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Last Updated on August 8, 2019

How This Learning Style Quiz Can Help You Make the Most of Your Life

How This Learning Style Quiz Can Help You Make the Most of Your Life

A textbook definition of learning styles is “characteristic cognitive, effective, and psycho-social behaviors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment.”[1]

That’s a fancy way of saying that different individuals interact with their learning environment in different ways. You’ll often see about learning styles in conjunction with teacher education and other types of cognitive learning courses. The theory is that, if the teacher is aware of the various ways in which people perceive information, they can differentiate the instruction to meet those needs.

To the casual learner (or the person who is trying to improve their life), understanding your learning style can help you find the best way to learn new information. There are seven different learning styles and everybody uses a little of each one (on a sliding scale).

In this article we will talk about how many different learning styles there are (and what they mean), get you to try the learning style quiz and find out how to use your specific learning style to improve your life.

The Seven Learning Styles

The following is an overview of the various learning styles:[2]

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  1. Visual (spatial). A visual learner thinks in pictures. They prefer having illustrations, pictures, and other types of images to help form a mental image of what they are learning. Visual learners are typically spatial thinkers.
  2. Aural (auditory-musical). An aural learner learns through music and rhythm. While actual music isn’t necessarily required to reach an aural learner, it certainly is more effective.
  3. Verbal (linguistic). A verbal learner prefers using words, both in speech and in reading. A person with this learning style might prefer a good lecture or textbook to more visual and auditory styles.
  4. Physical (kinesthetic). A physical learner prefers using their body, hands, and sense of touch. A person with this learning style is more of a “hands-on” learner who prefers to learn by doing.
  5. Logical (mathematical). A logical learner prefers information to flow from one thought or idea to the next. A person with this learning style prefers mathematics, logic, and reasoning.
  6. Social (interpersonal). A social learner prefers to learn in groups or through social interaction. A person with this learning style usually prefers group-work and project-based learning.
  7. Solitary (intrapersonal). A solitary learner prefers to work alone. People with this learning style are great at teaching themselves and often prefer self-study and online courses to more traditional learning methods.

Did you see yourself in more than one learning style? If so, then you understand that no one person has just one learning style. Each of the above styles exist in everybody to a certain degree.

One person might find a certain learning style emerge as the strongest (and, thus, more preferred). However, that does not mean that person cannot learn in one of the other ways listed.

Learning Styles and the Brain

Learning styles influence and guide the way you learn. They affect the way you internally represent your experiences, remember information or even the words you choose.

Research suggests that each learning style makes use of a different part of the brain. Here is the breakdown for each learning style:

  • Visual: Visual learners use the occipital and parietal lobes at the back of the brain.
  • Aural: Aural content is mostly processed through the temporal lobes (especially the right temporal lobe for music).
  • Verbal: Verbal content is processed through the temporal and frontal lobes.
  • Kinesthetic: Kinesthetic learning is processed using the cerebellum and the motor cortex.
  • Logical: Logical learning is processed through the parietal lobes (specifically using the left side of the brain as it pertains to logical thinking).
  • Social: Social learning happens in the frontal and temporal lobes.

The Learning Style Quiz

This quiz: Multiple Intelligences Self-Assessment consists of 24 questions and will take around five minutes to complete. It is one of the best online learning style quizzes I’ve found because of its simplicity and ease of use.

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You basically answer a handful of questions, and it will spit out your results in a small graphic and tell you what percentage you are in each learning style category. When taking the quiz, try not to overthink a question. Just go with your gut.

When you’ve finished the quiz, your results will look like this:

    If I am interpreting results of my quiz, it appears that I prefer linguistic and intrapersonal learning experiences. Essentially it means that I learn best when I’m working alone, and my preferred method of learning is through verbal means (i.e. written or lecture-based).

    Look at your results and decide which type you are (visual, kinesthetic, or aural) and how you prefer to learn (interpersonal or intrapersonal). The rest is just details. You can also look at the areas you are weaker in and try to strengthen your ability to learn in those ways.

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    How to Use the Learning Style Quiz to Improve Your Life

    Perhaps you didn’t realize that people had different learning styles before you read this article. Maybe you already knew about learning styles.

    Whatever the case, you can learn a lot about yourself just by taking this short learning styles quiz. But what do you do with the knowledge you get from the results?

    If you are:

    1. Visual Learner. Ditch the audio-books and podcasts and either read or watch lectures online. Your strength is found in visual explanation — seeing the information in a book, diagram, or demonstration.
    2. Auditory Learner. Talk with other people and listen to podcasts or audio-books. Your strength is found in aural cues — hearing the information with your own two ears.
    3. Kinesthetic Learner. Forget about the classroom or online courses. Go out and find a way to learn using a hands-on approach. Take a class at your local community college and get involved with what you are learning about.

