In this first installment of our Multiple Intelligences series, we decided it would be a good idea to differentiate between “Intelligences” and “learning styles.” There is definitely some overlap between a few of the styles and the various intelligences, but they are not the same thing at their heart. In brief, a learning style refers to the way a person prefers (or is more naturally inclined) to receive and process new information. Intelligences deal more with a person’s inherent interests and abilities.
Both the verbal learning style and the Linguistic/Verbal Intelligence deal with words, but in a different way. For instance, if a person has a verbal learning style, they will prefer to take in new information (on any topic) through words. This may be in the form of reading or listening to a lecture. On the other hand, a person who exhibits the Linguistic/Verbal Intelligence (word smarts) may have a verbal learning style, or they may not. And a person with a verbal learning style may be very interested in listening to a lecture about science and take in all of the information, but could be bored and distracted in English class regardless of the way the teacher is teaching the subject.
What defines the Linguistic/Verbal Intelligence is the internalizing of grammar rules, remembering new words they learn, and enjoying puns and word games. These people will often excel at foreign languages because of their innate ability to recognize grammar rules and remember them. They read for pleasure and easily remember quotes. In essence, they enjoy language for language’s sake rather than it just being a tool for taking in new information. Here are a few more examples:
- They enjoy rhymes, alliteration, and puns.
- They will talk about things they have read and be able to verbalize why they liked or disliked them.
- They most likely write poems and stories, because reading them isn’t enough.
- They correct other people’s grammar and word usage.
- They know definitions of words that others will not, and use those “fancy” words in conversation.
In our USAT Meets, we try to appeal to students who have this inclination by asking them specific grammar and vocabulary questions, as well as quizzing them on new and classic literature during Face-Off! In the past, we have also had Mind Sprints where a person who exhibits Linguistic/Verbal Intelligence can shine, such as “Connectors” in the second Round Robin. In this challenge, teams were given dominoes with word parts on them, and they had to recognize combinations of three dominoes that made two complete words.
Next week we’ll take a look at the second of the eight Multiple Intelligences, Logical/Mathematical Intelligence.