Ben Colthorpe
The risks and rewards of learning style models: A new perspective

In this presentation, the controversial question of whether teachers should use learning style models to cater to the individual differences of their students will be addressed. There is a strong appeal in the idea that teachers can achieve better outcomes for their students by identifying their preferred learning style and adjusting their teaching style accordingly. However, a growing body of research suggests that at the least we have been misinterpreting or misusing learning style models, and at the most, the very concept of ‘learning styles’ is a myth and dangerous for learning in general. The aim of this presentation is to identify some of the emerging risks and weigh them up against some of the rewards of using learning style models as a resource for catering to individual differences in the ELT Classroom.

Ben is a motivated ELT professional with a background in ELICOS teaching in the Higher Education sector and EAL/D teaching in schools. Ben holds a Masters in Applied Linguistics which he achieved with Distinction from the University of Newcastle. Ben is passionate about intercultural communication and is dedicated to supporting positive student experiences of learning English.