8 Types Of Learning Styles: How To Spot Them?

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    Have you ever tried to teach someone something and had trouble getting through to them because it was clear that your learning styles were completely different?

    Some people learn better through written instructions, while others learn better through verbal communication.

    However, there are many types of learning styles, each of which works for different sorts of learners.

    These are the eight types of learning styles.

    8 Types Of Learning Styles

    8 Types Of Learning Styles

    1. Linguistic Learning

    Linguistic learning is accomplished through traditional means of a classroom environment, such as following along with a lecture, reading textbooks, and completing writing assignments that help to show understanding of the concepts.

    As a linguistic learner, you can benefit from having the information communicated in as many ways as possible to help you retain it.

    Linguistic Learning

    Getting a chance to write about previously unfamiliar concepts lets a linguistic learner prove their comprehension. You might not have a total grasp of something after only a few hours of instruction on it, but the more you put into learning about it, the more you can talk about it.

    Like all learners, linguistic learners need to be introduced with the strongest possible materials to have the best chance of succeeding with it. If one person's explanation of something is unclear, raise your hand and articulate where your confusion is.

    Even if you think you mostly understand something, it’s still good to engage with the material/speaker to help confirm that you’re seeing it as you’re meant to.

    You can also be doing a favor for other linguistic learners in the room who might have similar questions but who are too shy to speak up.

    2. Naturalistic Learning

    You don’t have to always be out in the wilderness to be a naturalistic learner, but your tendencies will serve you well there. If you have a naturalistic learning style, you’re likely in or hoping to be in a career field that involves plenty of outdoor research, such as science.

    Being outside appeals so much to naturalistic learners because it lets concepts really come alive.

    Naturalistic Learning

    In a world run by naturalistic learners, you might have every class conducted outside, but that would be inconvenient for many reasons. While you may learn best outdoors, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn in a classroom setting.

    When an instructor opens the floor to questions, ask ones that make what's been taught more applicable to day-to-day lives. To better your understanding, look at things from a scientific perspective, such as having a hypothesis for different topics, such as history, and then seeing if what you learn matches up with your prediction.

    Even if you’re stuck inside, you can still enjoy the playground of learning that is the world.

    As a naturalistic learner, don’t limit yourself to one particular setting. Outdoors might be best for you, but it’s not the only option.

    3. Rhythmic Learning

    We all march to the beat of our own drum, and that’s especially apt for rhythmic learners. If you’re a rhythmic learner, you learn best through sounds, including but not limited to music.

    Rhythmic Learning

    This doesn’t mean that any shrill sounds can be played and that your rhythmic-learning self will just accept it. You likely want to use things that are pleasing to your sensibilities without being too distracting, such as classical or jazz music. If music is too distracting, the ambient effects of an air conditioner could work.

    Repetition can be very important as a rhythmic learner, as it's all about consistency in order to achieve an even tempo, and that's only possible with practice. Your dedication to process can help you in many fields, because you can show employers that you can be depended upon.

    You might be a rhythmic learner because you play music. All musicians, percussionists or otherwise, need to know rhythm in order for their music to sound appealing. While your career might not be music-focused, having music as a constant in your life and your learning can be very important.

    If you play music, try to view every assignment like you would a new piece of music. When you sit down with sheet music, you need to know about what it’s like before you start playing. This includes seeing the time and key signatures as well as changes to either.

    When you have a new task, apply similar principles. Should you need to edit a report, you could start by scanning over it to see how long it is and getting an idea of how many adjustments you’ll need to make. When you put on some music, it can help you follow the rhythm of the piece.

    Whatever task you’re given, your goal should be to provide a quality final product like a musician would create a good song. The music you listen to can help by inspiring you to find your own sense of flow. As long as you’re keeping the rhythm steady and the notes clear, your rhythmic learning style should work.

    4. Kinesthetic Learning

    Kinesthetic learning is fairly similar to naturalistic learning because it too involves direct engagement with materials to help you understand something.

    Many concepts require kinesthetic learning.

    Kinesthetic Learning

    Being a kinesthetic learner means you can’t bluff your way through claiming to understand something that you barely do. If you’re learning from a carpenter, you should expect them to prove their expertise through how they use their tools and their finished project.

    Kinesthetic learning still requires elements of other learning styles. You may be learning by doing, but you still need to know about what you're doing and why. A good kinesthetic teacher will tell you why he's doing what they're doing every step of the way.

    A benefit of this kind of learning is how it involves constant engagement with different senses, leaving little room for spacing out.

    It can also break you out of a feeling of monotony that other kinds of learning might provide. With kinesthetic learning your mind has to be turned on and kept on.

    5. Visual Learning

    As a visual learner, words don’t help concepts come to mental fruition nearly as well as pictures and other visual aids.

    Many fields involve things that can’t be seen directly and which are too dense for some people to understand just through linguistic means. That’s where visual learning comes in.

    Visual Learning

    It would be hard to witness a dollar go up or down in value in real-time, just as it would be hard to witness the caloric content of food just by looking at it.

    Visual aids can also lend more immediacy to an idea that needs to be communicated. Just telling people that a disease is spreading might not do a lot to interest them. However, if you provide a map that shows which areas have been affected and where it could hit next, people can understand a lot better.

