Phil Marlow English

Native-speaking English trainer and coach based in Munich, Germany

What’s Your Learning Style?

Someone tried to teach me a few phrases in Czech once. I listened, repeated and instantly forgot. Does that mean I don’t have a talent for languages?

Of course not! It just means that learning through listening is not my strength.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about the way I learn best, and now understand much more about my preferred learning style.

Take a look at the following styles, and think about which best describes yours:


  • You hear the sounds and rhythms of words.
  • The pronunciation of a word is important to you.
  • You remember details about stories that are told to you.
  • You recognise words in songs.

  • When you see or hear words, you often connect them with images.
  • Graphics and tables are important to you.
  • You remember details about stories that you read or watch.
  • When you read, the words themselves are like pictures.

  • Like a child with Lego, you see words as building blocks and like to play with them.
  • You don’t truly learn words until you’ve used them yourself.
  • You like to connect new words with your ideas and experiences.

  • You look for patterns – ways that will help you to learn words more quickly and efficiently.
  • Grammar is important to you, as it gives you rules to follow.
  • Using logic, you try to understand why something is the way it is.

Alone or Social?
Another important thing to understand is if you prefer to learn on your own or with others:


  • You like to learn at your own speed – not too fast and not too slow.
  • You prefer to spend time on things that you think are important, and not ‘wasting time’ on things that are not.
  • The place where you learn is important to you, and helps you to relax and concentrate.

  • You like to be challenged with new things that take you out of your comfort zone.
  • You like to take new ideas and inspiration from others.
  • You enjoy conversations and discussions.

And now?
The reality is that, although we might have a preferred learning style, we actually use a combination of all of them.

Trying to include as many aspects of the other styles in our learning method will help us to make progress faster.

For example, if you like watching TV shows on Netflix, turn on the subtitles (in English) so you can also read what you hear. And if you prefer to learn alone, occasionally test what you’ve learned by meeting up with other people for casual conversations.

Which learning style(s) do you prefer? Let me know at


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