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Linguistic and Verbal Intelligence
Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences
Linguistic and verbal intelligence is one of the numerous types of intelligence contained within Dr. Howard Gardner's theory of multiple types of intelligence. Gardner first proposed this model in 1983, with the argument that there are multiple specific cognitive abilities.
Under this theory, a person who is talented in mathematics is not necessarily smarter than a person who is talented in language. The two could possibly be equally smart, just in different areas of intelligence.
Gardner also theorizes that there are eight different types of intelligence:
What is Linguistic Intelligence?
Verbal/linguistic intelligence is often marked by a strong ability to use and understand language, both orally and in writing.
People with linguistic and verbal intelligence words may be good at spelling, use descriptive language, understand proper grammar, prefer word games, and tell vivid and interesting stories. In fact, they often are fascinated with reading, writing, and exploring spoken and written language.
A person with linguistic and verbal intelligence might:
- Enjoy writing
- Have an extensive collection of books
- Have a strong desire to learn foreign languages
- Perform well in English classes
- Like playing word games
- Enjoy learning and using new words
- Easily notice grammatical mistakes
- Tell stories clearly
- Enjoy debating and public speaking
Developing & Nurturing Linguistic Intelligence
If you have a natural linguistic ability, you might want to further your knowledge in this area.
There are several fun activities that can strengthen linguistic intelligence. Doing some of these things would be beneficial for personal enrichment and may even lead to a career in linguistics. Here are some activities you can do that will nurture your linguistic ability:
- Join a book club - Reading books will strengthen your skills in comprehension and the club discussion will hone your conversation skills.
- Keep a journal - Writing about your daily activities will allow you to practice your writing skills in any format you like. You might even find yourself with several short stories to turn into a book!
- Teach a child to read - Since you've probably got awesome reading skills, you probably know a few tips and tricks that could go a long way in teaching a child to read. You might even instill a passion for words!
- Learn to speed read - Learning to speed read is a blast! Keeping comprehension levels up while increasing reading speed can be challenging. How fast can you go?
- Use a thesaurus - Ever find yourself using a rather boring, monotonous, dull, pedestrian, colorless word? Break out the thesaurus and find something better!
- Get involved in arguments over style - Do you use the Harvard comma or is the Oxford comma your thing? Which is better? Read a few style manuals to find which one is closest to your personal style.
- Play word games - Boggle, Scrabble, and crossword puzzles can really sharpen your skills.
- Learn colloquialisms - What words and phrases are used in your area that would confuse a person from elsewhere? What makes your accent special?
- Public speaking - Become a better orator by speaking on an issue you care about. You'll be improving your skills while doing something for the greater good.