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The Principles of Multiples Intelligences Important to ESL Teachers

The Principles of Multiples Intelligences Important to ESL Teachers | ITTT | TEFL Blog

After the completion of the online TEFL and TESOL, the summative task comes to support our score in one of the topics that the candidate has chosen among 149 topics. As a new teacher, we are more interested in the students’ reactions to our course to create a good and happy learning atmosphere as well as the good establishment of the relationship between the teacher and students. This approach also raises some important questions that one has to try to answer for a better understanding of teaching new languages to students.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Matty A. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

Some of the questions are: What is multiple intelligence? How many are they? What is the one linked to language learning and how should a teacher deal with that in a classroom?

‘The theory of multiple intelligence was developed in 1983 by Howard Gardener, professor of education at Harvard University’. Some of the questions are: What is multiple intelligence? How many are they? What is the one linked to language learning and how should a teacher deal with that in a classroom?

Dr. Gardner identifies 8 different intelligences which is; ‘the linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, spacial, bodily-kinaesthetic, musical, interpersonal and naturalist intelligence’.

Also Read: Behavioral and Cognitive Development Theory in Teaching

What’s Important for ESL Teachers?

In a further development of our summative task as a language teacher, we are more concerned by linguistic intelligence. This type of intelligence will help us in the understanding of language learning and the methods that it implies. If we consider language learning between kids and adults as a language teacher we come to identify the skills that each category of groups uses in learning languages.

It is most of the time noticed that a kid's ability to learn languages is very developed compared to adults. This skill comes as a natural ability that starts in the mother’s womb. We see for instance that when a woman is pregnant and starts to speak or sings to the unborn baby, they often get a reaction from the unborn. These reactions are either excitement or silence. It does not also mean that a mother who is not doing the above activity with the unborn will not get a reaction from him.

Also Read: 2 Sample Lesson Plans to Incorporate Storytelling in the EFL Class

Multiple Intelligences at Later Stages

Some children can develop at an early stage multiple intelligence and others at a later stage. The amazing thing with a kid is that they tend to imitate all the sounds and words that fall in their ears even if they don’t know the meaning. They communicate their feelings in the womb and at birth. A crying kid most of the time wants attention, food, sleeping, or the diaper to be changed. Most children follow the natural pattern of language development and others are gifted. Those who follow the natural step of language acquisition tend to mimic words around 12 months and the gifted one may be read before age 3 or five. Children also can learn and speak a language without a particular accent which is why they are so unique.

As a teacher, if you understand this process of child development, you know to deal with students whether young or adult learners. Some students learn faster than others and a teacher should give the same chance to students during a lesson. It may take a long time for a student to understand a lesson, but what the teacher should do is use other methods different from the fast learners to motivate, encourage and explain as much as possible the lesson so that this student comes to understand and feel comfortable. The teacher can also form a mixed group during activities because students are more at ease with each other. It is true that many parents, as well as teachers, tend to compare kids or students, but they should know that children like students are unique. Some students may be good at mathematics and others in languages. The intelligence of school (subjects like mathematics, science, languages…) and that of life (love, courage, and wisdom) can be combined to strengthen the personality of a child or a student.

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To conclude it is wise to say that the fostering of multiple intelligence is a work that belongs to parents and teachers. Parents must know that every child is unique and give support to children as much as possible and try to make a distinction between the types of intelligence that the kids are developing to understand their growing process. As for teachers whether experienced or not, they might understand that students see themselves through what they tell and repeat to them in the classroom. It is important to move to the next lesson if only all or the majority of students understood the previous one for better solving the tests at the end of a lesson or a chapter. As a teacher, our role is to train and foster a good personality and guide them in their future career or life. Teachers must give the same opportunity of learning subjects with the materials that come with all the students and be fair in the classroom to make their students feel confident and motivated.

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