Auditory learners make up approximately 30 percent of students. Their learning style is characterized by the ability to learn by listening, rather than through being shown, as is the case with visual learners. Because they learn through listening, they are often good communicators. However, auditory learners also face several difficulties associated with this learning style.
An auditory learner's strength lies in his ability to hear something and then retain what he heard. This means that classroom teaching formats like lectures or discussions play to the strength of the auditory learner. He will remember what was said. Because he better remembers what was said, rather than what he read or saw, assignment instructions are best conveyed orally rather than in writing. He probably also has a good memory for names.
The auditory learner relies on what she hears, rather than what she is shown. She likely has a large vocabulary because of this reliance. This large vocabulary allows her to communicate effectively with teachers and peers. It may come through as being a talkative and active part of the class. This ability to communicate allows her to succeed in assignment types that foreground this skill, such as in presentations, debates and discussions. She may also show an aptitude for learning foreign languages.
An auditory learner can find himself easily distracted in a classroom environment. For example, he may not be able to read quietly to himself, preferring instead to mouth the words or read aloud. His attention may wander if the teacher tries to show the class a video or otherwise attempt to display something that doesn't involve sound. Noises inside and outside the classroom, such as other students talking, can easily divert his attention from his studies.
Auditory learners like to be heard. An auditory learner can become a disruption to the classroom if attention is not paid to her learning needs. She wants to communicate with others in the class, and can therefore experience difficulty keeping her attention on one thing for long periods of time. This inability may manifest as talking or whispering to herself, or as humming or singing. If she isn't provided with oral instructions, she may not be able to follow along with the rest of the class on assignments.
Steven Hill began writing professionally in 2006. He has written many academic essays and is also an author of fiction, with short stories published in various e-magazines, including Sonar4 and Sinister Tales. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wilfrid Laurier University.