We all learn in different ways. One line of thinking on the way we learn argues that there are seven different learning styles:
- Visual (spatial): Learning using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
- Aural (auditory-musical): Learning using sounds and music.
- Verbal (linguistic): Learning using spoken and written words.
- Physical (kinesthetic): Learning using your body, through your sense of touch and the use of your hands.
- Logical (mathematical): Learning using a logical approach, with an emphasis on reasoning and systems.
- Social (interpersonal): Learning as part of a group.
- Solitary (intrapersonal): Learning on your own.
Each of us learns in a way that blends elements of these learning styles. The topic we’re studying can also impact the learning styles that we use.
Understanding this and using it to our advantage can serve to unlock faster, more efficient learning. This is certainly true of learning languages (along with many other subjects).
Studies have also shown that the use of colour can have a significant impact on how effective learning is and how well we remember. The Influence of Colour on Memory Performance: A Review, published in the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, cites colour as being one of “the most important visual experience to human beings.” Colour links with our cognitive processes, our emotions and our memories.
The psychology of colour is a fascinating (and extensive) topic. Colour can impact our likelihood of reading something, or remembering a piece of information. In addition, it can impact our mood, which can in turn affect the way we learn.
Colour preference changes with age. Younger learners prefer the warmer tones of yellow, orange and red. Older learners lean more towards the cooler colours of green, blue and mauve. The soothing tones of blue can work particularly well in an educational setting, helping students to achieve the calm they need to absorb more information.
When it comes to language learning, we can use colour to our advantage in several ways. Whether the goal is simply learning the basics before a holiday, or attaining fluency with a view to building a career in the professional translation industry, colour can help.