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Summary of the past few weeks: we learn differently. Which means we live differently as lifelong learners. So let’s keep learning about learners—whether we find them in the classroom, workplace, or living room.
Let’s read about verbal/linguistic learners.
She takes notes—and enjoys it. He’ll sit happily through a lecture on the rhetoric of Abraham Lincoln. They’ll be content during a long car trip if they have a good book—or a notebook in which they can write their own.
Learners with skills in the verbal and linguistic realm love words. The look of them. The sound of them. How they can be used to change nuances of meaning. They might even self-identify as “word nerds” or use some other rhyming or alliterative category to classify themselves as those who love language.
Does this sound like you? If so, you’ll likely read this blog post, talk about it, and possibly even articulate your own thoughts in the comments section below. (By all means! Feel free.)
Gifts of a verbal/linguistic learner:
In the classroom, these students will vary in the way they communicate. But communicate they will. Linguistic learners who are more interpersonal will likely want to engage by speaking with others. However, there are also linguistic learners who are more introspective and will record pages of feedback in a notebook or fill their tablet with files full of impressive word counts.
These students will likely excel in grammar, spelling, composition, and other subjects prevalent in traditional school settings. Because of that, they often are seen as “good students” by teachers and peers. However, confusion can occur if they are given open-ended guidelines or if a lesson offers few directions. They’ll be more comfortable if they read about the geometry proof. A student who asks for written directions for clarification is likely a verbal/linguistic learner seeking accommodation for a lesson.
Myths of a verbal/linguistic learner:
These learners can usually articulate their learning well, so colleagues and teachers often assume they can learn with ease. This may be true, but this does not necessarily mean that all subjects come easily. Leaders and educators will benefit from making sure these learners feel well equipped in all areas of content matter.
Know-it-all. Mr. Smarty-Pants. There are plenty of hurtful words that can be directed at these language lovers. To be sure, motivations can vary when a student pulls out a four-syllable word on the playground. But often, these students do not realize they’re “acting smart.” Assuming that other peers have the same vocabulary, these individuals often make the mistake of causing others to feel unintelligent. It is important for these learners to also understand audience: which words are best for this situation?
Equipping a verbal/linguistic learner:
In the classroom, give these students opportunity to read, write, and have fun with words. Poetry, riddles, word puzzles, and similar activities help them enjoy language. Some will also enjoy speeches, drama, readers theater, and other verbal performances.
In the workplace, these learners will be happy to read up on the latest trends in your field and to articulate a summary for others. Have a difficult or important memo to send to colleagues or customers? A co-worker with verbal/linguistic skills can help provide the right nuance with a few syntax tweaks and word choices.
At home, writing notes can help these family members remember important dates and information.
In the classroom, remember that they understand new information best through words—often the written word. When working out a math problem, talk out each step. When giving a large assignment, provide written directions.
In the workplace, this colleague works well when given time to read through expectations and articulate responses accordingly. If he or she is speaking over the heads of colleagues, challenge him or her to consider new words to convey the same message.
At home, note that a verbal/linguistic learner often considers “reading time” to be quality time together. Family members who are more gifted with interpersonal or kinesthetic skills will want to occasionally give this learner time to relax with some good reading material. Maybe an audiobook during a workout or taking turns reading out loud can engage several family members at once.
Are you a verbal/linguistic learner? What ways do you love to learn? What tips can you offer those who want to learn more about this learning style? What strategies do you use?
I’d love to hear from you as we continue this learning community!
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The latest from The Lifelong Learner:
Lifelong Learning for Existential LearnersAugust 17, 2016
Lifelong Learning for Naturalist LearnersAugust 2, 2016
Lifelong Learning for Musical LearnersJuly 6, 2016
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The Intellectual Dark Web and YouJuly 10, 2018
Summer Reading for TeachersMay 24, 2018