Skip to content Skip to Live Chat
Close Nav

Online Degrees

Part of Western Governors University

August 10, 2020

Teaching & Education

Auditory learning style explained.

Student taking notes listening to lecture

Everyone has their own unique ways that they learn. These learning styles are critical for finding success in the classroom—students and teachers who understand different learning styles are able to focus their education and use different strategies to find the greatest success in the classroom. 

Teachers in particular can benefit from understanding all the different learning styles, as they will likely have students who fall under each category in their classroom at one time or another. Being able to identify student learning preferences, cater classroom activities to different learners, and overall help improve all student outcomes, is key to being a good teacher.

There are a few main learning styles which are visual, kinesthetic, and auditory. Sometimes reading/writing is also considered a category for learning. While these categories are fairly self-explanatory, there are important elements of each that explain how and why learners thrive with this kind of learning. It’s also extremely important for teachers to understand how to identify students’ learning styles, help them work to understand in new ways, and provide them opportunities to learn in the way that is easiest for them.

Learn more about the auditory learning style and how you as a teacher can work to add activities and strategies to your classroom to help appeal to these kinds of learners.

What is auditory learning?

Auditory learning means that a student learns most effectively by listening. They would prefer listening to a lecture over reading a textbook, or hearing the instructions for a project instead of figuring it out hands-on. For example, a visual learner will want to see an example of the project, while someone who has an auditory focus will prefer to hear about the project. A kinesthetic learner wants to try it out for themselves, different from the visual learner and the auditory focused learner. There's not a right or wrong learning style—visual isn't better than the kinesthetic learning style or vice-versa. What's important is to understand learning strategies and study tips that can help you in a classroom environment.

Students who prefer auditory learning over tactile or visual will be focused on listening instead of seeing, reading, or physically trying in order to learn. Auditory learners like to hear things in order to process the information best, which is often a good option for classroom learning. 

What is your learning style?

Take this assessment to learn more about your learning style. Username: WGU | Password: learn

Take assessment

Auditory learning characteristics.

There are many great characteristics that auditory learners have them help them thrive in classroom settings. Some of their characteristics include:

  • Good memory for spoken information

  • Good public speaking abilities

  • Eloquent

  • Strong listening skills

  • Excel in oral presentations and exams

  • Good at telling stories

  • Good ability to read aloud and retain information

  • Distracted by background noises

  • Distracted by silence

  • Enjoys conversations

  • Unafraid to voice their thoughts

  • Good member in study groups and collaboration projects

  • Able to understand and process changes in tone 

  • Works through complex problems by talking out loud

  • Able to explain ideas well

  • Solid communication abilities 

Understanding these characteristics can greatly help teachers looking to identify auditory learners in the classroom. Students who are good at listening, are able to explain themselves well, have strong speaking abilities, and enjoy conversations are likely auditory learners. These learners may also struggle with distracting background noises on the playground, other students chatting, and even complete silence. Teachers who can identify these students can help create opportunities for them to learn, and can offer auditory learning strategies if a student isn’t grasping a concept or able to understand. 

Student at desk

How to teach auditory learners?

There are many ways for teachers to approach working with students who are auditory learners. Some of the best general ways that teachers can help connect to auditory learners include:

  • Repetition. Auditory learners process information best by hearing it, so using repetition and repeating spoken information can help them comprehend best.

  • Verbal discourse. Discussions, conversations, and overall verbal discourse can be important in helping auditory learners thrive.

  • Multiple learning outlets. Offering students the chance to listen to instructions, read them, or watch them gives different students different options for learning.

  • Help them identify their learning style. When students are able to understand how they learn best, they can play an active role in learning. Work to help students identify their learning style so they can use it to their advantage.

  • Include social elements. Using group projects, paired readings, and collaborative assignments can help auditory learners excel. This allows these students to talk with others as they are learning and working, which helps them retain information and work more effectively.

Auditory learning strategies.

There are some specific strategies teachers can try that involve auditory learning. Some of these strategies will help teachers meet individual student needs and create an environment where students can thrive, learning in the way that works best for them.

  • Utilize podcasts. Give students the options to read articles or listen to podcasts to learn about certain subjects.

  • Record lectures. If a student is out sick, listening to the lecture instead of reading notes can be a great way to help auditory learners.

  • Q&A sessions. Give students the opportunity to verbally ask questions and hear answers, helping auditory learners clear up misunderstandings or concerns. 

  • Call on auditory learners. An auditory learner retains information by hearing it spoken, so having them answer a question will help them learn the information better.

  • Reward class participation. Give students the opportunity and motivation to participate by speaking and conversing with each other and the teacher.

  • Play background music during silent times. Auditory learners often appreciate soft background music to drown out distracting noises and silence. This can be a good way for auditory learners to focus.

  • Read aloud. Use opportunities to read aloud to help students get information through reading, but still be able to use auditory functions to help them comprehend better.

Tips for auditory learners.

If you are an auditory learner, there are many things you can do to help yourself be better at learning and focusing in a classroom or work setting. Some things you can do include:

  • Ask questions. You’ll learn best if you hear answers, so that involves raising your hand and asking the question!

  • Find a study buddy. You’ll likely do better studying if you have someone to repeat information to or who can help read information to you. A study buddy is ideal for auditory learners.

  • Listen to background music. As you study, play subtle classical music that can help you focus.

  • Participate in discussions. You’ll learn best by talking and listening, so getting involved in class discussions is a great way for you to enhance your learning.

If you’re a teacher or a student, understanding learning styles is extremely important. If you’re currently studying to become a teacher or are currently a teacher, it’s valuable to understand how you can help auditory learners thrive in your classroom. Your teaching degree will help you understand how to create lesson plans and work with unique and different learners, particularly those with different learning styles. Start earning your degree now so you’re ready to help all kinds of learners thrive and succeed.

Share this:

One online university. Four colleges. Flexible degrees.

Our focus on your success starts with our focus on four high-demand fields: K–12 teaching and education, nursing and healthcare, information technology, and business. Every degree program at WGU is tied to a high-growth, highly rewarding career path. Which college fits you?

Want to see all the degrees WGU has to offer? View all degrees