, blogging about learning German is already helping me. I took care with my post on the German alphabet and the gender of nouns to make sure that I had the information correct and referred back to Schaum’s German Grammar and Collins Free German Dictionary a few times. I also read the post several times to fix errors, reword things, and so forth. Doing this has helped the parts I wrote about to stick in my mind. Hopefully if I continue to blog about the process of learning German it will prove helpful not only to myself, but anyone reading who might be learning a language, German or otherwise.

What is your predominant learning style?

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18 Thoughts on “Learning Styles and Learning a Language

  1. I figured I would be mainly an aural learner, but I scored higher as a verbal learner. Interesting quiz! This blog is a great way to keep working on your German. I wish I was more motivated to work on my Italian that way!

    • Glad it was interesting. Hope it will help. The verbal category does include speaking and writing, so I imagine it would be somewhat tied to aural in that respect. Thanks. Well, it’s never too late 😉

  2. I have to bookmark you site. I must come again and don’t want to forget. It is cool that you are self learnen German. I actually proud of you. Many people come to Germany and associate themselves with only Americans and a tiny percentage German limited themselves to evolve and branch out.

    For me German is a bit hard. I am decent with listening and understanding but talking I am horrible in. Everything get all twisted and my point never comes out straight. But that never stop me from butchering the language, lol. I guess my learning style would be hearing and repeating. Flash cards work as well but I am more of an interactive person and need to associate what I learn with a person or an object.

    • Cool. Thank you. 🙂 I am the same way. I am more comfortable trying to read or write and can understand some things when I hear them, but I would hesitate to jump into a conversation. I guess I will have to when I get there though because part of the point of learning is to be able to talk to people. I’m glad you still try even if it doesn’t come out right. I think hearing and repeating would be aural which they have some tips for. Interactive would be under social. All of the types are in orange because they link to the explanation and some learning techniques that may help. I recommend checking them out if you haven’t already.

  3. Okay, just finish taking the test. One of the question have tinker. I think it was #24. It tickle me reading it because it should of said thinker.

    Style Scores

    Visual
    24

    Social
    14

    Physical
    15

    Aural
    13

    Verbal
    14

    Solitary
    13

    Logical
    10

    • Ah so you are highest on visual. That must be part of why the flash cards work for you 😉 . I don’t have the test in front of me right now but I think I remember a question about “tinker” where they were saying “You like to tinker with things” which basically means you like to fix things, maybe take them apart to put them back together, etc. If you say yes, you do, then that goes toward you being a physical learner 😉

  4. Thanks for the mention and glad you took the quiz. I’ve found it to be very helpful. I scored really low on the aural, which explains why I have such a hard time understanding German, but at least I know that I have to find creative ways to develop my listening skills. I think blogging about learning German is a great way to learn the language as it reinforces what you’ve learned.

  5. I hate living in an environment when I can’t speak the language. After my wedding I moved to Saudi Arabia which language is ARABIC. Then after almost 4yrs in Kingdom my husband and I moved here in Czech Republic which language is Czech.
    My point was! it’s annoying when I tried to learned then all of the sudden it’s time to leave the Country.

    So far my Czech is very basic as I’m tired of going to school but I think I should continue as it helps my communication skills.:)

    Good luck to your German Lang. We are just near by! hope to hear about what you learned.:)

    Best regards,
    Bloggeryenyen http://www.chikawithyeneyes.wordpress.com

    • Yeah that would be frustrating, but at least you have another language under your belt and hopefully you’ll have time to learn and use the new language. I can understand being tired of school but yes I would think it should help your skills to keep going. Thank you. 🙂

  6. Wow, what an interesting post! I will surely have to take this test, maybe I will discover some things about myself I had not yet known. How long did it take you to answer these 70 questions?
    So now that you know how to learn efficient, you have already jumped over one big obstacle. Glad to see that you are taking your learning pretty serious. 😉 Have you had any chance to try out some Deutsch in Deutschland??

    • Thanks 🙂 Cool. You just may. Or things you already kind of knew may make more sense. I don’t remember exactly. It’s all just statements and clicking boxes whether they apply to you or not, so it’s not terribly long. I don’t think it was more than half an hour.

      Yep. That does definitely help. Although our flight turned out to take place mostly at night and I got distracted by free movies, so I haven’t been back to my grammar book lol. I have looked up a lot of things though and been writing our grocery lists in both languages and I want to get post-it notes to start labeling everything again when we get our place in a few days.

      As to trying out the Deutsch in Deutschland, aside from greeting and parting with people, I’ve only really had to talk to waitresses. I don’t know enough to really know what I’m doing when it comes to food besides knowing in general what part of the menu I’m looking at, so I’ve pretty much only been able to use “Sprechen Sie Englisch?” I don’t want to lean on that for too long though. When a girl at a bookstore ran into me with a cart she kept saying “Es tut mir leid”. I knew what she meant but couldn’t think of a German reply so I kept saying “It’s okay” lol. I now know I could have told her “Keine Angst” but wish I’d remembered that then.

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