Auditory Learners: Definition & Characteristics

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  • 0:02 Different Types of Learners
  • 0:26 Auditory Learners Defined
  • 1:18 Characteristics
  • 2:48 Strategies of Auditory…
  • 3:17 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Carnevale

Jennifer has a dual master's in English literature/teaching and is currently a high school English teacher. She teaches college classes on the side.

Everyone learns in different ways and at their own pace. In this lesson, we will focus on auditory learning and define the characteristics of this type of learner.

Different Types of Learners

There are many types of learners in our classrooms. Some students do well with kinesthetic, hands-on assignments, while others need visual aids to retain information. Some students learn best through the arts, while others need a more logical approach.

Let's take a look at a learning style called auditory learning and define the style and characteristics.

Auditory Learners Defined

Image of cartoon boy.

Meet James. Sometimes the teacher gets upset with James because she thinks he isn't paying attention, but actually, James is picking up more than most students in the class. The teacher calls on James and asks him what was just said because she thinks he wasn't paying attention, but James is able to answer in detail. But James may struggle if he's asked to read silently on his own or if there's too much noise in the room.

While James is able to pick up information by simply hearing it, he needs time to practice reciting what he's heard. James loves to participate in class discussions because he is able to relay everything he's heard and then internalize it as he speaks it out loud.

James is an auditory learner. An auditory learner is someone that learns through listening and speaking. This type of learner needs to hear information to be able to process and comprehend as well as have the opportunity to reinforce that information orally.


Let's discuss the characteristics of an auditory learner. An auditory learner:

  • Learns by sound
  • Is able to process information, such as instructions or content information, without writing it down
  • Enjoys actively participating in discussions, both in small groups and as a whole class
  • Remembers experiences and information in detail, such as names, places, dates, etc.

Auditory learners need to hear information and then speak it to process and understand.

An auditory learner is the student that's able to recall information by simply hearing it. They may or may not feel the need to take notes because they excel at processing information by sound and usually have excellent memories. Like James in the example above, the auditory learner may look as though they are not paying attention, since their main mode of processing stems from simply listening to a lecture, audio book, or video.

Because auditory learners focus on sound as their mode of learning, noises can be distracting. They may struggle to read independently in their head and need more time to process the information if given through a written medium.

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