    Also be aware that most of the learning styles can fit into one of those three categories. You are essentially going to be one of these three types of learning styles paired with an interpersonal or intrapersonal preference. In other words, you either like working with others or you don’t.

    Conclusion

    Have you taken the learning style quiz yet? If not, here is the link again.

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    If you spend just five to ten minutes on this quiz, it may give you insight into learning styles that will change your life.

    Maybe you were a bad student in school and didn’t realize that this had something to do with it. If you were a kinesthetic learner, for example, you probably hated school with a passion. Use this information to grow in knowledge and, thus, improve the overall quality of your life.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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    James Leatherman

    The founder of Happymindsets.com and is passionate about personal growth, psychology, philosophy and science

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    Last Updated on September 17, 2019

    What’s the Easiest Language to Learn for English Speakers?

    What’s the Easiest Language to Learn for English Speakers?

    Who says learning a language needs to be hard?

    The better question to ask is: what is the easiest language to learn in the shortest amount of time?

    How to Know Which Languages Are Easier to Learn?

    Playing to Your Strengths

    One way to hack this process is to first understand that as English speakers, we have in our hands one of the most connected languages that exists. It’s linked to many European Germanic languages by descent or influence, and over 50 percent of English words stem from Latin or French.

      This probably doesn’t come as a big surprise to most, as the structure, alphabet, and makeup of the language is very similar to Spanish, Italian, French, and other languages from the latin root.

      Bestselling author and polyglot, Tim Ferriss, says that you should consider a new language like a new sport.

      There are certain physical prerequisites (height is an advantage in basketball), rules (a runner must touch the bases in baseball), and so on that determine if you can become proficient at all, and—if so—how long it will take.

      For example, it would a wiser choice and indicate a higher likelihood of success if a professional water polo player decided to transition into playing handball: similar structures, rules, and physical requirements.

      However, it wouldn’t be too wise if Kobe Bryant started to play professional ice hockey. It involves learning too many new rules, an entire new skill (skating), and the likelihood of success decreases significantly (or will take 10x longer).

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      Language learning is no different. As a “professional” language learner, we need to first breakdown our strengths and our understanding of existing rules and structures.

      If you already speak English, picking a compatible language with similar sounds and word structure like Spanish, instead of a completely different root like Mandarin, could mean the difference between reaching conversation fluency in 3 months versus 3 years.

      Follow the Golden Sentences

      If you want to determine which is the easiest language to learn, you should aim to answer the following questions first.

      • Are there new grammatical structures that will postpone fluency?
      • Are there new sounds that will double or quadruple the time it takes to acquire fluency? (particularly vowels)
      • How similar is it to languages I already understand? What will help and what will interfere?
      • All of which answer the question: How difficult will it be, and how long would it take to become fluent?

      An effective tool to use to answer all of these questions is called The Golden Sentences.

      It comprises eight sentences that expose much of the language, and quite a few deal breakers.

      1. The apple is red.
      2. It is John’s apple.
      3. I give John the apple.
      4. We give him the apple.
      5. He gives it to John.
      6. She gives it to him.
      7. I must give it to him.
      8. I want to give it to her.

      Here’s a directly translated version of these sentences in Spanish.

      1BObwE56jfMqAPOokV2IBsA

        There’s a couple of reasons why these sentences are helpful:

        • It shows you how verbs are conjugated based on the speaker (gender and number)
        • You can see a high-level view of the fundamental sentence structures, which helps you answer questions like: is it subject-verb-object (SVO) like English and Chinese (“I eat the apple”), is it subject-object-verb (SOV) like Japanese (“I the apple eat”), or something else?
        • The first three sentences shows you if the language has a noun case that may become a pain in the butt for you. For example in German, “the” might be der, das, die, dem, den and more depending on whether “the apple” is an object, indirect object, possessed by someone else, etc.

        If possible, I recommend you check with a language teacher to fully understand the translation of these sentences and how transferable your existing languages are.

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        As a rule of thumb: use The Golden Sentences as your guiding map, before you choose the vehicle (the method). It will help you achieve your goals in half the time.

        Difficulty Level for Learning the 7 Most Common Languages

        Now let’s dive into dissecting which of the hundreds of languages that exist, is the easiest language to learn.

        We profiled each of the languages we’ll mention into the following categories:

        • Speaking: This is based on the ease with which learners are able to pick up this language.
        • Grammar: Used as a criterion when ranking a given language as easy, moderately easy, or difficult to acquire.
        • Writing: In many languages, learning to speak first and write later makes the journey easier. Other languages are equally easy to speak and write. This item spells out the easiest languages to write alongside the most difficult. As with speaking, easy, moderately easy, and difficult were used to qualify each language.

