Dnipropetrovsk National University of Railway Transport, Russia
In the actual pedagogy much attention is paid to the theory of learner typol-
Each student has a learning style that is a natural or usual model of perception
and information processing. Ideally, the learning process must match to any type
of a student, that means to offer different ways of learning. Thus, there is the
problem of creating an effective lesson organization, taking into account differ-
ent types of students.
Such scientists and researchers as F. Vester, D. Kolb, P. Honey, A. Mum-
ford, N. Fleming, U. Rampillion, V. Janikova, M. Looss, Christine Falk-
Frühbrodt, M.A Holodnaya, O.G. Yaroshenko, T.M. Derkach devoted their
works to the theory study of the typology of the students information perception.
It should be noted that despite the different approaches in determining the types
of students and appropriating learning styles, most authors distinguish elements
such as visual, auditory and sensory way of perception.
The students typology theory begins with the scientific works of Frederic
Vester. In his book „Think, learn, forget” (Denken, Lernen, Vergessen, s. 49–52)
1975 he describes the types of students and explain the learning through differ-
ent channels of perception [Vester 1998: 49].
He distinguishes four types [Vester 1998: 50]:
– Optical/visual type – learning through what you see;
– audio type – learning through what you hear;
– Tactile/touch type – learning through feelings and experiences/experiments;
– Cognitive/verbal type–the type that focuses on the interaction.
For effective learning of our students – philologists we consider a model of
learning styles, the main principle of which is four stage series of empirical
studies. This model is known as a Kolb model. The psychologist David Kolb
noted four phases of learning:
– Concrete experience;
– Mental considering;
– Abstract conceptualization;
– Active experimentation.
According to the Kolb theory, every learning should begin with a concrete
experience, i.e. experiment and so on. This leads to the observation and reflec-
tion of information that forms abstract concepts. At last the theory must be ap-
plied in practice. Active experiments create a new experience. So the circulation
of the four phases learning happens in practice. All stages of the formation of
mental actions interact and complement each other.
David Kolb distinguishes four types of students:
The convergers apply their knowledge into practice and solve problems
The divergers have good imagination and a lot of ideas and skills and can
analyze any phenomenon very well.
Assimilators have the ability to create theoretical models using inductive
Accommodators use concrete experience and think it is important to experi-
ment and to gain knowledge in such way [Smith 2001].
It is interesting how Peter Honey and A. Mumford [Honey and Mumford
2006: 19] have developed the Kolb theory and have introduced their own char-
These scientists also divided learning into four phases, but understand them
in a different way:
1) Having an experience;
2) Reviewing the experience;
3) Concluding from the experience;
4) Planning the next steps.
According to these phases four types of students are distinguished [Honey,
Mumford 2006: 19]:
We consider the Neil Fleming’s VARK model as the most common and easiest
model, which divides students into the following types [Fleming, Mills 1992]:
– aural (or auditory);
– reading and writing;
– kinetic or tactile.
In our study we rely on the classification proposed by Christine Falk-
-Frühbrodt  and her description of types of students:
– Audio type;
– Visual type;
– Communicative type;
– Individual directed type;
– Media directed type.
The audio type learns mainly through listening and speaking. These students
memorize poems or songs quickly. They also have the ability to draw conclu-
sions. They listen attentively, speak perfectly and are good at combining infor-
They work exactly and accurately. Their language is often colourful, rich, imag-
inative, full of details. Reading and making puzzles are the favourite doings of
The motor type (learning by doing) is a strong type that never has doubts or
hesitate. He trusts his feelings and instantly introduces impulses in his life. The-
se are practical students who consider learning as an active process.
The communicative type is a good speaker and even a better listener. During
the learning they especially like to take an active part in organization of the les-
sons. They want to ask the well thought out questions and to call in question the
prescribed dogma. The other students like their sweet nature, that’s why the
communicative types are often chosen as speakers in the group. The communi-
cative type studies with pleasure and interacts with others very well. The stu-
dents of this type have a large circle of friends and often start to engage in poli-
tics or the environment protection early.
The individual directed type needs a pleasant and ready to help teacher staff.
The best form of learning is an individual exercise. If a student has a good inter-
action with the teacher, it will be good at learning as well as others. If it is not
a very good relationship with the teacher, he can not show their full potential.
The individual directed type is not self-confident and often has doubts. He has
little or no friends.
The media directed type learns with pleasure using technical means of infor-
mation. He doesn’t usually need a teacher, he is able to get a lot of learning mate-
rials from the virtual teachers. This type doesn’t only use audio-visual media and
the PC for games, but also gets knowledge from it [Falk-Frühbrodt 2005].
