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How learning styles affect your staff training

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Learning at work, whether it’s in-house practical job training or studying for a qualification, can be more effective if employers take into consideration the different learning styles of their staff. The onus is on the manager to adjust their management and training style to that of the learner, promoting a good working atmosphere and productive employees.

It’s generally accepted that the various different learning styles are based on research by David Kolb, back in the 1970s (Kolb, D. A. (1976). The Learning Style Inventory: Technical Manual. McBer & Co, Boston, MA) and further developed by him in the 1980s, branching into experiential learning:


Experiential Learning Cycle

So, what does this look like for businesses? Let’s take a case study example. We worked with a hotel chain, concentrating on their customer facing restaurant staff who were not able to communicate well with diners.

Experiential Learning in the context of overseas waiting staff at a hotel chain


In this case, in-depth conversations with the manager and assessments of the students allowed us to determine what learning styles the staff had. In fact they were all a combination of one or two of the different styles below.

Learning Styles

• Visual

• Aural

• Verbal

• Physical

• Logical

• Social

• Solitary

We were able to adapt our course to take into account a variety of learning styles which enabled us to make sure our lessons were as effective as possible.

If you would like to discuss how to accommodate different ways of learning into your training, or if you’d like to book a course with us, do let us know - debbie@the-english-

Accompanying Image: 
Staff learning English

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