Applying Multiple Intelligences in Teaching Engish for Primary Pupils

                       According to Howard Gardner, all people living in the world have multiple intelligences in different amount and “An intelligence is the ability to solve the problems, create products, that are valued within one or more cultural settings” (Gardner, 1983). Multiple intelligences can be strengthened, weakened. There are 7 multiple intelligences with 7 features:

  • Verbal/linguistic intelligence: well-developed verbal skills and sensitivity to the sounds, meanings and rhythms of words.
  • Mathematical-Logical Intelligence: ability to think conceptually and abstractly, and capacity to discern logical or numerical patterns
  • Musical Intelligenc: ability to produce and appreciate rhythm, pitch and timber
  • Visual-Spatial Intelligence: capacity to think in images and pictures, to visualize accurately and abstractly
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence: ability to control one’s body movements and to handle objects skillfully
  • Interpersonal Intelligence: capacity to detect and respond appropriately to the moods, motivations and desires of others.
  • Intrapersonal Intelligence: capacity to be self-aware and in tune with inner feelings, values, beliefs and thinking processes

                     Applying Multiple Intelligences can help Primary Children learn better. Teachers should assess students’ intelligences first to be sure to know what individual students’ strengths and weaknesses, and then they can have suitable approach to make students more interested in subjects and better at learning. This journal will look at some application of Multiple Intelligences in designing lessons involved movement and physical activities, storytelling, using songs and rhymes and using games.

                    One of the most useful ways is to plan lessons including movement, senses, colours and sounds. Teachers should not keep speaking only in class. Objects, pictures are very necessary in class because the younger the students are, the more active and naughty they are (Brewster, Ellis and Girard, 2003). For example, pupils can draw a picture or act out while listen to a description. This can make them remember knowledge easily.

                      Besides, storytelling is always the helpful way to help primary pupils learn better. For instance, as soon as they hear the formula “Once upon a time…”, they know what to expect next. With storytelling, language is put in familiar context with children, so that children will get well with foreign language naturally and faster. Moreover, stories are always rich in vocabulary and grammar pattern, so it provides pupils variety of related vocabulary which is learned much easier. Teachers can also use other corporative activities when using storytelling. They can use pictures or help pupils play drama to tell a story. These activities does not only help students learn vocabulary but also develop students’ ability to listen for general meaning, predict, guess meaning, and hypothesize… Children can also redraw the characters in the story they had listened to; draw picture where the story happens, think of other possible cover illustrations, and so on. These pictures can be kept after the lessons and used to decorate the class or put away by the pupils themselves.

                     It is an effective way to use songs and rhymes to teach pupils. In fact, almost children like songs and they can sing many songs in their mother tongue. Songs and music can help teaching a lot. It is boring if we ask pupils to do an exercise in common way, but if we can design activities involved song and rhymes hiding required exercises in it, pupils will be more interested in the exercise and learning. Of course, the effectiveness of studying will be better. The use of songs is flexible. A song can be used in any stage of the class: as a presentation tool, as a practice exercise or as a production activity.

                     Many researchers claimed that games are not just time-filling activities but have a great educational value. It’s game that makes students more energetic and active in class, which leads to better result in studying. Students play games only for fun. Teachers, however, need to make sure that whatever done in the classroom is for teaching and learning purposes (Ersoz et al. 2006). Teacher can use games to create a exciting atmosphere and develop students’ linguistic awareness. There are many benefits of using games in class:

  •  Games are a welcome break from the usual routine of the language class. 
  •  They are motivating and challenging.
  •  Learning a language requires a great deal of effort. Games help students to make and sustain the effort of learning.
  • Games provide language practice in the various skills- speaking, writing, listening and reading. 
  •  They encourage students to interact and communicate.
  •  They create a meaningful context for language use.

                                                                                                                                                                              (Lee Su Kim)

Games should be used at all stages of the lesson, provided that they are suitable and carefully chosen.

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