Numerous tests are developed in teaching practice. Every learner can deter-
mine his learning style using these tests. There are some links that could be used
by everyone in learning practice: free learning styles inventory (test, quiz or ques-
tionnaire ...http://www.learning-styles-online.com/inventory/, The VARK Ques-
tionnaire http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=questionnaire, learning
style tests http://www.learningdoorway.com/learning-style-tests.html [Free learn-
ing styles inventory, The VARK Questionnaire, learning style tests].
We consider information in the article of Maaike Looss very important for
our experiment. It should be noticed that we get 10% of the information from
what we read, 20% – from what we hear, 30% – from what we see, 50% – from
what we hear and see, 70% – from what we say, 90% – from what we do by
ourselves [Looss 2001: 8].
We share the opinion of Christine Falk-Frühbrodt that the students types are
not isolated in the pure form in practice. There is a variety of basic types connec-
tions [Falk-Frühbrodt 2005].
Janikova argues that there are also identifications of the learning types in the
learning that is done through multi-perception. The ability of each student to
receive the information in a particular way is valued differently. Individual types
never occure in the pure form and are found in the individual mixed forms. The
learning habbits also play an important role [Janíková 2001].
Janikova emphasizes that a necessary condition for effective learning for
every student is to realize his particular strengths and weaknesses and to choose
the exercises proposed by the teacher consciously. They will help him to learn
the material effectively [Janíková 2001].
We think that he best way to put this idea into practice is using the key ele-
ments of autonomous learning: the focus on the individual, the student’s full
responsibility for their learning, the knowledge of the self-control skills and
learning strategies, the consultative teacher role, the various forms of the auton-
omy learning organization.
We believe that lessons shouldn’t be only traditional. There are various al-
ternative organizational forms, such as learning with computers, projects, so-
called learning stations that promote autonomy learning.
Learning with the computer has sense and advantage of the instant feedback
connection. The computer is a universal addition to other educational materials and
offers the possibility of self-organized learning, i.e. freedom of the choice of the
subject, the type, the complexity and the duration of the tasks [Pišova 2007: 16].
During the station learning the students receive from the teacher the work
plans with the obligatory and alternative tasks, that are called stations. The stu-
dents have an opportunity to choose time, sequence, social forms (one student
work, work in pairs or in groups) of the tasks to do these tasks for definite time.
The obligatory tasks must be done and they serve for processing the new materi-
al or for repetition and training [Pišova 2007: 19].
Various forms of work such as writing, reading, listening, working with
computers, playing, movement and even the perception of smell and taste pro-
vide diversity in education. The teachers accompany the students during the
learning process, help them to plan their next learning steps.
Taking into account different views on the types and styles of learning and
using a variety of organizational learning forms, we attempted to develop a les-
son that corresponds to the principles of autonomy learning and would be ideal
for all types of students.
The subject of the lesson: Mode und Geschmack.
The level of the students: A2.
– Computers with Internet connection;
– Handout (cards, printed texts and tasks, paper dolls and cloths, perfume testers);
– Desks arranged in a circle.
The lesson run:
At the beginning of the lesson, the teacher asks the students to guess the top-
ic of the lesson. He gives its description, but does not name it. When the students
have guessed that topic, the teacher writes a topic on the blackboard and asks the
students to come up and write all the words that are associated with the concept
„Mode und Geschmack”. Then the teacher encourages the students to choose
one of the proposed tasks, as well as the way, how they will do it and to decide,
if they work alone or with a group of students.
The tasks that are offered, suit the different learning styles.
1. Read and translate the text „Modegeschichte”. Choose the keywords, give
them the definitions and type them in the computer. Sum up all information of
the text. The text consists of several parts „Mode der 20-ger Jahren”, etc. (400
printed symbols), each part has a completed sense. The student must only read
one part. So one or more students can perform this task. The teacher role during
this task is to help the students to understand the grammatical phenomena, which
are often found in the text, namely the comparison of adjectives and the declen-
sion of adjectives.
2. Pantomime: show the words that are on the cards. Make up the story from
3. Wear the paper dolls: a woman, a man, a girl and a boy. Represent your
choice. The students are offered the cards with the key words and phrases and
the grammar rules in the tables to the themes „Comparison of adjectives and the
declension of adjectives” that can help to express their opinions.
