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I do not want to suggest the idea that all these differences are derived from the field independent/field dependent opposition.

In fact you could consider a number of other ways of describing learning styles (Fig. For instance, you may tend to favour a sequential, systematic approach or you may favour a random, intuitive approach - and in this case you would tend to belong to those people who like learning by feel .

How can we identify and describe types of learning styles?

Let s start from a simple experiment, which is based on a well known psychological test. 2 for just a few seconds and immediately write down what you see. We can certainly see a vase - but we can also see two faces.

If we then reach the top of the line - personality - then we are obviously faced with the basic structure of your self , and that is something we can hardly hope to change, unless we venture out into the various forms of psychotherapy.

But let s now look more closely at learning styles.

One thing that has been worrying me in developing and using materials is the fact that individual students and whole classes respond to tasks in very different ways, so that the same strategy (for example, using inductive questions to become more aware of grammar points) has a different appeal to different students and therefore meets with various degrees of acceptance or rejection in the class.

The project has involved students and teachers discussing their own learning styles on the basis of a questionnaire, and has so far raised many interesting issues.

It also means that it may be interesting and valuable to investigate not just how students go about learning in terms of strategies, but also how students use their more general preferences about learning.

A second motivation to investigate learning styles came from the idea that by understanding more about our own learning styles we can probably understand more about our own teaching styles.

For example, field-independent people tend to be analytical people; in language learning they tend to focus on form and accuracy; they look out for rules and patterns; they like to plan what they have to say or write; and they like abstract, impersonal, factual material.

On the other hand, field-dependent people tend to be synthetic people; in language learning they tend to focus on meaning and fluency; they collect examples of language use rather than form rules; they like to produce an oral or written text in a straightforward way, and later correct it if necessary; and they like material which is of a more concrete, human, social or artistic nature.

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  1. Becta Learning styles – an introduction to the research literature 2. Defining learning styles The term ‘learning styles’ has no one definition – in much of.

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