3 Learning Difficulties You Can Overcome

The learning difficulties adult learners face during the weeks and months of preparation for an external examination are very similar. This is what I’ve learnt in my more than 20 years of experience dealing with adult learners.

Dealing with learning difficulties

It is possible that you or someone you care about is facing at least one of such learning difficulties. I have therefore taken it upon myself to make available to you some of the tried and tested approaches we adopted to overcome these learning challenges.

I trust that they can work for you or for that child, brother, sister, cousin, friend or partner of yours too.

Learning difficulty # 1. Can’t understand much when you’re being taught a particular subject.

This is a common problem for many adults studying Mathematics or similar subjects. There are at least two things you need to do.

  • Find time to engage privately with your tutor and explain to them exactly what your main problem is. A good tutor will have time for you, listen to your problem and help you find an antidote for it.
  • Take matters into your own hands. Do some serious independent investigation of the subject or topic.

Let me tell you something. It was only when I started taking matters into my own hands, regarding my studies in Mathematics, that I no longer had the initial difficulties I experienced with that subject.

Within a short period of time, things became clear to me in ways that my teachers couldn’t help before.  That some of my friends began to think I would be studying Mathematics in the university should tell you how this approach can perform wonders!

Learning difficulty #2. Can’t remember much after being taught.

Don’t fret. Keep calm and find out why.

Sometimes, it could be that you don’t pay much attention while you’re being taught. In this case, you know what to do. Learn to concentrate during your lessons or your private studies.

In other words, avoid the things that can serve as a distraction.

In some other cases, you need to stop forcing to memorize stuff. Develop the habit of striving to gain a thorough understanding of each concept.

Relating whatever you’re learning to practical life situations and experiences can also do the trick.

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Here is the problem I see in the approach used by many tutors, especially in my part of the world. They present concepts as if they were some strange things hanging up there on the moon.

Teachers hardly make students realize that the concepts are meant to help them deal with practical issues relating to everyday life here on earth.

Few learners, if any at all, can get a full grasp of abstract ideas presented to them in an abstract way.

Learning difficulty #3. You begin to doze off as soon as you start learning.

Now if this happens to you often in broad daylight in a classroom situation, it could be that you lack interest in the subject.

You may have to find ways to motivate yourself personally. If this approach fails, then I suggest you consider changing the subject – if this is possible.

In extreme cases, it could be a medical problem for which you must see your doctor. Seriously. Don’t laugh.

Find out if a particular position you adopt while learning at home could be the cause. You would want to avoid lying in bed while studying, for example.

Sometimes all you need is a study companion to keep you active and awake.

Final word

There is so much to say about dealing with learning difficulties. I promise to come back to this issue in the near future.

Kindly spare some of your time to alert me in a comment below about any special learning difficulties you or someone you know is currently going through.

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Ralph Nyadzi is the Director of Studies at Cegast Academy. He is a qualified English tutor with decades of experience behind him. Since 2001, he has successfully coached thousands of High School General Arts WASSCE candidates in English, Literature and related subjects. He combines his expertise with a passion for lifelong learning to guide learners from varying backgrounds to achieve their educational goals. Ralph shares lessons from his blogging journey on BloggingtotheMax. He lives with River, his pet cat, in the Central Region of Ghana.

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