What Is Linguistic Intelligence and How to Develop It?

What Is Linguistic Intelligence and How to Develop It?


What is linguistic intelligence? We’re going to explain how it works and offer four strategies to help you grow your linguistic intelligence to epic proportions.

For many years, we measured intelligence with IQs tests. But recently, we’ve discovered that there are many different ways to measure intelligence.

Instead of recognizing just one form of intelligence, thanks to the developmental psychologist Howard Gardener, we’ve learned that there are actually
nine types of intelligence.

And one of these types of intelligence is linguistic intelligence.

We’re going to explain exactly how linguistic intelligence works and offer four strategies to help you grow your linguistic intelligence to epic proportions.  

Verbal Linguistic Multiple Intelligence

What Is Verbal Linguistic Multiple Intelligence?

Linguistic intelligence, also known as verbal intelligence, is one of Gardner’s nine types of intelligence.

In his theory of multiple intelligences, Gardner identified linguistic intelligence as the intelligence of words.

People with this type of intelligence enjoy reading and writing. They’re excellent with word puzzles and have a knack for picking up new languages.

Those with linguistic intelligence are best suited to careers with a heavy focus on reading, writing, and speaking. They thrive as journalists, authors, copy editors, teachers, actors, public speakers, lawyers, and broadcasters.

Which famous people have linguistic intelligence?

Because those with this innate skill work well with words, they often choose to pursue career paths that let them exercise their talents.

Some of the most famous people with linguistic intelligence are:

  • William Shakespeare
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • Maya Angelou
  • Natalie Portman
  • Roald Dahl
  • Tom Hiddleston
  • J.K. Rowling
  • James Franco

Many famous authors and actors possess linguistic intelligence. Which celebs would you add to this list?

What does it mean to be a linguistic learner?

If you possess linguistic intelligence, you are likely also a linguistic learner.

This means that you absorb information best if it’s presented to you with words — like in a blog post or audiobook. While others may learn best when they work with their hands, you prefer to work and learn with words.

A woman with verbal linguistic multiple intelligence

How Do You Develop Linguistic Intelligence?

Everyone has linguistic intelligence. And if you’d like to supercharge your inner wordsmith, we’ve got four strategies that can help you develop them.

1. Play word games

Games like Scrabble, Words With Friends, Crostix, and Word Scramble are all great options for increasing your linguistic intelligence.

You can download these games to your tablet or mobile device to take them with you on the go. Play them on the bus, waiting in line, on your coffee break — even just five to ten minutes a day will offer impressive benefits.

2. Read to learn

Sounds obvious, but most people don’t realize how beneficial reading is for the brain. Reading for pleasure is an excellent place to start, but reading to learn is even more of a kickstart for your linguistic powers.

Jim Kwik, Author of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Quest, says, “If knowledge is power, learning is your superpower. And learning is not a spectator sport.”

Nonfiction books and informative articles are a superb way to boost linguistic intelligence.

3. Keep a journal

Simply keeping a daily record of the events of the day is a good way to practice your word processing skills. If you don’t like writing by hand, why not keep an online blog? You can share it with family and friends, or keep it entirely to yourself.

Either way, taking a few minutes to reflect on the events of the day can be a powerful learning process to add to your repertoire.

4. Learn a new word each day

The old “word-of-the-day” calendars have since been replaced with all sorts of nifty apps, like the Word A Day Widget for Android and iOS.

It’s super easy to integrate these learning technologies into your daily life. And the best part? You’ll be increasing your vocabulary and linguistic skill with each passing day!

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