Previously, we discussed 3 learner types that your child may exhibit, and how her/his learner type may even change over the years. (If you need a refresher, do refer to this link!). Identifying your child’s learner type can go a long way in altering study techniques to suit his/her learning needs better. The last 2 learner types – reading & writing and logical – are arguably less heard of. However, they are still very distinguishable from the main 3.
Reading & Writing
Reading and Writing learners are the most passive ones. They are usually seen quietly hunched over their tuition centre notes and textbooks, intensely reading the words on paper. Most older kids will be a reading and writing learner type as their brains have developed over the years to no longer rely on tactile/visual stimulation for learning. With that said, encouraging a reading and writing learner is relatively straightforward.
Once they have read their Math tuition centre notes or textbooks, encourage them to write out what they have read. A study technique of a similar design is ‘blurting’. ‘Blurting’ is a rather intense study technique. It involves reading over sections in tuition centre notes or primary school textbooks. After reading each section, close the book and write out whatever you can remember on a piece of paper. Once done, re-open your book and ‘mark’ the differences between what you blurted out and what you left out. The ‘blurting’ out approach is exceptionally helpful for students who spend too long making aesthetically pleasing notes
Other than that, parents can expand the repository of information that reading and writing learners can tap onto. Broadly speaking, assessment books sold in bookshops can be categorised into practice-intensive and notes-intensive books. For reading and writing learners, parents can consider buying more of the notes-intensive books. Dictionaries are also great resources to whet their reading appetite.
Logical learners are very methodical and linear learners. They recognise that there are different ‘boxes’ to tick as they go along solving a problem. When confronted with a problem, they will think ‘I need to do this, and then that, in order to reach the answer’. They thus understand concepts better when they are grouped according to steps as opposed to receiving an influx of information all at once. To borrow a common form of expression, does one see a forest, or does one see a tree? Unlike visual learners who are ‘big-pictured’, logical learners choose to focus on specific ‘trees’.
Parents can thus encourage logical learners by establishing a series of steps for problems or questions that they struggle with. For instance, if they struggle with Grammar MCQ in English tuition, ask that they try first, check what type of Grammar question that is. Say that it is a Tenses question, secondly, they need to check whether the question is in past tense or present tense. Thirdly, eliminate the options that are not in the correct tense, and lastly, answer the question. Though it may seem that it would take longer to solve a question as they would have to undergo all the steps, the process would shorten with enough practice and time.
In a nutshell, identifying your child’ learner type is important, as evidently, there are many approaches for studying that your child can benefit from if they were tailored to his learning needs. While age plays a role in the shift of learner types over the years, it is also good to realise that your child may be a mix of learner types. This thus means having to experiment with different study approaches and arriving at a mix that works across different subjects in school or tuition centres.