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Multiple Intelligences Theory in Teaching English

Multiple Intelligences Theory in Teaching English | ITTT | TEFL Blog

When we talk about intelligence, it is precisely very difficult to explain about an individual's perception of Intelligence, as it consists of wide varieties of explanations and there is no standard definition to define the term "intelligence".

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Bhavana Y.

The Multiple Intelligence Theory by Dr. Howard Gardner

There are several unique approaches to intelligence and among of all one such conception is the Multiple Intelligence theory. The Multiple Intelligence theory also represents strong implications for adult learning and development. The theory was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner. This theory focuses on the different types of Intelligence in terms of a wider range of individual potentials and their specific needs. According to this theory, the Intelligences are:

Verbal / Linguistic, Logical / Mathematical, Spatial / Visual, Bodily / Kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalist

All humans possess these intelligences in varying degrees and apply them depending on their preferences, activities, and environment. Most people can develop all of them to a degree of competence because the theory was formed in part by examining what people do in the performance of jobs and tasks, Multiple Intelligence profiling and learning activities. A profile of an individual's strengths and weaknesses in the intelligences can be developed by using Multiple Intelligences. Precisely, the use of Multiple Intelligence theory can assist the career development and counseling process in a number of ways.

A) Self knowledge:

Awareness of one's Multiple Intelligence (MI) strengths and weaknesses adds to the self-knowledge, that is prerequisite for successful career choices.

B) Expansion of career possibilities:

MI activities broadened the parameters of their career choices rather than focusing on the right fit. Learners found that the self-discovery inspired by MI added multiple dimensions to the process of career choices.

C) Enhancement of self-esteem:

Schools historically have valued verbal and Mathematical Intelligences over all others. Vocational subjects and related occupations have sometimes been denigrated because the spatial, kinesthetic and other Intelligences needed in these areas have not been recognized. At risk, students and adults who may not have experienced career success have benefited from recognizing that they are intelligent and that they can identify jobs that match their strength.

Also read: Child Development – Piaget’s Theory Summarized

Learning Domains

Multiple intelligence theory basically provides a flexible generic approach in terms of better understanding, good teaching and student-centric activities which is tailored to an individual's needs and interests. In order to focus on Multiple Intelligence, the description of each Intelligence level is as follows:

Linguistic:

This intelligence is also known as verbal linguistic. People with significant linguistic intelligence are born speakers and they love to read and write a lot. They are good at delivering speeches and telling stories. Example: Lawyers, Politicians, Poets, Writers, and Public Speakers.

Logical:

People with logical/Mathematical Intelligence are good at understanding complex ideas such as mathematical complex calculations, measurements, abstractions, analyzing data, etc. They demonstrate exceptional logical skills and a great affinity for mathematics and reasoning. Example: Scientist, Mathematician, Accountant, Financial Advisor.

Spatial/Visual:

People with Spatial/Visual Intelligence are good at drawing, painting, making caricatures, diagrams, etc. Their visualization powers are very strong in comparison to others. Example: Artist, Photographer, Graphic Designer, Architect.

Bodily/ Kinesthetic:

Individuals with kinesthetic intelligence posses excellent motor skills and coordination. They are quite energetic, active and creative. They enjoy sports activities which require good stamina, physical exertion and plenary of movements. Example: Actors, Athletes, Personal Trainers

Musical:

People with musical Intelligence are good at Music, recognizing sounds, delivering perfect intonations. They possess highly auditory skills which help them to memorize the songs and the rhythm. Example: Singer, Composer, Musician, Song Writer, Instrument Player.

Interpersonal:

The word Interpersonal is the combination of the two words, Inter means between and personal means behavior. Interpersonal individuals are good at effective social interactions, Verbal and non-verbal communications. They are good at gelling up with the people and posses empathetic and understanding nature. Example: Public Relation Officer, Counselor, Medical Representative, Sales Officer.

Intrapersonal:

Intrapersonal Individuals are basically self smart individual. People with intrapersonal Intelligence are introvert, Intuitive and self-focused. They are good at coordinating with their own feelings. Overall we can say that these individuals are independent learners. Example: Philosopher, Farmer, Entrepreneur.

Naturalist:

This Intelligence basically refers to the ability to identify and distinguish different types of flora and fauna. They are very close to the natural world and have an affinity for animals, plants, herbs, shrubs, and trees. Example: Zoologist, Veterinarian, Geologist, Farmer.

Are you ready to implement your TEFL skills teaching abroad?

The above eight areas of intelligences are an overview of the Multiple Intelligence theory. Multiple Intelligences can be strengthened and nurtured with a passage of time. Needless to say, it is truly a powerful way to think about learning.

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