    If this describes you, try to put intangible concepts into tangible ones. You could understand cell processes in a biology class to dividing a chocolate bar up. Another thing you could try is brainstorming over which type of chart would be best for demonstrating each new concept you learn.

    6. Logical Learning

    Organization is important for you as a logical/mathematic learner, because you need to be able to put things in groups to help make sense of them.

    Things can be more understood when you’re relating them to each other. It’s why you need to understand the most basic types of math before you can begin to understand the more complex ones.

    It doesn’t have to involve numbers or other directly mathematical ideas, but considering how often numbers come up, it can only help. For your sake, being this kind of learner helps you to keep your thinking straight when you’re trying to grasp something.

    Many of the people we view as being the most intelligent are logical/mathematical learners. In scientific fields, you need to know what numbers mean beyond their value. You also need to comprehend formulas and apply them to your work. Buildings can stand up because of people like you.

    You might start by putting your information into different groups and then understanding each group, one at a time. This might require some trial-and-error thinking because your first categorizing instinct might not be a correct one. Working through this can help with your thinking and results.

    7. Interpersonal Learning

    An idea that you’re fuzzy about can suddenly click when you see how similar it is to another topic.

    Through interpersonal learning, you can talk to people and better find out what something means through the conversation. Your thoughts can work both as an explanation for yourself and who you’re with.

    You may also gravitate towards being at the front of the group, because you know how to get people bouncing ideas off each other.

    Although you want structure, you also want people to help mix things up.

    All ideas that are proposed can be seen as good ones when you're an interpersonal learner, because you're not looking for the perfect solution or explanation right away. If you're working in politics and are trying to create the best possible piece of legislature, you need a slew of opinions and perspectives to find the right one.


    Being an interpersonal learner can also teach others to fight against their preconceived notions.

    Give everyone a chance to speak and show they’ve been heard by recapping what they said and supporting parts of their ideas that you agree with. Don’t be afraid to challenge things that seem incorrect, but maintain your respect.

    How you see the world is shaped by who you communicate with, and it only takes form through constant communication.

    You can grow in confidence in your opinions and thinking process through more group interactions. Plus, others can learn from you when they see that being open to other ideas doesn’t mean you’re afraid of your own.

    8. Intrapersonal Learning

    Running the opposite of interpersonal learning is intrapersonal. If this describes you, you might loathe having to break into group settings and wish that you could just learn everything all your own.

    It’s not that you don’t like people or that you don’t see the advantages of group settings.

    Intrapersonal Learning

    Running the opposite of interpersonal learning is intrapersonal. If this describes you, you might loathe having to break into group settings and wish that you could just learn everything all your own.

    It’s not that you don’t like people or that you don’t see the advantages of group settings. You just learn best on your own.

    While you can’t prevent a class from involving at least some level of group discussion, you can use your intrapersonal learning style no matter what. Before a class, you might review the assigned materials and make sure that you understand it to your fullest potential.

    You need to have faith in yourself to be an intrapersonal learner. You're still using help from others, such as through books and instructional manuals, but you're primarily relying on your own mind and abilities to carry you through. It might not be until exposure to the first seven ways of learning that you see this one is best.

    Then, when you talk about things in a group, you may or may not have your understanding of the topic enhanced.

    Still, it won’t be diminished, unless your initial comprehension was completely off-base, which is unlikely if this is your preferred learning style.

    We can help intrapersonal learners even in group settings by adapting lesson plans to cover everyone. The styles that work for you should work on other people as well, and some people even need a break from competing ideas to really understand how something is supposed to work.

    The Most Common Learning Style

    All of these types of learning styles can be found in different types of learners, but distribution is not equal across-the-board.

    This could be due to some types being more specific than others as well as modern teaching styles favoring certain types as opposed to others.

    Overall, visual learners have a sizable majority when it comes to all the learning styles. Close to two-thirds of people are visual learners. This makes a lot of sense when you think about how much learning can be done just through seeing.

    If you saw birds flying south as the temperature drops, you could quickly come to the conclusion they’re doing this due to the impending winter.

    This is something that could be taught in a linguistic manner, but a visual type of learning can make it far more understandable far sooner.

    Visual learning can also help to translate complex topics into simplers ones. You might’ve heard it been said that one can’t expect to show they understand something complicated unless they can explain it in simple terms.

    With visual learning, extraordinary ideas can be related without being dumbed down.

    You probably have a good inkling of your learning style based on reading this, but if you're not sure, there are ways you can find it out. You can take a test that asks different questions about how you learn in order to best diagnose you. You may also try each learning style and see which kind works best for you.

    • Not all types of learning styles work for all situations.

      If you're a linguistic learner, that can help you a lot when learning about philosophy but not as much when you're learning how to swim. You should be receptive to any kind of learning because each of these is best in certain situations.

    In Conclusion

    All types of learning styles, from the most to least common, are valid as long as they’re helping someone.

    There could be people who are learning in ways that haven’t yet been defined, but which could vastly improve how a generation to come learns. For now, we can support every kind of learner and encourage active communication between all.

    Don’t let yourself be carried away from your favored style even if it feels like visual learners or linguistic ones surround you.

    Understanding each of these styles can only happen through people articulating how they work best.

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