What’s the worst thing about language learning? I bet “vocabulary” was the thought that came to your mind. Vocabulary lists and flashcards: A student’s nightmare. The main reason we all hate this annoying (but very important) part of language learning is probably because we haven’t found the right study method for our individual learning style. While lists or flashcards might be right for some people, they probably are not ideal for the majority.
You may or may not believe in the existence of different learning styles. My teaching and learning experience has shown me, though, that leaning into your learning style brings you nothing but benefits: Language learning becomes more fun and more efficient at the same time. So how about we have a look at the different types of learning styles, and how each style can learn vocabulary in a more efficient way?
Before we start, I should point out that there are many different learning style models and approaches. For our purposes today, we will take a closer look at the VARK model (Visual, Aural, Reading & Writing, Kinesthetic).
The Visual Learner
If you are more of a visual learner, you like to actually see your vocabulary. So, do you think in pictures when hearing words? Do you like your words to be presented in images, charts, videos or maps? Well, then you definitely have an inclination toward this learning style. How about you try Babbel’s Flashcards to revise your learned vocabulary? The images on them can help you to remember the words. Check out Babbel’s YouTube channel too. Here, you get the chance to learn new words in a fun and visual way, just how you like it.
The Aural Learner
Are you good at remembering conversations you had? Do you remember whole dialogues from your favorite TV show? Do you prefer to read information out loud to acquire it? Welcome to the team of aural learners! Us aural learners like to listen to new words and read them out loud. Conversations help us to maintain them. To revise vocabulary on your Babbel App, use the Listening tool, which allows you to actually hear the word and find its translation afterwards. And to take your language learning even further, how about you have a listen to our podcasts?
The Reading & Writing Learner
I envy you guys! Your notes, written out in such a beautiful and structured manner, are something I might never be able to achieve. You like and need summaries, and you prefer to study by yourself, absorbing the new information, maybe even creating a little written story around your newly learned vocabulary. When using your Babbel app to learn vocabulary, check out the Writing section: Here, you can read the translations and write out the new words and phrases. Oh, and I also encourage you to read some articles in your target language from our magazine!
The Kinesthetic Learner
You really like to put things into practice and do things with your hands, and you trust the wisdom of the process. Need to build furniture? Forget the instructions, and just do it, right?! You’re not afraid to fail. You take your newly learned words right to your next real-life conversation, and then you learn from your mistakes. The Speaking section of your app, where you can rehearse the vocab, is probably the way to go for you. Also, try to move while you do it! Take a walk and learn whilst you are walking. Or take a Babbel Live Class, and practice your new words with a native teacher and fellow learners via online language classes. We offer online Spanish classes as well as French, Italian and German classes.
Did you find yourself in one or more of these categories? No need to settle on a single one. You are probably a mix of several VARK types, so there is not a single way to learn vocabulary for you — more of a combination, or a recipe that’s unique to you.
But now, it’s time to get learning and master that vocabulary!