The ability to gather, analyze and understand information in the form of words and languages is called verbal reasoning. It involves reading, writing, speaking and listening, and forms an integral part of a formal education. Verbal reasoning is one of the four basic cognitive skills that are essential to communicate effectively with others around us and reach to conclusions and make decisions based on the information available. Any learning process essentially involves verbal reasoning through word based concept-formation; therefore, whether it’s learning a new language or understanding subjects like mathematics, verbal reasoning forms an important aspect of education. A good way to understand how verbal and non-verbal skills, including reasoning, develop, you can take this course that chalks out how cognitive skills develop in the early childhood years.
What is Verbal Reasoning?
Verbal reasoning encompasses the collective ability of a person to understand the meaning of certain information in whatever forms it’s presented, enabling his or her thought-processes thereafter to learn the given information. It is the process of gathering information, analyzing, thinking and evaluating it to form ideas, beliefs, and assumptions and develop knowledge on the particular subject. For example, while learning a new language, one would have to apply verbal reasoning skills to read and understand new words, listen and recall the spoken language. One would also need to perform comparisons with the different language concepts and other such complex language-based tasks to fully master the language. Apart from languages, even if one has to learn the concepts of non-verbal courses like physics or mathematics, verbal reasoning comes into play. This is because most of the formative education is imparted through textbooks and basic school curriculum that needs verbal reasoning skills like reading concepts, writing solutions, listening to lectures and speaking to put forward questions and discuss on the same.
How to Improve Verbal Reasoning Skills
While most children develop verbal reasoning right from 3-4 years of age, sometimes they fail to do so and need the assistance of professionals to help them acquire these skills. Most often we undermine the importance of verbal reasoning skills thinking that tasks like reading, writing, speaking etc. come naturally to school going children. However, it’s not so; many kids have to overcome certain challenges to learn these skills and cope up with the demands of the normal education system. While cognitive skills develop in the formative years, some children might develop them a bit later depending on the child’s capabilities and intelligence. Whatever the reason, developing verbal intelligence and reasoning skills play an important part in a child’s overall development.
Children begin to answer basic who, why, what questions right from a tender age and they also question on the things around them, seeking answers and expanding their knowledge base. This is the first step to developing reasoning power and verbal intelligence; and there are many more ways to improving them such as:
- Encourage children to read a variety of books, so that their language skills and ability to understand abstract concepts become sharper.
- Playing word games like Scrabble or Hangman are a great way to enhance a child’s vocabulary and reasoning skills.
- Games like spotting the odd word out, finding synonyms or spelling challenges are also used by parents and educators to assess the verbal reasoning abilities of their children.
- Help them write out stories – especially creative ones where they have to work out the flow, the reasoning etc. This course can show you how to help your kids write creative mystery stories.
Tips to Improve Reading Comprehension
Good reading comprehension skills help you read faster, and more effectively. The ability to read quickly, assimilate the information and process it to take decisions, is very important to learn new things and move ahead in your academics, career or business. Here are some important tips that can help you develop your reading skills to a great extent:
- Engage in pre-reading tasks – Before reading and learning a new subject or topic, take some time to perform pre-reading tasks such as recalling prior information on the topic or discussing them with others, revisiting similar ideas that you’ve learnt previously etc. These pre-reading tasks help one to build on the existing knowledge and understand the new concepts better.
- Increase your vocabulary – Whenever you come across unfamiliar words, make a note of them and find out their meanings to improve your vocabulary, which will help you improve your understand the material better. You may want to take this course to help you learn and memorize the vocabulary of any any language. Or, if you’d like to stick to English, this vocabulary bootcamp has some great tips.
- Taking notes and asking questions – While reading a new book or subject, make notes, do your own research on the topic by referring other books, ask questions on topics that you didn’t understand and have discussions with others. Research has shown that writing notes increases reading comprehension skills further.
- Assess yourself – Upon reading a new topic or learning something new, make sure to understand to what extent you have gained the new knowledge. For example, if it’s a book review that you have to write, ask yourself questions such as – what was the main idea of the book? Who were the central characters and what roles did they play in taking the story forward. Understand your thinking process and make notes of what you have learnt, which will help you in writing the review with greater accuracy.
Importance of Verbal Linguistic Learning Style
You might have noticed that some people are very good at picking up new languages quickly, make conversations in multiple languages and are able to connect easily with people from different cultural backgrounds. The ability of a person to understand, reason and solve problems using language is called verbal linguistic learning style. Such people excel at school or college and are very good at verbal reasoning, whether it is reading, writing, listening to others or ability to express themselves clearly. Children with this kind of capability are also able to memorize things faster, recall accurately, and are very good at playing word games, learning new words and reading up loads of new books. The verbal linguistic learning style has its own set of advantages when it comes to learning and developing reasoning power:
- Quick learning through written or spoken material
- Greater language reasoning skills
- Higher affinity to activities like public speaking, dramas and debates, journalism etc.
- People with these skills can become excellent publicists, creative writers, news correspondents, advertising agents, speech therapists or psychologists etc.
Talented people with verbal linguistic skills succeed in all spheres of life, whether in academics or social and business interactions because they are able to communicate easily and effectively. Learn how to build your communication skills with this course.
Verbal reasoning is an important tool for academic learning and to succeed in one’s professional life, however a child needs other cognitive skills too to become a well-rounded personality. Apart from the importance of developing verbal reasoning skills, children must get the right exposure to spatial and logic reasoning, non-verbal skills like numerical reasoning etc. The collective development of a person’s cognitive skills leads to an overall development of his or her personality. Having said so, developing verbal reasoning skills is the foundation to becoming a socially independent human being. With qualities like perception, empathy, understanding complex subjects and solving them etc., a person with good verbal reasoning skills can not only easily put his thoughts across to others but also contribute to the society in a positive manner. So, if you are an academician or a professional in the teaching field, it’s imperative for you to understand the importance of verbal reasoning and help individuals in strengthening their skills in this regard.