Lesson 22 – Learning to learn

Warm Up

  1. Ask students how they learn new information or revise before tests or exams. Have they got any special or unusual ways of revising? 
  2. Ask where they study outside school or college. Do they usually work in the same place? Do they study with music or the TV on? Do they prefer quiet? 
  3. Ask if they think the same ways of studying or revising are good for everyone. Or are some ways better for different people? 

Main Activity

  1. Tell students psychologists believe that different types of people learn, think and remember things in different ways. Explain that they are going to find out what type they are. Put students in groups of three or four and see the questions.
    What type of learner are you?
    Many psychologists believe that different people learn in different ways. Answer the questions and find out how you learn. Score each question from 1 to 5:
    1 Almost never        2 Not usually        3 Sometimes           4 Often         5 Usually
    How to find your score:Write your scores. Then find the total for each type. If one total is a lot bigger, that is the type you are. If two or three scores are similar, you are a mixed type.

    Total V score
    Total A score
    Total H score
    V = Visual type: You learn by reading information or seeing pictures or diagrams. Looking at your teachers when they
    speak can help you
    Some ideas that might help Write information down and make lots of notes in class.
    Look at your notes and copy them again in a more organised way. Use coloured pens to show the important
    Ask your teacher to say things again. when you do not understand.
    Sit near the front of the class, but not near the windows or
    A = Auditory type: You learn by hearing Information. Speaking about ideas helps
    you study. Listening to
    recordings is good too.
    Some ideas that might help:
    before you read a text, look at the headings and any pictures. Talk to yourself or a
    friend about what it will say.
    Do homework and revise with a friend so you can talk about your work.
    When there are things you want to remember, say them to yourself several times.
    Make recordings of your
    notes, and listen to them to study.
    H= Haptic type: You learn by moving around and doing things. Touching and feeling
    things can help you to study.
    Using colours is also good. Some ideas that might help:
    When you are studying,
    work for about 25 minutes and then relax for 5 minutes.
    Do not watch TV or talk on the phone. Then go back to your studies.
    When there are things you want to remember, walk around while you say them to yourself or read them.
    Cover your desk with a big sheet of coloured paper to put your books on. Study with music playing
  2. Ask students to read the questions together and talk about their answers. Tell them to help each other with words they do not understand and ask you if there is anything they are not sure about. 
  3. When they find their score, ask who the visual types are. Do they think the description of the type is true for them? Do the same for the other two types, and ‘mixed types’
  4. Ask them to look at the lists of help. Explain that psychologists think that good learners use more ways of learning. On the board, write:

Which ideas do you:
use already?
think it might be useful?
Want to try? 

  1. Ask them to talk with their partner about it. 
  2. Check their answers and encourage questions and comments. 
  3. Ask them to talk to their partner about other useful ways of studying.
    While they work, write the headings on the board:
    Visual Auditory Haptic
  4. Check their ideas and ask which list the ideas should be in. Write the ideas in the appropriate list. Ask which are good ideas that they might try.

Follow up

  • for fun, the groups think of unusual ways of studying for each of the three types.
  • The class listens to each group’s ideas and asks questions about them.
  • The class votes on which ideas are:
    – The most useful
    – The strangest
    – The ones you want to try
    Keep score and announce the winner in each category. 
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