Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 11 : 2 February 2011
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.
         L. Ramamoorthy, Ph.D.



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Learning Styles and Teaching Strategies: Creating a Balance

Samina Malik, Ph.D.
Fouzia Janjua, Ph.D.


Students learn in various ways, and one approach to teaching might not work for every student or even for most students (Hawk, Thomas, Shah, Amit, 2007). This paper investigates the learning styles of a small number of learners in a limited setting at the higher education level. The VARK inventory was administered to 18 M.S. students of the Department of English at the International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan to determine their learning styles. Fellow teachers were then made aware of the results of the inventory.

Students were also trained through a workshop for the development of a holistic learning approach which integrates the four major learning styles to make them more reflective, absorptive and self aware. A teacher training session was organized for the development of innovative approaches to teaching by integrating different teaching styles into classroom instruction, curriculum development and procedures for evaluation, while taking cognizance of the preferred thinking patterns of the students.

The study led to the findings that at the postgraduate level, (a) exposure to the possibilities of a holistic learning style helps students in their academic intake, and (b) development of a parallel holistic teaching approach helps in the creation of an effective academic environment.

Keywords: Learning styles, Higher Education students, Teaching strategies, VARK inventory.


How can a student learn best? What is the role of learning styles in a teaching-learning situation? These are questions that teachers should take into account to address classroom issues related to a given academic programme. Learning is a dynamic, lifelong process. Individuals involved in the process of learning often develop attitudes and behaviors which determine preferences and expectations in the way they learn. These preferred ways are called learning styles.

Individuals acquire and pass knowledge in their own particular way (Fleming 2001, Fuller, Norby, Pearce, & Strand, 2000). They have their preferences which have been the basis of much research. According to Budny, a learning style is a set of personal characteristics that differentiate it from other learning styles (2000). Research demonstrates that students have learning preferences that have strong impact on their knowledge retention (Borchert, Jensen, Yates 1999). If the method of information delivery is in accordance to their particular learning style they learn better (Danish, Awan, 2008, Suskie, Robotham, 2009).

Taylor (2004) argues that traditional approaches to learning and teaching will not have the capacity to meet the increasing demands of higher education in future. This is mainly because of significant and ongoing societal and technological developments that have resulted in major changes in the field of higher education (Jochems, Merrienboer & Koper, 2004). These changes require instructions that meet the demand of international standards and fulfill the needs of global students. Such transformation is vital in the delivery of course materials worldwide (Kellner, 2004).

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Call for Papers for a Language in India Special Volume on
Autobiography and Biography in Indian Writing in English
| Call for Papers for a Special Volume on Indian Writing in English - Analysis of Select Novels of 2009-2010 | Hoping Against Hope: A Discourse on Perumal Murugan's Koolla Madari (Seasons of the Palm) | Ghanaian English: Spelling Pronunciation in Focus | The Relationship between Gaining Mastery on 'Content' (School Subject Matters) and 'Linguistic Competence Level in Second Language' through Immersion Program | Reader-centric and Text-centric Approaches to Novel - A Study of Intertextuality in Salman Rushdie's The Enchantress of Florence | Which One Speaks Better? The Field-Dependent or the Field-Independent? On the Effects of Field-Dependent/Field-Independent Cognitive Styles and Gender on Iranian EFL Learners' Speaking Performance | A Critical Look into Basic Assumptions of Teaching English as an International Language (EIL) | Digital Storytelling - A Case Study on the Teaching of Speaking to Indonesian EFL Students | The Reasons behind Writing Problems for Jordanian Secondary Students 2010-2011 | A Multidimensional Approach to Cross-Cultural Communication | A Study to Identify Problems Faced by the Heads of Secondary Schools in Kohat in North-Western Frontier Province, Pakistan | Go Beyond Education to Professionalism - Transition from Campus to Corporate | Impact of Students' Attitudes on their Achievement in English - A Study in the Yemeni Context - A Master's Degree Dissertation in TESL | Natural and Supernatural Elements in Arun Joshi's The City and the River | Pedagogical Values Obtained from a Language Class in an EFL Context - A Case Study from Indonesia | A New Tone in ELT - Positive Uses of Translation in Remedial Teaching and Learning | Training Dilemma: Analysis of Positive/Negative Feedback from the Workplace Setting in Pakistan | Learning Styles and Teaching Strategies: Creating a Balance | A Study on Evaluating the Discourse Skills of Engineering Students in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India | Syntax and Semantics Interface of Verbs | History Revisited in Oral History by Nadine Gordimer | Provision for Linguistic Diversity and Linguistic Minorities in India - A Masters Dissertation in Applied Linguistics and ELT | A Speech Act Analysis of Jane Eyre | Matriarchal and Mythical Healing in Gloria Naylor's Mama Day | Impact of Project Based Method on Performance of Students | Computer: A Device for Learning English Language - A Summary of Advantages and Disadvantages | Mobile Phone Culture and its Psychological Impacts on Students' Learning at the University Level | Review of English and Soft Skills by S. P. Dhanavel (Orient BlackSwan, Hyderabad, 2010) | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF FEBRUARY, 2011 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT. This document is better viewed if you open it online and then save it in your computer. After saving it in your computer, you can easily read all the pages from the saved document. | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Samina Malik, Ph.D.
Department Of Education
International Islamic University
H-10, Islamabad, Pakistan

Fouzia Janjua, Ph.D.
Department of English
International Islamic University
H-10, Islamabad, Pakistan

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