Friday, June 8, 2007

Learning Styles: reflection 3

What is your learning style? Have you ever taken a learning style inventory? In your classrooms as teachers how have you or do you address the issue of learning styles? Finally discuss your experience with learners' beliefs about language, of either your students or their parents. How has it affected your teaching?

For learning languages, I am an aural learner. I am always walking around, pronouncing things to myself, and when I read in another language, I relish doing so aloud. This is probably related to my highly social nature--communicating is huge for me, so I listen very intently and pick up a lot of language that way. I enjoy kinesthetic and visual aids, but I don't always need them.
It's good for me to keep reminding myself to incorporate DIFFERENT types of activities, especially the ones I wouldn't naturally plan (like a math component or individual work). I have always use a ton of visuals and manipulatives, though. They are fun and wonderful for scaffolding and conversation-starting. Variety is so helpful to our students and is responsive to their needs.

Learners' beliefs about learning language are as diverse and unique as the learners themselves. I still recall one woman from Mexico who was a Spanish professor in Mexico and a restaurant kitchen worker in Dallas. I gave ESL classes there for the kitchen and bus staff, and it was interetsing. She had--no doubt--the strongest educational background and but she hesitated to participate in these free classes because she felt it was a betrayal of sorts to her country, culture, and mother tongue. We would have long talks about why she felt bad, and I empathized and encouraged her, and she did participate and make progress, but I will always remember how hard it was for her to do so. This is exactly what we were discussing yesterday in class.


Suzanne said...

I like that you used the word "responsive." The needs of students are dynamic. Their needs are impacted by countless variables. We must respond accordingly. Learning styles are subject to change based on certain variables, as well. A student's learning style may change based on the learning environment, subject matter, etc.

Carol said...


Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog. Also, what I have learned is that pride is a big inhibitor in learning anything. This is especially true of people who hold high positions in one country, and have to come down in the world in another, blaming it on the language. Those who rise again learn acceptance of their circumstances and seek opportunities where ever they may show up.