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

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

In short, we are a thriving species in part because of the ability to combine words with each other. We can call this ability linguistic intelligence (O verbal intelligence).

A definition of linguistic intelligence

Think about how you would explain to another person that a pot fell to the ground and broke. Simple, right? Now think about this other situation: you have to read a two-page text in which a philosopher explains what metaphysics is for her, and give a summary of it to another person.

You will probably think that this last task is much more complicated, even if you have not read this text. Even if you are able to master the language well in your daily life, some tasks involving the use of words seem particularly difficult compared to others. Some of these activities, in fact, may seem impossible to perform, such as explaining how we feel to someone whose language we do not speak at all.

These little everyday traps serve to give us an idea of ​​what linguistic intelligence is: the degree to which a person is able to skillfully use language to express and understand ideas and to achieve the goals of this skill.

Linguistic intelligence (sometimes also called verbal intelligence) is part of the theory of multiple intelligences of Howard gardner, And taking it into account allows us to create strategies to enhance the use of the language.

A tool to adapt to the environment

Reality is not an easy thing to understand, so the way to explain it should not be either. The vast majority of people we were born with the ability to learn the language, but not all of us get along equally well with our mother tongue. And it is possible that in some situations, we notice that we have no control over the words, that our linguistic intelligence is not as developed as the context requires.

This is precisely why Linguistic Intelligence is important: given its existence, we can know how adept we are at making ourselves understood and understanding what we are told, both orally and in writing. This is particularly important if we consider that the use of language allows us to get closer to our goals and therefore to have more or less Linguistic Intelligence. it affects our chances of handling problems, tackling projects or even maintaining healthy relationships with other people.

How to improve in linguistic intelligence?

While it is true that intelligence can quickly boil down to the ability to find solutions to new problems in the most efficient way, it is nonetheless true that it can be improved by adopting certain habits and routines. . Linguistic intelligence, as a concrete part of the larger concept of “intelligence”, is no exception to this rule. That means we can take measures to influence our level of performance in linguistic intelligence, Change for the better our ability to adapt to new situations in which skillful use of words is useful (hard to find a situation in which it is not!).

Knowing all of this, you can now start making small changes in your daily life to improve your language skills. Here are some tips and recommendations to boost your linguistic intelligence.

1. Start a personal agenda

Creating a journal is a good first step. You will be writing about topics that indirectly concern you that you find interesting or relevant, so it is difficult for this activity to get boring. Plus, you won’t have the pressure of writing something awesome to impress someone because they’re written for you, that no one 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. Pick an interesting topic and write a short essay about it.

Writing freely what you feel and starting from your own way of seeing reality is a good way to train yourself in linguistic intelligence, but the challenges must be taken into account so that the level of difficulty of the tasks is not always the same. That is why, in addition to writing a journal, it is good to limit universal topics a little more and write about them. In this way, you will be forced to expand your vocabulary and improve your ability to express yourself on a specific subject through texts of varying length.

3. Appreciate the value of good dialogue

If you also want to polish your linguistic intelligence interacting with people you don’t usually communicate with on a regular basis can be helpful. People with concerns and interests different from yours, people who you can’t use your own slang with and who force you to step out of your comfort zone when speaking. Nothing beats the challenge of communicating with someone who has a different point of view to become able to understand and be understood.

4. Read a lot and well

There are few things better for discovering expressions and vocabulary than the reading. There is an almost infinite amount of books in which you can memorize and review all kinds of language paths while having fun or learning 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 your hands on books from different authors, to see a bit of everything.

5. Do you give poetry and music a chance?

the poetry and the song 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 the expression can get you used to seeing the 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 we saw how the musical training of preschoolers serves to improve their verbal intelligence.

Linguistic intelligence in children

These recommendations may be useful to you, but some also they can be adapted for boys and girls to acquire linguistic intelligence skills. After all, it’s early in childhood that it becomes more important to have the means to quickly learn the basics of language, which will develop as you grow.

Bibliographical references:

  • Operskalski, OT, Paul, EJ, Colom, R., Barbey, AK, Grafman, J. (2015). Mapping injuries of the four-factor structure of emotional intelligence. In front of. Buzzing. Neurosciences.
  • Triglia, Adrián; Regader, Bertrand; and García-Allen, Jonathan (2018). “What is intelligence? From CI to multiple intelligences.” EMSE publication.

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