Verbal learning

Verbal learning is the use of words or the process of speaking to express ones ideas or thoughts. It also entails learner’s acquiring and retaining ability of verbal information. In other words, verbal learning is said to be memorization due to day-to-day demands on use of acquired verbal information. According to Tulving and Madigan, the learning has proved to be one of most efficient ways of passing information to the learners and a better way by which learners comprehend information (1970). A student who engages verbal learning incorporates vocal words to bring out concepts; hence, it is a procedure of transforming information from short-term to long-term memory.

The concept of how human beings are able to retrieve and use verbal information is complex and is greatly influenced by how these learners are able to memorize the same information. For example, one is able to write the alphabetical letters backwards after memorizing and learning how to pair the sequence of all the alphabetical letters verbally. The process therefore means that one is in a position to require repeating information verbally during the paring sequence.

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Hearing the alphabet sequence therefore assists in remembering the letters and eventually one is even able to write them down in reverse. In line with Tulving and Madigan, association, as one of the major concept in verbal learning is brought out during the learning process (1970). In most cases, a student of verbal learning will associate a stimulus to a response. A good example is when a person you meet for the first time tells you his/her name.

The next instance you meet the same person (a stimulus), the mind is triggered and thus recalls the sound of that person’s name (a response). This shows that the mind can memorize sound and then associate the sounds to objects or activities in future to give response. The other concept of verbal learning involves comprehension, which often occurs faster and easily, unlike in sign language learning where once requires to know the sign language in the first place. From the above explanations, verbal acquisition of knowledge is not extensively caused by conscious regulations or rigid form of knowledge attainment like most people believes it to be.

The process is an enduring form of learning where proficiency and fluency emerges later on particularly during specialization. Verbal knowledge acquisition also involves good listening skills. A learner should thus be keen enough and patient to ensure proper input of the attempts and thus avoid learning anxiety. In verbal learning, the ability to recognize improvement is only achievable through comprehension of input. Interaction is thus a vital aspect of acquiring the knowledge since the learner’s input is the contribution provided through interactive participation, while output is the comprehension ability especially use of the language. Personal interpretation is also a key factor of effective verbal communication. Modern verbal learning calls for real-time acquisition of skills since the communication practice is the key aspect as opposed to the normal form of classroom learning, where the leant knowledge concerns specified study topics (Tulving and Madigan, 1970). Verbal learning consequently takes various unique styles such as ability to influence fluency of rapport-building skills.

The learning provides need to notice and generate functions that can evoke the conscious reaction of the mind. Lastly, there is need for engaging meta-lingual abilities, which involves the capacity to take in hand deep thoughts as a measure of improving the learning skills enjoyably. Accuracy in the accusation therefore depends on comfort and individual’s passion to acquire the new skills. Verbal learning is however advantageous since it provides learner the opportunity to tryout the skills immediately.


Tulving, E., & Madigan, S. A. (1970). Memory and Verbal Learning. Canada: University of Toronto Retrieved from


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