Language And The Seven Forms Of Intelligence

Many people are unaware that seven different forms of intelligence are known of. Few people excel in all areas so it helps to identify where you fit.

Recent studies show that deaf people can have a head-start in the area of language, when consistent teaching is received from an early age. Someone who does not speak a foreign language is not necessarily less-able.

In fact, sign language is a visual language in its own right. It may not be a spoken language, but does this really matter? The human brain is designed to produce language, be it spoken or physical.

In one study, Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto of the University of Toronto notes that there is nothing special about speech. Language can take the form of speech but it does not have to; language can just as easily take the form of visual signs. She frames the historic misunderstanding of language: “the human brain does not discriminate between the hands and the tongue… people do”.

The recent popularity of “baby signing” results from the discovery that cognitive, social and psychological development can benefit when the brain’s capacity for language is stimulated through visual/gestural communication.

While influencing a child’s language intelligence, infant signing also benefits the development of visual / spatial intelligence. Some people are excellent at visualising different scenarios, shapes or places and have a high sense of spatial intelligence. They will be observant of their surroundings, have a good sense of direction and be very good at crafts and creating projects.

Below are the five other forms of intelligence:

  • Kinesthetic intelligence: if your child enjoys dancing or working with their hands, they have body-kinesthetic intelligence (signing ability)
  • Musical ability: if your child spends their time singing and playing music. They quickly pick up tunes, rhythms & different accents.
  • Interpersonal individuals are good listeners and participants in group activities. People with high inter-personality intelligence make great teachers, nurses, salesperson and politicians.
  • Intra-personal ability is similar to the above, however the individuals understand themselves more than others. These people do not rush decisions, but consider the options carefully. They enjoy solitary hobbies and games and often keep a journal.
  • Logical/mathematical intelligence.Some kids may excel in science, maths, logic and puzzles. This is perhaps the closest form to what is seen as the traditional definition of intelligence.

So, can you see where you fit in now? What skills you possess and what form of intelligence you have? Everyone is different and has varying skills and abilities to offer and make the world an infinitely more interesting place.

(compiled by Miriam Walsh)

Further Reading:

Bauman – reframing the the future of deaf education

Including Deaf Children At Preschool: Part One

IBM’s KidSmart PC Supports Language Teaching

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