Some people prefer to listen to new information and are called auditory learners, whereas others prefer to see the new information and are described as visual learners. If you listen primarily to words on the radio, on television, and in conversation, the sections of your brain that are activated (hearing words) become stronger, just as the specific muscles a body builder exercises grow stronger. Similarly, when you see the words, the sections of your brain that are activated (Seeing Words) become stronger. Still other people prefer to write down new information or to practice a new skill and are classified as kinesthetic learners. You may prefer to learn using only one of the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic techniques.
Suppose for a moment that you have purchased a piece of furniture or a toy that requires assembly. Visualize the contents of the box. Usually there are parts and a set of directions. How do you attack this problem? Do you
1. Read the directions thoroughly and/or study each diagram before beginning assembly?
2. Read the directions aloud or ask someone to read them to you as you put it together?
3. Look at the parts, ignore the directions, and start to assemble it right away?
If you selected number 1 as the action you would most likely take, it is conceivable that you have a visual learning preference. An auditory learner may prefer to hear the instructions or speak them aloud—number 2. The kinesthetic learner knows how the pieces fit together and jumps right in—number 3.
These three preferences of receiving and presenting information are called modalities of learning.
(How auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners think)