Hello and welcome to English Chat. Being able to have conversations in English is one of the main purposes of many learners here. Knowing that, we have given you many lessons on pronunciation and listening. Today, we are doing something uncommon when it comes to English conversation. We are learning about the different ways in which people receive information i.e. your senses. Some people prefer certain ways of communication, such as seeing, hearing, smelling, etc. If you understand what type of person you are dealing with, you can communicate with them more effectively. This is, therefore, an advanced lesson and may not be suitable for the beginners around here.
Let’s jump right in so that you’ll understand!
The three types of people
- Visual: These are people who like to see things in order to understand them. For example, if you want to talk about economics with them, they’d like to see charts and graphs.
They like: Images, photos and visual aids. They like you to speak quickly because they do not follow every word anyway.
Difficulty: They like things to look good. So if you have an ugly Power Point presentation, you may actually make it harder for them to focus on and understand your content.
- Auditory: These are people who communicate mainly through words. Thus, hearing is very important to them.
They like: Clear pronunciation with good use of grammar and conversation signals.
Difficulty: They need a quiet environment in order to understand what is being said. If there are too many background noises, auditory people will likely be frustrated. Another thing is that they may not appreciate fast speakers.
- Kinesthetic: These are people who are connected to their bodies. They learn best when they get to move their bodies. For example, if you want to teach them about addition and subtraction, it is a good idea to give them physical objects like apples, pencils, etc. that they can play around with.
They like: Slow speech with lots of demonstrations and hands-on experience.
Difficulty: They prefer an environment where they feel comfortable with their bodies. Dirty, small classrooms may be a bad choice for these people. Moreover, a lot of high level stuff like Math or Philosophy can’t really be physically demonstrated.
It’s important to know that normal people are usually the mixture of these three types. Everyone learns in all three ways at the same time, just with different levels of efficiency. It’s never a good idea to just show a person photos if he’s visual, or to just talk to him if he is auditory. In fact, the more senses you bring to the table, the easier it is for people to understand you.
One advantage of understanding these three types of people is to understand who you are. Once you know which way of learning is your personal favorite, you can make your learning more effective.
If you are a visual person, you may want to sketch and draw a lot while reading or watching something. You should find a teacher online who uses a lot of visual aids and has a good sense of beauty and design.
If you are an auditory person, you may find it particularly interesting to listen to audio books while running or while in the queue at the train station, etc. Find teachers who speak clearly and at a moderate pace and whose videos do not have distracting noises in the background.
If you are a kinesthetic person, traditional lessons may not be ideal. Instead, go to youtube and watch tutorial videos that give you a hands-on practice or a step-by-step instruction to use something. Be sure to get yourself comfortable!
Communication with others
It’s easy for you to identify yourself. But what about identifying other people’s types? You will need to keep an eye (or ear) out for others when they speak. Listen for keywords that may give you an idea of what type of learner they are. Following are things that each type of learner tends to speak
- I don’t see it
- It doesn’t look good to me
- You haven’t really shown me anything
- It doesn’t sound right
- I’m not hearing it
- It doesn’t ring any bell
- I don’t feel it
- I can’t figure it out
- I can’t do it
Once you know what type of learner they belong to, you can use the appropriate phrases when talking to them to increase the effectiveness of your conversations. For example
- I’ll illustrate (draw) some key points
- It looks good
- Let’s look closely at this image
- Articulate and pronounce your words clearly
- It sounds right
- I want you to follow my instruction, word for word.
- I’ll demonstrate how to do it
- It feels right
- Let’s take it one step at a time
- Dim (adjective): dark, not enough of light. When you have a dim view of something/someone, it means that you do not like that thing or that person. For example: I have a dim view of Lisa. She always lies to her friends.
- Clear (adjective): you probably know what clear means but you may not know that it can also means understood or easy to understand. For example, you teacher may ask “Is it clear?” when he means “Do you understand it?”
- Insight (noun): knowledge and understanding. For example: He’s a bad manager. He has no insight on anything that happens in the office.
- Vocal (adjective): to speak your mind a lot. If you are vocal, you speak out confidently about what you think and feel. For example: Ann is a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage.
- Tone (tone): the sound and attitude of your voice. People can say the same words with different tones to mean completely different things. For example: I don’t like your tone. You sound very disrespectful.
- Hear (verb): can also mean to understand. For example: I hear you, but I still think it’s a bad idea.
- Firm (adjective): strong or tight. If you have a firm grasp on something, it means you understand it really well. For example: I will repeat this again because I think you still don’t have a firm grasp on the matter.
- Cold (adjective): unfriendly, quiet and not sociable. For example: It’s bad if kinesthetic people meet a cold teacher. They usually prefer someone who is active.
- Grasp (verb): to hold on tightly to something or to understand something. For example: Did you grasp what I just said?
That was sure a long lesson! To summarize, different people learn in different ways. Understanding your and others’ favorite learning medium will make conversation more effective. Finally, no one way of learning is enough or better than others. A good combination of them will result in the maximum effect.
Thank you all for your attention and we hope to see you again soon at English Chat.