Language Learning|April 14, 2011 8:53 am

Language Learning: 4 Learning Strategies For Logical-Mathematical Learners

This post is part 8 of an 8-post series providing language learning strategies based on Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. If you are not familiar with the theory, click here to read a quick overview.

What Are Logical-Mathematical Learners?

Logical-mathematical learners are people who like reasoning and calculating. They think conceptually and in abstract terms. They are good at and enjoy exploring patterns and relationships. They enjoy taking part in experiments and solving puzzles. They learn best when presented with logic games, mysteries, and assortments of investigations. They tend to look at the big picture before getting into details.

Learning Strategy 1

Logical-mathematical learners tend to have trouble focusing on details if they do not first get a picture of the larger objective at hand. Due to this, it is important to create language learning plans that clearly state the larger objective. For example, the larger learning objective can be defined as, “Gaining the ability to successfully eat out in restaurant using the target language. With this larger objective clearly stated, logical-mathematical thinkers will be motivated to learn. Without it, they will get bored with the tedious work of memorizing vocabulary words.

Learning Strategy 2

Logical-mathematical learners like figuring stuff out, so if you are one of these people don’t just sit and memorize vocabulary words. Instead, use word games and puzzles. There are many software and web-based language learning programs available that use these games. When using them, you will feel less like you are completing a tedious activity and more like you are exercising your brain, all while enjoying yourself.

Learning Strategy 3

Get deep into grammar. While most learners loathe learning grammar, logical-mathematical learners feel right at home analyzing complex sentence structures. If you are a logical-mathematical learner, not only will you enjoy this activity, but you will also learn a great deal from it. Make this analytical activity the center of your studies and you will remain focused and motivated to learn.

Learning Strategy 4

When learning to speak, keep things analytical. For example, you can play simple investigative games that require you to ask questions that lead to drawing conclusions. You can also include board games like Clue. Finally, when you’ve reached advanced levels, you can take part in debates and discussions using your target language.


Using Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences is a powerful way to design your personal language learning strategy. When using it, you must understand that the particular learning styles best for you are the ones that you will gravitate towards naturally. In addition, you must understand that you can, and should, use more than one style. Finally, only you can decide which learning styles are best for you.

Logical-mathematical thinkers need to remain focused on the big picture, and they need to keep their analytical minds thinking, otherwise they will lose interest in learning. If you are one of these people, use puzzles to learn vocabulary words, focus your study efforts on grammar, and be sure to find speaking topics that hold your interest.

Bye for now, and good luck with this and all of language learning endeavors!


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