Elementary School Students sample essay
In learning a new language, students face a difficult transition and often times, frustration and pain (Ybarra and Green, 2003). To avoid this, English language learners must be provided with scaffold and a variety of flexible language learning experiences such as language hearing, writing, speaking, and reading. According to M. L. Liaw (1997), language teachers should provide language-rich environment to learners and actively involved them in every activities which involve language practices (cited in Ybarra and Green, 2003). These learning activities establish a good flow of communication among students through their interactions.
Based on researches, individuals learn mostly through their own style of learning. Felder and Henriques (1995) defined learning style as the individual’s unique means of acquisition, retention, and retrieval of information. Different learning styles of students require teachers to tailor their way of instruction in such way that it meets the learners’ needs and preferences. For instance, teachers who are not fond of music, may not incorporate chants and songs in their instruction, thus, the learning preferences of musical learners are not given emphasis (Procter, n. d. ).
Teachers, therefore, must be flexible enough in learning new strategies in order to bring the best out of their students. Learning Styles and Teaching Strategies Felder and Henriques (1995) stated that students may learn in a number of ways including seeing, hearing, reflecting and acting, logical and intuitively reasoning, and memorizing and visualizing. Teachers, on the other hand, typically employ demonstration, lecture or discussion in giving academic instruction. The students’ performance is affected by their adaptive ability, preparation, and their compatibility with the teacher’s style of giving instruction.
A mismatch between learning style and teaching style, as foreseen, is a cause of poor academic performance. Butler (1988) classified learning styles into cognitive, affective, physiological, and psychological (cited in Lamboy, 2003). A student’s way of perceiving and ordering information or ideas belongs to the cognitive style while the affective domain speaks of social and personality traits in learning. The physiological dimension, on the other hand, refers to the senses which include auditory, visual, or kinaesthetic, and environmental factors such as light and temperature.
Inner strengths and individuality pertains to the psychological aspect while auditory learners love to play with words and their sounds through listening and storytelling. For Procter (n. d. ), problem solving and numbers are very appealing to logical children. They enjoy puzzle, pattern, sequence, and card games activities. Intrapersonal learners, on the other hand, are generally shy but have a good sense of self. Learners of this type prefer personalization activities such as drawing and writing about one’s family and experiences. Drawing, painting, or coloring activities are often preferred by visual learners.
Most of the time, they enjoy the teacher’s facial expression in storytelling and readily understand stories through pictures. Moreover, kinesthetic learners prefer learning through physical activities such as games and hands-on exercises while musical type of learners, learn best through chants and songs. Lastly, cooperative activities such as group works, interviews, projects, and surveys are best means of learning for interpersonal learners. Researches and Implications Ehrman and Oxford (1990) found the preferences of students in respective learning styles through an intensive language training (cited in Felder and Henriques, 1995).
Sensing learners used a variety of memorization strategies like internal drills and flash cards; prefer practical materials and highly structured or well-organized classes. Intuitive learners, on the other hand, favor basic vocabulary and grammatical rules, linguistic concepts and translations. Visual learners like visual presentation of information through pictures, diagrams, flow charts, time lines, films, and demonstration while verbal learners are fond of spoken and written explanations.
Also, active learners are inclined towards physical activities and experimentation as compared to passive roles of reflective learners such as listening, observing, and taking down notes. Further, sequential learners better absorb small and connected chunks of information as contrasted to the holistic preference of global learners. Felder and Henriques (1995) concluded that an effective language instruction then caters to the different learning styles of students. This means that language instruction must contain the elements that are appealing to all types of learning styles.
It should be a concoction of concrete information such as definition and grammatical rules; and concepts like syntactical and semantic information, and linguistic and cultural background details. Conclusion In planning for a language instruction, educators must consider the heterogeneous learning styles of the students. In doing so, they may creatively select learning activities that are appealing to different types of learners. In addition, educators may properly guide and give necessary aid to students for learning strategies appropriate to their learning styles.
Moreover, despite the amount of research that has been done with regards to learning styles over the last few years, there is no clear evidence proving that a particular learning style is generally better over the others. This is perhaps due to the human mind’s flexibility and individual differences. Thus, it is much better then, that learning strategies be given emphasis in every learning situation.
References Felder, R. M. and Henriques, E. R. (1995). Learning and Teaching Styles In Foreign and Second Language Education. Retrieved November 5, 2008, from http://www4. ncsu. edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Papers/FLAnnals.
pdf Lamboy, C. L. (2003). Using Technology in an English as a Second Language Course to Accommodate Visual,Kinesthetic, and Auditory Learners to Affect Students’ Self-Efficacy About Learning the Language. Retrieved November 5, 2008, from http://www. des. emory. edu/mfp/DissertationLamboy. pdf Procter, S. (n. d. ). Gogo Loves English Fits Many Learning Styles. Retrieved November 5, 2008, from http://www. gogolovesenglish. com/Articles/Stanton1. asp Ybarra, R. and Green, T. (2003). Using Technology to Help ESL/EFL Students Develop Language Skills. Retrieved November 5, 2008, from http://iteslj. org/Articles/Ybarra-Technology. html
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