Learning Styles—Overcoming the Writing Barrier

Oct 13, 2016 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team

Whether you are teaching two students or twenty, you have likely noticed that each of your students learns a bit differently. One child might happily read a book and remember what he’s read, while another needs to hear it said or see a visual representation in order to really retain the information. Much like personality, each individual’s learning style is a bit different from anyone else’s. However, learning styles can be divided into general categories.

Three commonly accepted learning styles are visual learning, auditory learning, and kinesthetic learning. Many teachers and parents analyze their students’ learning styles so that they can adapt and choose curricula that will cater to their needs. This can get complicated, but teaching multiple students becomes simpler when the instructor is able to use one curriculum with all her students. IEW’s method of teaching writing tackles learning styles head-on by incorporating elements that will captivate all learning styles.

Visual learners love using images to remember concepts and ideas. With IEW, the DVD curriculums provide entertaining material that visual learners find easier to master. However, a DVD-based course is not the only option for visual learners. IEW’s method incorporates visual components within the structure of the units. Encouraging students to add symbols to their keyword outlines can help visual learners recall more information about the original source. Additionally, visual learners can underline the keywords in the source text to help them process the information. IEW also has Classroom Posters depicting IEW’s nine structural models for students to reference. A smaller version of the Classroom Posters is the Portable Walls—each student can have their own copy to reference as they work at home or in the classroom.

With auditory learners, learning comes more naturally when the material is discussed and the lessons are read aloud. Moreover, auditory learners are able to process the concepts presented in the DVD-based courses because the lessons are spoken aloud. Parents who choose to not use the DVDs can read the lessons and the source texts aloud to their student. With students who struggle with dyslexia or dysgraphia, dictation allows the students to work with the material and not be bogged down by reading the source text. Although it is a bit of work to read the material to a student, listening to the lessons enhances many students’ ability to learn.

For some students, the best way they learn is by doing it themselves. Hands-on students take a kinesthetic approach to learning, using mnemonics involving the body and enjoying playing games. IEW’s writing method includes different ways to actively engage your students. For example, the topic-clincher rule is learned through connecting body motions to the words.

With different learning styles, it can often be difficult to use one curriculum that will meet the needs of all your students. IEW’s approach works well with all the learning styles, but it also includes specific elements that will support each learning style. Although it will take more time to adjust your teaching style to match your students’ learning styles, the benefits will be well worth the effort. Differences in learning styles can often be a frustration for parents and teachers as they try to find a curriculum that works well for all their students. However, IEW’s writing approach can help overcome this challenge and make learning to write enjoyable for every kind of student.


Sharon Ashford, MA.Ed, is an Accomplished IEW® Instructor and Educational Consultant with over 15 years of implementing Teaching Writing: Structure and Style in both public and private schools. She is a former English Department Chair, Curriculum Coordinator, and Teaching Coach. She lives in Northridge, California with her husband Ken and two of their three college-age children.

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