Linguistic Career Options: Multiple Intelligences
The process of learning for human beings is quite complex since it differs from one individual to the next. Interestingly, some individuals learn best when presented with written or spoken material.
These individuals have a unique cognitive strength called linguistic intelligence, which is one of the nine intelligences of Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences.
Those with high linguistic intelligence tend to thrive in activities that deal with language, listening, and reading. These individuals have a way of connecting with others through the power of words.
There are many celebrities that have high linguistic intelligence including Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou. They are both known for their natural talent for utilizing words effectively to inspire and educate, allowing their messages to spread globally.
People with high linguistic intelligence are encouraged to find jobs that involve language, writing, and communication. Common career paths for linguistic graduates include law firms, marketing companies, government agencies, publishing companies, and media outlets.
Throughout this article, you will come to understand what linguistic intelligence is and discover the best career options for high linguistic intelligence individuals.
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
According to the National Association of School Psychologists, the key to measuring a student’s intelligence is by measuring how he/she thinks. Howard Gardner, a psychologist and Harvard Instructor, proposed the multiple intelligences theory to challenge the traditional idea that an individual’s intelligence can be measured by his/her mathematical and linguistic capacities.
Instead, the theory of multiple intelligences states that there are 9 main types of intelligence, each representing a different set of skills, and individuals tend to be stronger in certain intelligences than others.
By identifying those strengths, an individual can look for job options in the right place.
The 9 types of intelligence in Gardner's theory are:
- linguistic intelligence
- logical-mathematical intelligence
- intrapersonal intelligence
- interpersonal intelligence
- existential intelligence
- musical intelligence
- spatial intelligence
- bodily-kinesthetic intelligence
- naturalistic intelligence
What Is Linguistic Intelligence?
Linguistic intelligence, also known as verbal-linguistic intelligence, refers to the ability to use and understand language for the purposes of effective communication, self-expression, and writing.
According to Howard Gardner’s theory, translators, writers, public speakers, and debaters have high linguistic intelligence because they have a special ability to inspire people through the power of words.
Some characteristics of individuals with high linguistic intelligence include:
- Having advanced language skills.
- Finding difficulty in visualizing information.
- Having a habit of talking about books.
- Easily persuading people with words.
- Wanting the company of others and hating being alone.
- Having a natural understanding of the rules of grammar and syntax.
- Easily memorizing their favorite quotes or sayings.
- Having a natural ability to learn other languages quickly.
- Having admiration for languages and cultures.
- Having a natural ability to explain things very well.
What Are Linguistic Skills?
Linguistic skills are skills that give an individual the ability to speak, write and understand a language effectively. These skills include proficiency in grammar, language structure, semantics, and phonology, and revolve around four main areas: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
However, a closer examination of these skills gives us a more detailed list of skills that are required for the mastery of language. The list of linguistic skills includes:
- Rich Vocabulary: The ability to understand and use a broad list of vocabulary.
- Attention to Detail: The ability to find typos and grammar mistakes quickly when reading a piece of writing. People who have attention to detail would be great at editing and proofreading pieces of writing.
- Language Acquisition: A natural ability to learn different languages quickly.
- Writing Proficiency: Writing professionally and expressing the main idea effectively.
- Linguistic and Rhetorical Creativity: The ability to use language and rhetorical devices in a way to inspire and connect with people.
- Active Listening: The ability to listen carefully to people and analyze their tone and body language.
- Linguistic Analysis, Problem-Solving, and Critical Thinking: The ability to analyze pieces of writing and make connections between words and sentences to understand the pieces of writing clearly.
- Appreciation for Language: A love for words, language structure, reading, and literature.
- Grammar Proficiency: The ability to understand and apply linguistic rules when needed.
- Good Verbal Communication Skills: The skill to communicate efficiently by using the right words and speaking clearly.
- Intercultural communication: The ability to respect and talk to people from different cultures by adapting their communication styles and behavior.
- Pronunciation Accuracy: The capacity to pronounce words correctly.
- Phonemic Awareness: The ability to identify each sound in a word and change it when needed.
Top Linguistics Jobs for High Linguistic Intelligence Individuals
Individuals with high linguistic intelligence should consider careers that rely heavily on language and require advanced linguistic skills. Keep in mind, you do not need to be a linguistics major to follow career paths that require a mastery of language.
Many people have a natural talent for language. According to the Linguistic Society of America, individuals who have high linguistic intelligence or linguistics degrees have a broad range of career opportunities. Here are some.
