Learning styles inventories are simple questionnaires teachers use to determine how students learn most effectively. Student learning styles include visual, auditory, and kinesthetic/ tactile. Visual learners assimilate information by seeing, absorbing information best from pictures, graphic representations, and facial expressions. Auditory learners must hear information in order to process it. Audiobooks, lecture, and class discussion are beneficial for auditory learners. Kinesthetic or tactile learners need hands-on experiences to integrate their learning. Activities that require movement or manipulation of objects are best for these learners.
Other People Are Reading
In 1983, Howard Gardner, a researcher at Harvard University, introduced his theory of multiple intelligences. Gardner's intelligences included: logical-mathematical, musical, spatial, linguistic, bodily-kinesthetic, naturalistic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligence. Learning styles are often equated with multiple intelligences.
Using the Inventories with ESL Students
Teachers can benefit from learning styles information when teaching ESL students -- those who are learning English as a second language. The teacher can pair two students who speak the same language to help each other, or he may want to pair ESL students with English-speaking peers. The teacher can also provide pictures for the inventory that correspond to the various questions.
University of Georgia Learning Styles Inventory
This online questionnaire is provided by the University of Georgia Educational Technology Center (see Resources). Students simply click check boxes next to at least seven statements with which they agree. The website then generates a printable, easy-to-understand evaluation of the student's learning style. The site also provides ideas for teachers as well.
University of South Dakota Learning Styles Inventory
Another inventory was created by an individual at the University of South Dakota (see Resources). Students give answers to each of 16 multiple choice questions; answers are a, b, or c. A's represent a visual learning style, B's represent an auditory learning style, and C's represent a kinesthetic/tactile learning style. The website totals students' responses and displays which style she chose most often.
How Many Ways Are You Smart?
This paper-and-pencil survey (see Resources) helps students identify their strengths within the multiple intelligences. Students simply check the statements that apply to them. Each statement is related to an area of intelligence. The areas with the most checks are strength areas for that student. See article Resources for a link to this inventory.
Learning Styles Explanation
This questionnaire is part of a lesson plan on One Stop English, a website for English language teachers (see Resources). This is one of the few learning styles inventories available specifically for ESL students. The students use smiley faces to mark the statements that apply to them.
What Are My Learning Strengths?
This multiple intelligences inventory provided by the Learning Disabilities Resource Community is more complicated than the others, but provides much more information. In this survey, students check all statements in all boxes that apply to them. The totals of each box are the totals in each area of intelligence (see Resources).
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- "TESOL Quarterly": The Learning Style Preferences of ESL Students; Joy M. Reid; 1987
- Learning Abled Kids: Learning Styles
- Education World: Student Learning-Strengths Inventory
- "The Internet TESL Journal"; The Importance of Learning Styles in ESL/EFL; Tatyana Putintseva; March 2006
- Ageless Learner: Introduction to Learning Styles
- Dr. Thomas Armstrong: Theory of Multiple Intelligences
- University of Georgia Educational Technology Center: Online Learning Styles Inventory
- University of South Dakota: What's Your Learning Style?
- Teaching Resources: How Many Ways Are You Smart?
- One Stop English: Learning Styles Explanation
- Learning Disabilities Resource Community: What Are My Learning Strengths?