The VARK model is a popular method used to categorize learning styles, and the acronym stands for visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic. We recognize that not all of our students will fit neatly into one category, or that someone might have characteristics of more than one learning style. However, we do use the VARK model as a foundation to plan individualized lessons that meet the unique needs of each of our students and capitalize on their strengths.

Today we wanted to talk about the first two learning styles in the VARK model, visual and aural, and the techniques we use when we teach visual and aural learners in swim lessons.

Visual Learners: Visual learners are also called “watchers.” In swim lessons, they learn best by seeing the activity modeled before attempting it themselves. Our instructors will demonstrate the activity or drill before asking a visual learner to attempt it. In a group lesson, an instructor might let a visual learner go last so that they are able to see the activity modeled again before taking their turn.

Visual learners might get caught up in watching other students (if they are in a group lesson) or looking over at their parents. We make sure that our instructors plan engaging and fun lessons that have little lag time!

Aural Learners: Aural learners are referred to as “listeners.” With them, we encourage instructors to repeat activity instructions multiple times, and to consider having the “listener” then repeat the instructions back before attempting the activity. Aural learners tend to ask a lot of questions, and while we want to acknowledge and validate those questions, we also work to build trust and instill confidence in our students so that they feel comfortable attempting new skills.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions! We’re looking forward to teaching everyone in summer 2022, and stay tuned for an upcoming post when we talk about read/write learners and kinesthetic learners!

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