Thursday, August 04, 2011

Your Learning Style: Reading For Pleasure Or For Information?

What do you think is the most misunderstood learning style?
  • Tactile input?
  • Mobility-preference learning?
  • Holistic information processing?
Yes, yes, and yes. It's well documented that tactile learners are often neglected, learners with a strong preference for mobility labelled as unruly, and holistic processors misdiagnosed with ADHD. However, a learning style that can sometimes slip through the cracks is Visual (words).
You know that your child loves stories. You see her reading complex chapter books which are meant for much older readers. She can summarise the plot and describe every single character in the book as though it's her best friend. Who would blame you for assuming your child is good at receiving information through the written word?
And yet, the very same story-thirsty child might not be very good at all at deciphering non-fiction texts. It's as though non-fiction is written in a foreign language or a weird font, and your child struggles to find even the most basic facts in a textbook.
The apparent contradiction is not an inconsistency at all. It simply means that your child can learn through stories (usually associated with a holistic or integrated information processing). Provided the child doesn't have a non-preference in any of the following sensory modalities, she will be able to learn whether the stories are presented in a film, a book or an oral narration.
If your child is a bookworm and yet has trouble processing non-fiction text, let her practice on:
  • newspaper or magazine articles (they are often stories rich in facts)
  • brochures
  • business letters
  • encyclopaedia entries.
Choose topics she's interested in and ensure all her other learning style preferences are satisfied.

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