So I did an online test and found out that, as a learner, I am significantly more reflective than active, more sensing than intuitive, more verbal than visual and finally more sequential than global.
After some reflection, I realised just how accurate all of the statements are. I am definitely a more verbal learner because sometimes I just need a teacher to speak and explain something to me. If I was given a text to read and someone explained the same text to me verbally, I’d remember much more of what was said than what I read myself. I definitely couldn’t consider myself a visual learner. At school, teachers always pushed us to draw spider web diagrams for essay plans but I always ended up writing bullet points and lists. I’ve accepted at this stage that I’m not an artist and as much as I wanted to, I could never quite figure out how to get the information I wanted to get down into nicely drawn bubbles and arrows.
I am also definitely more sequential, reflective and intuitive. I remember details very well but sometimes miss the big picture unless it’s explained to me. Dealing with concepts and theories is something I’ve had to do quite a bit at college especially since I am studying politics which is full of abstract theories. It always helps if there is some event in history with which I can connect an idea. I definitely need something to happen in logical steps and if it doesn’t, I’ll actually need to put it in logical steps myself before I can understand it. I know from doing maths at school that I don’t really see the solution until I’ve completed all the steps I need to get there. It’s all about process for me.
Many online SLA resources are designed with a certain type of learner in mind. So, back we go to the French games website I mentioned in my first post.
The games on the website above are clearly targeted at visual learner which is perhaps why I said in my evaluation of the website in my first blog post that I couldn’t see myself getting much use out of it. It is full of pictures that match with words and this is not something that I would find helpful – I just wouldn’t remember random pictures and associate them with words although I’m sure this would be extremely useful for someone else.
So why should we personalise our language learning? For me, it’s all about efficiency. If I learn things the way it suits me best, I’m going to learn it more quickly. However, that is not to say we should cast the other methods aside. It would certainly be a disadvantage to become a one-dimensional learner, because some learning goals may not be achieved properly through one certain method. For example, it would be difficult to insist on using visual aids to learn aural French. In my opinion, an open mind is key and though it may seem unnatural or take longer, learning something in a different way can be helpful too.