• Multiple Intelligences


    The theory of Multiple Intelligences stems from the underlying notion of different areas of aptitudes and strengths within people’s personalities. This theory pertains to an educational model that measure seven different areas of “intelligence.” Popularized by psychologies Howard Gardner, this methodology allows what he refers to as “individual centered” curriculum within schools. In other words, schools could focus on what needs the students had rather than a broad general curriculum across the board. Many have criticised this methodology for abandoning previously held empirical methodologies. This methodology, claimed by critics, was based on intuition rather than empirical data; thus, making it an inconsistent and unreliable method. Apart from the critiques, the method has made far-reaching effects on the minds of the teaching world.

    Howard Gardner came up with seven different intelligences to describe the different facets, or dimensions of human intelligences: linguistic, logical-mathematic, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. An eighth intelligence, naturalistic, was later added to refer to the idea of sensitivity to one’s environment as well as the notion of nurture and nature. For the purpose of this paper, the focus will be on linguistic intelligence.

    Linguistics refers to how words are formed out of sounds and the relationship between certain words and their meanings. The relationship between words and their meanings carries certain implications as to why certain words carry certain meanings. Linguistic intelligence, thus, refers to the ability to use words in proficient manner in either spoken or verbal form. Further, the ability to learn languages is another aspect of this realm of intelligence. Linguistically intelligent individuals tend to learn better by listening to lectures, debates, and reading. Linguistic learners also tend to take fastidious notes in the course of their learning. Mental recall, the ability to easily recall dates, names, numbers, and facts, is also indicative of the linguistic intelligent.

    Linguistically intelligent individuals tend to show these qualities early in life. Children who are linguistically intelligent often enjoy word games such as scrabble, boggle, and other word puzzle games. Crossword enthusiasts are a perfect example of this type of behaviour later on in life. One not often mentioned potential activity exhibited by the linguistically inclined is that often those that can master sign language are linguistically as well as spatially intelligent.

    On the other side of the learning coin, linguistically intelligent individuals tend to be good teachers as their command of language allows for a clear transfer of knowledge from one person to another. Oration and writing are strong indices of the linguistically intelligent. These two abilities enable them to not only to engage but to persuade others in persuasive writing. With this in mind, linguistically intelligent individuals tend to make good lawyers, politicians, writers and philosophers.

    An individual that exhibits those strengths pertaining to words, language, and writing would often take the most pride in areas such as his novel, the best speech he delivered last summer, the journal he took as he travelled across the world, or the screenplay wrote. These types of accomplishments all indicate a strong command of words as well as language in general.

    Lee Starnes