What Kind Of Learning Styles Do ESL Learners Prefer?

It is also said that people do not necessarily have only one modality. Some might have auditory and kinesthetic perception. Others might have multiple sensory preferences.

2 What Kind of Learning Styles Do ESL Learners Prefer? Reid (1987) conducted survey on the learning style preferences of ESL learners. He analyzed the data based on various categories: age, mother language, TOEFL score, length of time in U.S., major fields, etc. Among them, we will discuss three background differences that affect learners’ styles.

ESL vs Native (weak proficiency vs strong proficiency) The questionnaire suggests that ESL students often differ significantly in various ways from native speakers of English in their perceptual styles. Overall, ESL
…show more content…
Suppose teachers can successfully identify their students’ learning style preferences, should they accommodate their teaching styles to the students’ preferences? Farr (1971) reported that their preferred learning styles paralleled their actual learning strength. In addition, Domino (1979) found that college students taught in preferred learning styles scored higher on tests. Selma (2009) also indicates that ESL teachers’ failing to adjust their teaching styles to students’ preference increased the students’ frustration considerably. It is quite reasonable to think that when students like something, they tend to go for it. Therefore, teachers should not only identify the students’ preferences but also change their teaching styles …show more content…
As for this issue, Fleming (2012) mentions two approaches; the adaptive approach and the non-adaptive approach. An adaptive learning system is one that attempts to customize the presentation of information and the instructional strategy to the individual learner. For example, an adaptive approach would identify the cognitive style of an individual and present information in a manner congruent with his or her style. A non-adaptive learning system may be defined as one that attempts to cater for cognitive style differences by multiple teaching modes within the same “package”. Students who do not understand it in one mode can find an alternative modes that suited their preferences. Considering that there are different types of students and the time is limited, it would definitely be better for teachers to have the non-adaptable-approach. Also, by having students identify their own styles, they can come up with their strategies to overcome the difficulty by themselves. Rhem.J. (1998) in his article on VARK had this comment on the need to challenge students to use their preferences rather than expect teachers to adopt new strategies. “It seems unrealistic to hope to provide programs that can meet the needs of all these learning styles, to ask the teacher to forgo strengths and become a presentational pretzel. Instead, why not empower students by helping them identify

Related Documents