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ESL/EFL activities for different learner styles

The most common learner styles are: individual, group, visual, kinesthetic, auditory, impulsive, and reflective. Below are 11 ESL/EFL activities and what learner styles they are suitable for.

Reflective

A reflective learner likes to read a text slowly and carefully before answering questions.

Auditory

This kind of learner learns the best by listening to stories. According to my experience this activity is suitable for the vast majority of young learners (particularly at kindergarten level) and less suitable for adults.

Auditory + Reflective

One activity that I often do with my adult learners is discussing a topic related to a task that has just been completed. For example: discussing how to improve pronunciation after a speaking task; or discussing grammar after a reading text.

Visual

Watching a video is the best way to satisfy this kind of learner.

Visual + Kinesthetic

A classic, simple, and great activity is matching pictures to vocabulary. Since all learners are visual + kinesthetic (some more than others) this activity usually works very well.

Group

Many of my students feel more comfortable writing in group. Make groups of four and have one student writing down. All members of the group come up with ideas but only one writes down.

Group + Kinesthetic

Playing a team running game in groups usually works especially if the first part of the game takes place inside the group and the second part of the game is between groups.
Matching word cards to definition cards in groups is a good idea especially if the activity has a high level of difficulty.

Individual

For this learner style I will enumerate just two activities:
Writing a composition alone.
Writing new vocabulary words in a notebook.

Impulsive

These kinds of learners raise their hand in the class all the time. They want to speak English and they don’t have patience for other “boring” activities. I always spend a couple of minutes at the end of the lesson to talk to them. A speaking fluency activity is always a pleasure for them.


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