Study Guide 5



To pass this unit you will need to be able to:
5.1 Discuss Visual, Auditory & Kinaesthetic learning preferences.
5.2 Analyse how different learning styles can be accommodated through various Tai Chi teaching methods.




 Visual Auditory & Kinaesthetic Learning Preferences



Everyone learns in a different way - some may prefer to read how to do something, others may prefer to listen to someone giving them instructions, whilst others prefer to learn by doing.

One way of looking at learning styles is to determine your hemispheric dominance i.e are you more right brained or left brained?

 Take a look at the link below to find out more about left and right side brain dominance. Once you're read the information in the link, scroll down to the bottom of the link and click on the Hemispheric Dominance Inventory to find out your personal dominance, if any.

Left and Right Brain

What kind of thinker are you? I'm mainly right brain.


For a broader understanding of Left & Right brain, you might want to watch the video below.


Your learning styles have more influence than you may realize -your preferred styles guide the way you learn. They also change the way you internally represent experiences, the way you recall information, and even the words you choose.
Research shows us that each learning style uses different parts of the brain. By involving more of the brain during learning, we remember more of what we learn. Researchers using brain-imaging technologies have been able to find out the key areas of the brain responsible for each learning style.

The Visual-Auditory-Kinaesthetic learning styles model or 'inventory', usually abbreviated to VAK, provides a simple way to explain and understand your own learning style (and learning styles of others).
According to the VAK model, most people possess a dominant or preferred learning style, however some people have a mixed and evenly balanced blend of the three styles.

Visual learners prefer seeing & reading to learn, whilist Auditory learners prefer listening & speaking and Kinaesthetic learners prefer touching and doing.

Before you move on, try this quick test to check out your own learning preferences. It will provide you with evidence for your portfolio.

Please take this VAK test before you go any further. You will need to download the Word Doc and save to your PC first. Fill in the questionairre and add up your scores. (The form asks you to tick or circle the answers - you can highlight or put put a x by them instead if you complete this on your PC) Keep a copy of this test for your portfolio.

Make a note of your scores and the details. You will need this for your discussion. You may also want to look at this link to provide you with more learning styles information.

Now take a look at the links below. They will provide you with specific information about the 3 learning styles:

Visual Learners

Auditory Learners

Kinaesthetic Learners

Wikipedia also has lots of information on these 3 learning styles so you may like to search for further information

Remember that the 3 learning styles are only preferences for how one might learn. Your aim should be to 'work on' using all of the styles to learn from.

Accommodating different learning styles by using different

Tai Chi teaching methods

Because everyone prefers to learn in a certain way, especially when in a new situation or learning environment, it is useful to have a range of teaching methods to cover the range of learning styles to help them achieve this.

If you were teaching in a classroom setting you might find this easier, but teaching in village halls, hospitals or places outside of a 'normal' classroom environment, often reduces your options!

Tai Chi is traditionally taught by demonstration. The instructor performs and the student copies. Although this is still the most effective way to teach the movements of the Form, there is more to Tai Chi than being able to reproduce the movements as you well know! 



We'll look at resources first and how these can help individual learners by ensuring that you cover a variety of styles.

Here's two basic resources that you could use to help teach Tai Chi:
Video's or DVD's

Let's consider Handouts - they can be text, or they could be pictures, diagrams, mind maps or even give website addresses where students can look at videos or hear podcasts.

Can you divide these different types of handouts into different learning style types? Use the information that you have gained from the learning styles videos above, to do this.
Once you have done this, can you think of the perfect handout that would suit all learning styles? Can this be done with a handout?

 Now let's take a look at your Teaching Methods.

Commonly used methods are:
'Lecture' - the instructor talking with students listening.
Discuss - students discuss a topic that you have given them - maybe something that you gave them in a handout the week before or something that you gave them for homework.
Perform/Demonstration - students copy what you are doing.
Verbal Description - describe a movement and how it should be done.
Give a test - Ask them to write down answers or reply to questions that you give.

If you look at the list above you'll notice that individually, each teaching method tends to cover only one or two of the learning styles, so how could you improve on this and cover more than one style with only one teaching method?

Let's consider a simple test. It doesn't just have to be a sit down affair!

  • You could split the group into two smaller groups, give both groups a large piece of paper and a felt tip pen.
  • Give them a question - for example " What do you know about meridians and qi?"
  • Then ask them to discuss this between themselves.
  • Ask them to write down on paper,everything they can think of, telling them that they can use diagrams to help explain their answers if they so wish.

Now how many learning styles have you now covered by using this type of test as one of your teaching methods?

We'll now look at performances by the student.

  • You can get the students to perform as a group.
  • You can pair the students up.
  • If we look at the latter - paired work by your students.
    Here you can ask one student to perform whilst the other watches. One can be the 'teacher', the other the student. By asking one to 'teach' or help correct the other, you are also allowing for discussion.
    You will see that by simply changing the way that you ask your students to perform, you can change the 'availability' of learning styles.

    • Performing generally suits the kinaesthetic learner.
    • But, if you use paired working/performing you will find that you cover all 3 learning styles. Can you explain how and why?

    Obviously you can't use this teaching method all of the time, but it's useful to use it when you can, especially towards the end of a session, to help reinforce what you have taught so far.

    When you have completed this study guide, you should be ready to tackle the assignments for this unit.