Understanding how you prefer to learn
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Understanding how you prefer to learn

Do you prefer studying alone or with others, studying in a quiet environment or one with background music, using an electronic device or paper? Do you prefer a structured approach to your learning that you can get from a book or course, or a more flexible approach where you choose to learn what interests you most each day? To learn most effectively, it’s important to identify your preferred ways of learning and how you can use these in your IELTS preparation. It’s also important to identify opportunities you may be missing if you only learn in your preferred way.  Identify how you prefer to learn Learning in your preferred ways builds confidence, so here’s an exercise you can do to help you identify them. Think of a positive or negative learning experience that you’ve had and write down what made it successful/unsuccessful (e.g. Was it structured? Did you study alone?). The experience can be a course, a book, a video, an exercise or life experience. Think of another learning experience that you’ve had and write down what made it successful/unsuccessful.  Compare your answers in Step 1 and 2, identify how you most or least preferred to learn, and decide if your preferences can be applied to other learning opportunities. One result of this exercise could be that you decide to change how you’re currently learning because it doesn’t match your learning preferences.  You may, for example, have unsuccessfully tried keeping a vocabulary notebook and realise you should look for a note-taking app instead because you prefer to learn using digital tools. Your preferences may of course change in different situations or over time, so I recommend doing the exercise above at different points in your IELTS preparation. There may also be times when you need to learn in ways you would prefer not to. When to learn in your least preferred ways So, now you know how you prefer to learn, it’s time to think about what learning opportunities you may be missing. If, for example, you prefer studying alone and only do this, you’ll be missing out on opportunities to test what you understand by explaining it to other people. In this case, it may be time to think about joining a study group. If you prefer a structured approach to your learning and are working from the start to end of a course or book, you may be spending too much time on things you already know and not enough time on what you really need to learn. If this sounds like you, it might be time to take a more flexible approach even if you find it more challenging! How do you prefer to learn? What learning opportunities are you missing? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram. Pete

Pete Jones

3 December, 2020

Understanding how you prefer to learn

Understanding how you prefer to learn

Do you prefer studying alone or with others, studying in a quiet environment or one with background music, using an electronic device or paper?

Do you prefer a structured approach to your learning that you can get from a book or course, or a more flexible approach where you choose to learn what interests you most each day?

To learn most effectively, it’s important to identify your preferred ways of learning and how you can use these in your IELTS preparation.

It’s also important to identify opportunities you may be missing if you only learn in your preferred way.

Identify how you prefer to learn

Learning in your preferred ways builds confidence, so here’s an exercise you can do to help you identify them.

  1. Think of a positive or negative learning experience that you’ve had and write down what made it successful/unsuccessful (e.g. Was it structured? Did you study alone?). The experience can be a course, a book, a video, an exercise or life experience.
  2. Think of another learning experience that you’ve had and write down what made it successful/unsuccessful.
  3. Compare your answers in Step 1 and 2, identify how you most or least preferred to learn, and decide if your preferences can be applied to other learning opportunities.

One result of this exercise could be that you decide to change how you’re currently learning because it doesn’t match your learning preferences.

You may, for example, have unsuccessfully tried keeping a vocabulary notebook and realise you should look for a note-taking app instead because you prefer to learn using digital tools.

Your preferences may of course change in different situations or over time, so I recommend doing the exercise above at different points in your IELTS preparation.

There may also be times when you need to learn in ways you would prefer not to.

When to learn in your least preferred ways

So, now you know how you prefer to learn, it’s time to think about what learning opportunities you may be missing.

If, for example, you prefer studying alone and only do this, you’ll be missing out on opportunities to test what you understand by explaining it to other people. In this case, it may be time to think about joining a study group.

If you prefer a structured approach to your learning and are working from the start to end of a course or book, you may be spending too much time on things you already know and not enough time on what you really need to learn. If this sounds like you, it might be time to take a more flexible approach even if you find it more challenging!

How do you prefer to learn? What learning opportunities are you missing? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram.

Pete

Pete Jones

Pete has been helping IELTS test takers and teachers for many years and really enjoys helping people improve their English and their IELTS band score.

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