English Class Strategies for Various Learning Styles

English Class Strategies for Various Learning Styles

by GM Malik
Published: Last Updated on 105 views

English class is one of the cornerstones of a high school education. Not only does it foster empathy, critical thinking skills, media literacy and effective communication, but it’s also a mandatory prerequisite for most (if not all) post-secondary programs.

However, understandably, some students struggle with English. All that written text (graphic novels excluded) can appear monotonous and uninspiring to a student who prefers to learn in other modes.

According to the influential VARK model, students tend to prefer one or more of the following learning styles: visual, auditory, kinesthetic and reading/writing. This article brainstorms strategies for each style, exploring ways to make the most out of this essential, compulsory course.

As an overarching strategy, consider an accredited online high school for your ENG4U course. Online courses tend to feature diverse, multi-modal and multimedia approaches to learning, including visual, audio and hands-on elements – accommodating each learning style.

Visual Learners in the English Classroom

Unsurprisingly, visual learners absorb information best that’s visually stimulating. Informational charts, diagrams, pictures and illustrations aid the visual learner in seeing the concepts presented. Similarly, language rich in visual detail (like a particularly vivid passage in a novel) can help visual learners transform a text into a mental image.

If you’re a visual learner, try taking colour-coded notes in English class. Draw diagrams and mind maps to connect key themes and plot elements. Seek out graphic novel interpretations of classic texts. And in your creative writing assignments, try “painting a picture” with words.

Studying English as an Auditory Learner

Auditory learners like to talk things out. They process information by speaking and listening. In traditional lecture situations, this is ideal, provided that an auditory learner remains undistracted by visual and kinesthetic classroom elements. (Incidentally, this is another good reason to consider online courses: They allow students to tune out typical classroom distractions).

If you’re an auditory learner, read texts aloud or find engaging audiobooks. Focus on the auditory elements of an English class lesson, like the lectures and oral presentations. And consider making voice notes for yourself to review later.

English and Kinesthetic Learning

Of the learning styles, kinesthetic is the most misunderstood. Kinesthetic learners don’t need to directly touch everything they’re learning to absorb information. Instead, they need the freedom to move around, interact with their surroundings and experience their education.

If you’re a kinesthetic learner, online education is a fantastic fit. Unlike in traditional physical classrooms, online courses allow you to get up, walk around and attempt to relate the themes in your English class to your lived experience. Consider attending plays or live performances to experience the course material. Act out pivotal plot points in stories. And take frequent breaks to do the physical activities you love – while you brainstorm your next written assignment.

The last learning style in the VARK list is reading/writing. Often, learners in this style don’t need much help in an English course; the course was practically designed with them in mind. That said, reading/writing learners can engage with their coursework by taking detailed written notes during auditory presentations, reading texts, writing out their thoughts on performances, etc.

Hopefully, this article arms you with the strategies and self-confidence you need to complete your all-important high school English courses. 

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