- Linguistics instructor
- Applied linguistics instructor
- English as a second language teacher (ESL)
- Speech pathologist
- Literary critic
- Public speaker
- Radio host
- Linguistic anthropologist
- Communication consultant
- English as a foreign language teacher
- Social media content creator
- Rhetoric coach
- Curriculum developer
- Voice actor
- Phonetics professor
- Talk-show host
- Language software engineer
- Technical writer
- Advertising agent
- FBI agent
- Teaching Assistant
- Social researcher
Examples of Linguistic Learning Styles in the Classroom
Linguistic students learn best when the material is written or taught verbally. Fortunately, the most frequently used teaching methods, according to ScienceDirect, are lecturing and explanation which are both great for linguistic learners.
Linguistic learners are usually poor at reading graphs and charts, solving pure math equations, and using hand-eye coordination in projects. According to the Open University, teachers should use the following linguistic learning styles in their classrooms for verbal-linguistic learners.
- Group Work: When students sit together and work on an assignment, they discuss the topic verbally making it easier for verbal learners to understand the assignment.
- Debates and Classroom Discussion: Classroom discussions and debates involve a lot of verbal communication. Verbal learners may ask questions and express themselves through these teaching methods.
- Role-Playing: According to Learning for Justice, role-playing helps students develop communication skills, and students tend to learn the information quickly when role-playing because it is fun for them.
- Presentations: By assigning presentations, teachers can give verbal learners the opportunity to discuss various topics. The students can learn from other students’ presentations too.
- Reading and Writing Activities: Verbal learners thrive at reading and writing. So, by assigning reading and writing assignments, teachers can help verbal learners learn new information quickly.
- Repeating and Rephrasing: Linguistic learners learn information quickly when they repeat lessons and rephrase them out loud.
- Word Problems: When dealing with subjects that have little to do with language like math, verbal learners learn best when the problems are worded out. For example, they tend to do better in math word problems than in pure math equations.
How to Enhance a Child’s Verbal Intelligence at Home
Improving a child’s verbal intelligence is possible at home. Parents can play a huge role in developing language skills in children. Here are five ways they can help their kids develop their language skills.
1. Encourage Them to Join Social Clubs
Today, there are a lot of social clubs that involve speaking, listening, and reading. These social clubs, according to the University of Oregon, can help children increase their love for words and encourage the development of strong communication skills. Here is a list of the best clubs that encourage verbal intelligence.
- Drama Club
- Book Club
- Debate Club
- Storytelling Club
- Poetry Club
2. Introduce Verbal Intelligence Activities
Parents should encourage their children to complete verbal intelligence-focused activities at a very young age. Some verbal intelligence-focused activities for children include:
- Singing the alphabet.
- Spelling out words.
- Reading books.
- Writing short poems or stories.
- Reading out loud.
- Solving crossword puzzles.
- Playing Scrabble.
3. Encourage Your Child to Start a Journal
Parents should encourage their children to start a journal or diary. By expressing their emotions and describing the personal events in their lives, they can build their vocabulary and improve their writing skills.
According to ResearchGate, students who wrote in their diaries daily greatly improved in writing skills because they were able to write about topics they cared about.
4. Ask Open-Ended Questions
Having conversations at home is quite easy, and it is necessary for building vocabulary and language. Parents should talk to their children regularly, and they can start a deep conversation by asking their children open-ended questions. According to Science Research Publishing, open-ended questions are crucial for initiating discussions.
5. Introduce a New Word Every Day
Linguistic learners have a love for words and can learn new words quicker than other individuals. Introducing your child to a new word a day would expand his/her vocabulary greatly.
Make sure to regularly review the new words with your child every once in a while and use them in your daily conversations with your child.
The Takeaway: Linguistic Intelligence and Career Options
All in all, some people have a love for language and a natural talent for using language to acquire knowledge and connect with others. People do not need undergraduate degrees in linguistics to pursue a linguistic intelligence-focused career path. Nowadays, many jobs demand an extensive amount of writing and language skills.
Children who have a love for words, can write very well, and learn best by listening and reading may have high linguistic intelligence. It is important to figure out children’s strengths to get them on the right path to their future pursuits.
Abdikarimova, M., Tashieva, N., kyzy, A. T., & Abdullaeva, Z. (2021, January 20). Developing students verbal communication skills and speech etiquette in English language teaching. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics. https://www.scirp.org/journal/paperinformation.aspx?paperid=107191
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FAQ: Role-playing enlivens the classroom. Learning for Justice. (n.d.). https://www.learningforjustice.org/sites/default/files/general/edcafe.pdf
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Naglieri, J. A. (2020, May 13). Thinking versus knowing: The key to measuring intelligence. National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). https://www.nasponline.org/professional-development/a-closer-look/thinking-versus-knowing-the-key-to-measuring-intelligence
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