        We’ve decided to rank the order of the languages from easiest to hardest to learn.

        1. Spanish

        • Speaking: Very Easy
        • Grammar: Very Easy
        • Writing: Easy
        • Overall: Very Easy

        As English speakers, we can be thankful that Spanish pronunciations are one of the easiest to learn.

        Overall, Spanish has a shallow orthographic depth – meaning that most words are written as pronounced. This means that reading and writing in Spanish is a straightforward task.

        With only ten vowel and diphthong sounds (English has 20), and no unfamiliar phonemes except for the fun-to-pronounce letter ñ. This makes learning how to speak Spanish the easiest out of the bunch, and may give you the best return on your time and investment, as 37 per cent of employers rated Spanish as a critical language to know for employment.[1]

        2. Italian

        • Speaking: Easy
        • Grammar: Easy
        • Writing: Moderately Easy
        • Overall: Easy

        Italian is the most “romantic” of the romance languages. Luckily its latin-rooted vocabulary translates into many similar Italian/English cognates, such as foresta (forest), calendario (calendar), and ambizioso (ambitious).

        Like Spanish, many of the words in Italian are written as pronounced. Moreover, the Italian sentence structure is highly rhythmic, with most words ending in vowels. This adds a musicality to the spoken language which makes it fairly simple to understand, and a spunky language to use.

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        3. French

        • Speaking: Moderate
        • Grammar: Moderate
        • Writing: Moderately Easy
        • Overall: Moderate

        Despite how different French may appear at first, linguists estimate that French has influenced up to a third of the modern English language.

        This may also explain why French’s Latin derivations make much of the vocabulary familiar to English speakers (edifice, royal, village). There are also more verb forms (17, compared to the English 12) and gendered nouns (le crayon, la table).

        But it’s not all easy.

        Pronunciation in French is especially difficult, with vowel sounds and silent letters that you may not be used to in English.

        4. Portuguese

        • Speaking: Moderate
        • Grammar: Moderate
        • Writing: Moderate
        • Overall: Moderate

        With the Brazilian economy ranking 6th in the world, Portuguese has become a powerful language to learn. One great element of the language is that interrogatives are fairly easy, expressed by intonation alone (“You Like This?”) If you can say it in Portuguese, you can ask it. What’s more, in Brazilian Portuguese, there’s one catchall question tag form: não é.

        The main difficulty with the pronunciation is the nasal vowel sounds that require some practice.

        5. German

        • Speaking: Difficult
        • Grammar: Moderate
        • Writing: Moderate
        • Overall: Moderately Difficult

        For many English speakers, German is a difficult language to pick up. Its long words, four noun case endings, and rough pronunciation gives your tongue quite the work out each time you speak.

        German is recognized as a very descriptive language. A good example is how they use the noun by combining the object with the action at hand.

        Example: das Fernsehen – the television, combines the words fern, far, andsehen, watching, lit. far-watching.

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        On the other hand, German can be a fun language to learn and its use of grammar is considered to be quite logical, with many overlapping words in English. Just watch out for the exceptions to the rules!

        6. Hindi

        • Speaking: Moderate
        • Grammar: Moderately Difficult
        • Writing: Difficult
        • Overall: Moderately Difficult

        There are many familiar words in English which are either Hindi or of Hindi origin. For example guru, jungle, karma, yoga, bungalow, cheetah, looting, thug and avatar. Hindi also uses lots of English words. They are read and pronounced as they are in English, but are written in Hindi. For example, डॉक्टर is pronounced doctor and स्टेशन is pronounced station.

        This shows that while learning the vocabulary and pronunciation of Hindi may not to be too difficult due to its similarity to English, writing in Hindi is a different ball game.

        7. Mandarin

        • Speaking: Difficult
        • Grammar: Difficult
        • Writing: Very Difficult
        • Overall: Very Difficult

        Last, but not least: Mandarin. We mainly put this here to show you the contrasting difference between the easiest language to learn (Spanish) and the hardest language to learn, for English speakers.

        While language learners won’t struggle as much on the grammar, mastering the tones can be very difficult. Mandarin is a tonal language, which means the pitch or intonation used when a word is spoken impacts its meaning. For example, tang with a high tone means soup, but tang with a rising tone means sugar.

        Learning Mandarin has its rewards though, providing cultural insights and knowledge. But according to the BBC, you’ll need to memorize over 2,000 characters to read a Chinese newspaper![2]

        What’s the Easiest Language to Learn?

        Winner: Spanish

        The clear winner for the easiest language to learn is Spanish. Everything from writing, grammar, and speaking will come more naturally to the English speaker: similar rules, structure, and latin roots.

        It’ll be like going from playing football to ultimate Frisbee.

        More About Language Learning

        Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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