Verbal / Linguistic / Literacy

Compositive Model

Verbal / Linguistic / Literacy

According to Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences work, linguistic intelligence consists of “sensitivity to the sounds, rhythms, and meanings of words; sensitivity to the different functions of language.” 

There are a number of significant research findings that link verbal and linguistic ability to cognitive functioning and general intelligence. An overarching theme is that cognitive processes (e.g. executive functioning) influence children’s development of literacy skills and verbal intelligence:

  • Researcher Janet Welsh found that the development of executive functioning in pre-kindergarten children predicted concurrent growth in literacy skills.
  • A study of Chinese university students found a strong connection between verbal cognitive ability and critical thinking performance.
  • Several studies have found that verbal intelligence, on average, does not significantly vary between males and females.

Here are some programs and resources we’ve found that research has shown to augment children’s verbal and linguistic capacities

  • Let’s Begin with the Letter People® is a literacy curriculum with 26 units that are designed to improve literacy and language skills in early childhood. Some evidence suggests that the curriculum had meaningful impacts on children’s print awareness. But What Works Clearinghouse has found the program does not have significant impacts on children’s language skills and phonological awareness.
  • Similarly, McGraw Hill’s Doors to Discovery©, a curriculum designed to improve literacy skills (e.g., print knowledge) among preschool children, does have a significant impact on children’s language skills and print knowledge.

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