Understanding the Verbal Linguistic Learning Style

Verbal Linguistic Learners Love Language

Asian toddler boy learning alphabets.
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Verbal-linguistic learning style, or intelligence, is one of eight types of learning styles defined in Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences. Gardner's theory, developed during the 1960's, helps teachers, trainers, and employers to adjust their teaching styles to fit the needs of different learners.

Verbal-linguistic learning style refers to a person's ability to reason, solve problems, and learn using language.

Because so much of the school curriculum is taught verbally, verbal-linguistic learners tend to do well in school. They may also excel in typical university settings. It is important to bear in mind, however, that verbal-linguistic ability is not a synonym for intelligence.

Characteristics of Verbal-Linguistic Learning Styles

Verbal-linguistically talented people flourish in school activities such as reading and writing. They express themselves well and are usually good listeners with a well-developed memory for material they've read and recall of spoken information. Language fascinates people with verbal-linguistic learning styles, and they enjoy learning new words and exploring ways to creatively use language, as in poetry. They may enjoy learning new languages, memorizing tongue twisters, playing word games, and reading.

Verbal-linguistic learners are often good at tests that build on the ability to quickly and accurately respond to spoken or written instructions.

This makes it easier for such learners to "ace" standardized exams, IQ tests, and quizzes. It's important to remember, however, that language-based tests measure only one form of intelligence.

How do Verbally Linguistic Learning Styled People Learn Best?

People with verbal-linguistic learning styles learn best when taught using spoken or written materials.

They prefer activities that are based on language reasoning rather than abstract visual information. Math word problems are more appealing to verbal-linguistic learners than solving equations. They usually enjoy written projects, speech and drama classes, debate, language classes, and journalism.

Verbal-linguistic learners may have a harder time with hand-eye coordination or visual-spatial tasks. They may also find it difficult to interpret a visual presentation of information. For example, it may be harder for verbal-linguistic learners to read a chart, interpret a graph, or understand a "mind-map."

How to Recognize a Verbal-Linguistic Learner

Verbal-linguistic learners enjoy language and are thus likely to enjoy games that involve word play. they are often attracted to puns, language-based jokes, and games like Boggle or Scrabble. They tend to be voracious readers and, in many cases, prolific writers. Some verbal-linguistic learners can become so intrigued by proper language use that they may correct others' grammatical mistakes or point out the misuse of words or language. Some verbal-linguistic learners find it easy to learn other languages, though they may not be able to fully explain grammatical rules.

Verbal-Linguistic Learning Style Career Choices

Verbal-linguistic learning style students with high levels of verbal intelligence often seek careers such as teaching English, language arts, drama, and debate at k-12 or postsecondary institutions. They frequently choose careers such as professional writer, news correspondent, poet, creative writer, attorney, publicist, advertising agent, psychologist, speech pathologist, and editorial positions.

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