Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner, the Educational researcher and professor first proposed the theory of multiple intelligences. His theory showed that intelligence was not comprised of a single ability but rather consisted of eight varied abilities. These eight multiple intelligences are as follows: linguistic, logical, spatial, body-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalist. Further research showed that using these areas of strength in the classroom would provide students some ways to learn and be assessed. By gearing instruction toward many intelligences, rather than just the traditional linguistic and logical intelligences, students with varied strengths will be better able to understand and achieve at higher levels.
Teachers use linguistic and logical intelligences through reading, writing and mathematical applications.

Spatial intelligence are visual instruction using graphs, maps and pictures.

Students with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence should be provided opportunities for hands-on learning.

Drama, dance and sports are all engaging activities for this type of learner.

Musical intelligence can be addressed through the use of rhythmic language, songs that teach, and musical instruments.

Interpersonal learners learn best when engaged in cooperative, or group, activities. Peer tutoring and social games are helpful teaching tools.

Intrapersonal learners are the opposite of interpersonal intelligence. Intrapersonal students learn best in individualized environments, using journals, making personal connections or using independent study to boost ability.

Finally, the naturalist intelligence is best addressed through nature studies, ecological awareness activities and activities involving plants or animals. Applying various strategies to create a multiple-intelligence friendly learning environment is imperative to reaching all learners.

Teacher should understand more clearly about multi-intelligences to help student develop ability and achieve the true level.

A few Directions for PELT Research

PELT is a newly emerging area in ELT, so offers a lot of spaces for investigation and research. In 2000, Research into Teaching English to Young Learners consisting of 20 papers from two international conferences held in Hungary and Poland in the autumn of 1999 was published. It provides us a full understanding about issues in teaching English to young learns from macro to micro levels. Perhaps, I am more interested in what we can do next to fill in the gap of literature. Here are a few focuses we may want to work on. I just pick up two statements from researchers in the publication.

‘It is surprising that there is no study on how teachers’ proficiency, and especially pronunciation, influences young learners’ language development’ (p.39)

From my own observation in teaching children, the area which should be paid much attention to is pronunciation. Jayne Moon claims that children are sensitive to pronunciation. We do not know whether “the younger, the better” or not, but we can understand that the pronouncing organs are weak and growing in children, so it is easy to change and practice a new pattern. Interestingly, there are a few studies on how teachers’ English proficiency influences on students’ pronunciation as stated in the quote above. In addition, we need to examine the ways to teaching pronunciation to children. Many people insist on giving good models for them to learn subconsciously, but from my own experience, children are not shy when being correct. It is very important for teachers to learn how to shape their mouth when saying a certain sound in English. It gives children a model to start speaking correctly.

Absolutely no research has been found into how secondary schools build on existing L2 proficiency’ (p. 36)

to be continued….


J. Moon and M. Nikolov (eds.) .(2000). Research into Teaching English to Young Learners. University Press Pecs Hungary , 416pp., £15 from Blackwells’ Bookshop, University of Leeds ISBN 0963 641 5684