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Linguistic intelligence: what is it and how can it be improved?

Linguistic intelligence: what is it and how can it be improved?

May 5, 2024

The ability to express ourselves through language It is one of those characteristics that distinguishes us from other living beings. Verbal communication is also a useful tool that has allowed us to survive in adverse environments, better understand our environment and form large communities in which hundreds of people cooperate with each other.

In short, we are a prosperous species partly thanks to our ability to combine words with each other. We can call this ability Linguistic intelligence (or verbal intelligence ).

A definition of linguistic Intelligence

Think of the way you would explain to another person that a pot has fallen to the ground and broken. Simple, right? Now think about this other situation: you should read a two-page text in which a philosopher explains what metaphysics is for her, and summarize about it to another person.

Surely you will believe that this last task is much more complicated, despite not having read that text. Even though you are able to develop well with the language in your day to day, Some tasks that involve the use of words seem especially difficult compared to other . Some of these activities, in fact, may seem impossible to perform, such as explaining how we feel to a person whose language we do not fully understand.

These small daily pitfalls serve to give us an idea of ​​what is Linguistic Intelligence: the degree to which a person is able to skillfully use language to express and understand ideas and to achieve objectives from this ability.

Linguistic Intelligence (sometimes also called Verbal Intelligence) is part of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences of Howard Gardner , and taking it into account allows you to create strategies to enhance the use of language.

A tool to adapt to the environment

Reality is not easy to understand, so the way to formulate explanations about it should not be. The vast majority of people We are born with the ability to learn the language, but not all of us get along just as well with our mother tongue . And it is possible that in some situations we notice that we have no control over words, that our linguistic Intelligence is not as developed as the context requires.

Precisely for this reason, linguistic Intelligence is important: considering its existence, we can know to what extent we are able to make us understand and understand what is being said to us, both by speaking and writing. This is especially important if we take into account that the use of language allows us to get closer to our objectives and, therefore, have more or less linguistic intelligence impacts on our ability to manage problems, address projects or even maintain healthy relationships with other people.

How to improve in Linguistic Intelligence?

If it is true that the Intelligence can be quickly summarized as the ability to find solutions to new problems in the most effective wayIt is also true that this can be improved by taking some habits and routines. Linguistic Intelligence, as a concrete plot within the broader concept of "intelligence", is not an exception to this rule. That means we can take measures to influence our level of performance in linguistic intelligence , changing for the better our ability to adapt to new situations in which a skillful use of words is useful (difficult to find a situation where I do not know about this!).

Knowing all this, you can start to introduce small changes in your day to day to improve your ability with the language. Here are some indications and recommendations to enhance your linguistic intelligence.

1. Start a personal diary

Starting a journal is a good first step. You will write about topics that affect you indirectly and that you find interesting or relevant, so it is difficult for this activity to become boring. Also, you will not have the pressure of having to write something impressive to impress someone, because they are written for you, that nobody else has to see. It will be easy for you to improve your verbal skills if you force yourself to explain your experiences and feelings .

2. Choose an interesting topic and write a short essay about it

Writing freely about what you feel and starting from the way you see reality is a good way to train in Linguistic Intelligence, but It is wise to pose challenges so that the level of difficulty of the tasks is not always the same . Therefore, in addition to writing a diary, it is good to write down something more universal and write about them. In this way you will force yourself to expand your vocabulary and improve your ability to express yourself on a specific topic along more or less long texts.

3. Appreciate the value of a good dialogue

If you want to polish your Linguistic Intelligence, also could be useful to relate with people with whom you do not usually communicate . People with concerns and interests different from yours, people with whom you can not use your own slang and who forces you to leave your comfort zone At the time of speaking. Nothing better than the challenge of communicating with someone who has another point of view to become able to understand and be understood.

4. Read a lot and well

There are few better things to discover expressions and vocabulary than reading . There is an almost infinite amount of books in which you can memorize and review all kinds of linguistic routes while you entertain or learn about things that interest you . However, if you want to improve your linguistic intelligence by getting the most out of books, it is best to take care of what you read. Try to get books of different authors in your hands, to see a little bit of everything.

5. Do you give poetry and music a chance?

The poetry and the music They have the added value of breaking the conventions of grammar to communicate and express phenomena and emotions. Get in touch with lyrical forms of expression can make you get used to seeing language as a creative game in which the words are at the service of the message, and not the other way around. In fact, there is an example in which it was proven how the musical training in preschool children served to improve their verbal Intelligence.

Linguistic intelligence in children

These recommendations may be useful to you, but some also can be adapted for children to enter the capacities related to Linguistic Intelligence . At the end of the day, it is in the early stages of childhood when it becomes more important to have the means to quickly learn the rudiments of language, which will develop during growth.

Bibliographic references:

  • Operskalski, O. T., Paul, E. J., Colom, R., Barbey, A.K., Grafman, J. (2015). Mapping the Four-Factor Structure of Emotional Intelligence. Front. Hum. Neurosci.
  • Triglia, Adrián; Regader, Bertrand; and García-Allen, Jonathan (2018). "What is intelligence? From IQ to multiple intelligences". EMSE Publishing.

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