4. Choose the scent from the perfume testers for different individuals and
describe it. Prove your choice using the text „How to wear a perfume”, as well
as the cards with the adjectives that describe the scent.
5. Find information about the latest fashion in the Internet. Show and tell
other students, what is offered to wear this season. This information can be dis-
cussed after the presentation of this task.
6. Role-playing game. The students should imagine that they are the family
members. The daughter is going out with a young man for the first time. She is
trying on different clothes and is asking her family for an advice. The happy,
kind and cheerful mother agrees with any choice of her daughter. The strait-
laced and serious father never wants her daughter to have a date. He criticizes
any of her outfits. The good elder sister is giving good advice. The younger
brother is watching with enthusiasm and is also commenting the situation. The
grandmother is giving her out-of-date advice.
The family member number can be different, depending on the number of
the students who will participate in this game. The students may change their
roles or think out their own versions.
7. Listen, repeat and learn words using the software program. Listen to
a song about fashion (or a dialogue), fill the gaps in the text of the song.
The tasks are organized in such way that the students can use their previous
experience and knowledge and connect them with new information. It takes
about 20 minutes to do each task. During this time the students work on their
own, but they may ask the teacher for help.
The teacher has a consultative role. He should watch carefully how the stu-
dents are doing their tasks in order to help them in time. The teacher must have
the grammar schema, tables, cards with phrases that can help express thoughts,
opinions etc. If it is necessary, the teacher can provide the students with that
material and thereby save the time.
The students must show their results to the group, share information, expand
knowledge of other students and engage them in interaction.
During such lesson the students train all channels of perception. The lesson
is organized in such way that each student acquaints with the new vocabulary by
himself on a certain way that is the best for his type of perception. Then the stu-
dent thinks how he will explain this knowledge to other students and share this
information with them. In the second part of the lesson the students interact with
each other, repeat, review and extend their knowledge constantly, participate in
the learning process as an active or passive figure.
In order to determine the effectiveness of such learning we have held a re-
search in two groups. The students number is 14 people in the first group, and 15
– in the second one. First, the students were offered to do a learner type test to
determine the per cent relation between the number of the students of the differ-
ent types of perception and information understanding.
It was found that 29% of the students belong to the visual type, 27% – to the
tactile type, 23% – to the communicative type, 21% – to the audio type. It is
interesting that by many students (53%) two or even three ways of information
perception are almost equally developed. But one of them is dominant. When
developing the tasks, we payed our attention to the dominant one. It should be
noted that almost all students (87%) learn through the visual perception channel
The second part of our research is the realization of the proposed lesson.
group in which they were held. First, the students have chosen tasks and divid-
ed them among themselves. We decided to display the received data in the
Group № 1
Group № 2
Tasks № 1, № 5
(for the visual type)
№ 1 – 4 students,
№ 5 -1 st.
№ 1 – 3 st., № 5 – 2 st.
Tasks № 2, № 3, № 4
(for the tactile type)
№ 2 – 1 st., № 3 – 2 st., №
4 – 1 st.
№ 2 – 1 st., № 3 – 1 st.,
№ 4 – 2 st.
Task № 6
(for the communicative type)
№ 6 – 4 st.
№ 6 – 4 st.
Task № 7
(for the audio type)
№ 7 – 1 st.
№ 7 – 2 st.
Comparing the data, we can conclude that the students choice in different
of the tasks coincide with the results of our students testing.
Summarizing the lesson results, it should be noted the highest level of stu-
dents interest while doing the tasks and during the demonstration of the results
and exchanging of experience. It means a good motivation, which has led to
more effective learning. The students have learned much more information
than at the traditional lesson. Unfortunately it should be noted, that not all stu-
dents have coped with the tasks. Some students could not organize their time
properly, that’s why they haven’t do all their tasks in time. It was obvious, that
the lesson was held much more effectively in the group, where the students
knew their learning types and were previously familiar with the learning strat-
egies than in the group in which the students only knew the traditional forms
Every student is gifted in a different manner and requires an individual way
or an individual method for learning the new vocabulary. For successful learning
results the learner types must be determined and the learning strategies must be
shared properly. It depends primarily on the teacher, which strategies and tech-
niques he will introduce to his students and thus will provide the development of
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des Unterrichts Deutsch als Fremdsprache im Überblick, MU Brno.
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The article is devoted to the different learning styles. The classification of
learning styles is given. The lesson that corresponds to the principles of autono-
my learning and suits for all types of students was developed. The results of the
lesson are introduced in the article.
Key words: learning styles, perception, information processing, types of stu-
dents, learning style tests.