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what does it mean to be verbally gifted

The term verbally gifted is used to refer to children who have strong language skills. Verbally gifted kids become competent in a language before their age mates do. They also perform better on verbal and general information tests and tests of English expression than mathematically gifted children do.

Verbal skills include the ability to understand language easily. That includes grammar as well as creative uses of language as in poetry.

Learning languages tends to come easily to the verbally gifted and they generally have a good ear for the sounds of a language. The verbally gifted also have the ability to understand and manipulate language symbols like alphabets.

All children with working auditory and oral systems learn a language, and unless they have a learning disability such as an auditory processing problem, they learn it with ease and without instruction. Children learn a language in stages, beginning in infancy. In fact, babies are born with the ability to make all 150 sounds that occur in the more than 6500 languages spoken around the world. As children grow and develop, they go from learning the sounds of their native language to the words of the grammatical structure and meaning of sentences. This process generally takes three years so that by the time a child is three years old, he is able to speak mostly grammatical sentences, although the sentences tend to be fairly simple sentences.

A verbally gifted child is one who passes through the stages of language learning more quickly than non-gifted children. For example, a verbally gifted child may speak his first word at nine or even six months old, while non-gifted children typically don’t speak their first word until they are a year old.