Did you know that there are different ways of learning? Taking a bit of time to understand something doesn’t mean you are dumb because other people understood it faster than you. It just means maybe your way of learning is different and you may need to figure out a way that works for you.

Take Noluyolo for example. She did History and Maths Literacy at school. She was good at History and got the top marks. However, when it came to Maths Lit, she struggled. She thought she just wasn’t a numbers person and was more of a words person. That doesn’t mean she is dumb, it just means she has a different style of learning compared to a Physics or Science learner.

What are the seven ways of learning?

1. Auditory and musical learners – Auditory learners like things to be explained with examples for them to grasp the idea, and they may gravitate towards music subjects and group learning as a way to understand information.

2. Visual and spatial learner – Visual learners like diagrams, drawing out concepts, charts and processes. They learn by looking at visual concepts, creating them, and watching other people create them. Visual learners might be organised or creative in their application, and find things like colours and shapes useful.

3. Verbal learner – Verbal learning includes both writing and speaking. Verbal learners might prefer reading and writing, word games and poems. Verbal learners know the meanings of a broad category of words, can use them effectively, and actively seek out new words to add to their repertoire. This is where Noluyolo might fit in considering she prefers subjects with words, writing and reading.

4. Logical and mathematical learner – Perhaps unsurprisingly, mathematical learners choose careers in programming, accountancy, science, research and other number and pattern-orientated careers. This bunch is good with numbers and has more of clear and logical view in the way they learn things.

5. Physical or kinaesthetic learner – Commonly called hands-on learners, kinaesthetic learners prefer to engage physically with the materials of the subject. Some qualities associated with physical learners include preference to ‘get their hands dirty’, being energetic. According to Literacy Planet, they are more action-orientated and outgoing.

6. Social and interpersonal learner – Social learners show preference towards groups and collaboration. Some, but not all, will gravitate towards leadership within a group. Some of the qualities often associated with this type of learner include being a good communicator, being sensitive and empathetic.

7. Solitary and intrapersonal learner – Solitary learners can be visual, auditory, physical, verbal or logical learners. Some of their qualities include being independent, introspective and private. You know that one student who is quiet and always secretive with information when they know the answer? They fall under this category.

Here are some tips if you are struggling to keep up in class:

Learning is a stressful experience especially during a pandemic. Most learners are doing distance learning, which means almost all the responsibility is in their hands, which can lead to added pressure.

1. Ask for help – When you don’t understand, ask your teacher or one of the students you know understood before you did. Google must be your friend if you have access to data to search terms you don’t get.

2. Evaluate your priorities – School is all fun and games until the results come, so use your time wisely. Don’t break under peer pressure as it won’t get you anywhere.

3. Learn from your failures – If you failed a subject in your first term, try to find where you can improve for the terms following. You have four terms; make sure not even one is wasted.

4. Put in the extra effort – Always put your best foot forward; you can’t fail if you always work harder on your work.

5. Don’t give up – Failure is human, but always remember not to let anything get in your way of succeeding.

In life never compare yourself to other people, you have unique experiences and that’s what makes you, you. Learn the way you know how to, dedicate yourself to the fullest of your abilities and the outcome will display your hard work no matter what. So work hard now to avoid regrets later.


Learn more about why reading is important here

Tell us: What kind of learner are you?