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Learning Modes: Adults vs. Children

Learning Modes: Adults vs. Children | ITTT | TEFL Blog

The purpose of this essay is to explore the differences between child and adult learning styles.Much has been already written about brain development. Throughout the human life span, the early ages, one through ten years is the human brain's most efficient time for learning.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Ralph D. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

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Children are then like sponges soaking up the language. Motivated by the enjoyment of movement, bright colors and selfless goals they do not feel social pressures or are self-critical. Their needs are simple. There is no self-worth to damage and every new experience is a joy. Hormones are helping grow neuron pathways faster.

Unfortunately, not all flowers bloom at the same time. The teacher is then tasked to accept different disabilities and gifts to achieve a preordained milestone for each grade. In elementary school, learning styles are discovered through a written exam called Learning Style Inventories. Also, about this time, hearing and vision tests are recorded. The sensory impediments that could inhibit learning are discovered. I had a lisp with my S-sounds that needed correction. I could not wait to outgrow it.

Also Read: "Acknowledging Different Challenges With Learning"


A young adult is put on the right track to explore their desire to learn.

They are exploring and discovering word and sentences that comes easy. Some learn better by doing, some by thinking, some by discipline. some by rebellion. Samuel Clemons once said: " I never let schooling get in the way of my education". Albert Einstein said: imagination is more valuable than knowledge". There is enough evidence that society rewards all learning styles. Educated either by school or life.


This brings my attention to the adult learning style that is driven by hormones. An adult requires many experiences to learn. Internal values from religion, business, and the military produce cognitive dissonance causing weaker psychology. Adults have fewer physical barriers but more mental barriers.

Sadly, adults are no longer nurtured by a love for knowledge but instead, a love to conform. The adult learning style is remodeled by computer testing. Social pressures have created a biological algorithm favoring multiple choice answers and spell-checking.

Our language becomes sound bytes, cliches, and fake news. Some of us can type better than we speak.

Also Read: How long does it take to get a TEFL job?


The Da Vinci mind is ancient history. It won't be long until knowledge is chemically induced and we won't have to worry about how we learn or teach.

I believe the creative mind is here but in short supply because it is specialized and isolated from the operant conditioning of society.

In conclusion, society has changed our learning styles to conform to values that benefit the masses. It was inevitable that natural selection would eventually evolve our brains to have learning styles where language will be ones and zeros. Dystopian genetic engineering we can avoid if we each as if we are saving the world. Hopefully trying to develop intellect, communication, social justice, and equality. Add those words into our language lesson. It's time to turn our learning styles in a new direction.

As teachers, we are the new engineers to shape minds for today's world. Give humanity back into the developing minds we care for. Teach a language! encourage better communication.

Do you want to teach English abroad? Take a TEFL course today!

Gestate better human beings not by building robots, but by creating emotional intelligence. Breakaway from old standards, have fun and remember my saying: "Play runs the engines of learning". Return to the child's learning style!

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