Multiple Intelligences I?m sure that we all have had our


I'm sure that we all have had our fathers and mothers say 'he has a gift for music' or 'he just loves helping animals and people', at last it seems that scientists have heard them as well. The theory of multiple intelligences addresses this seemingly obvious need to recognize that we all have strong and weak points, and has taken it one step further into the realm of education.

The theory of multiple intelligences states that every person on this planet possesses to some degree nine different types of intelligence. A map of the different kind of intelligences and what they are is on the next page (courtesy of M.I. smart).:

1.Verbal/linguistic

2.Logical/mathematical

3.Musical/rhythmic 4.Bodily/kinesthetic

5.Visual/spatial

6.Naturalist

7.Intrapersonal

8.Interpersonal

9.Existential

What differs between us is the amount of each one. We may be great athletes, therefore we posses a large helping of bodily/kinesthetic intelligence, or we may be virtuoso musicians having a large portion of musical/rhythmic intelligence in our mental composition. Whatever our strong points are, we tend to orient our lives towards those tendencies. A mathematician or logical thinker might have some trouble thinking in the same terms as an existential. This influences our lives and the way we learn.

The way we learn bears directly on our ability to receive the information given to us by our teachers, therefore as teachers we must be ultimately more aware of our student's natural abilities. If a student is a musician and we wish to teach him a new verb tense, then perhaps the best way to do so would be in song, or to even have the student create a song of their own to help him study.

The methods used by TEFL teachers should be up to date and the theory of multiple intelligences is about as up to date as you can get. The ESA method (Engage Study Activate) is very close to getting there, but a method cannot get a teacher all the way. The real challenge behind this theory is that the teacher must now cater to students in a more personal way, by varying their methods of teaching to a point where everyone in class is benefited in turn. This is encouraged in the ESA method of teaching, but should be taken further still.

An innovative way of teaching would be to hand out a standardized questionnaire to the students before teaching them, to find their most predominant way of thinking. Once a teacher has results they can prepare a course that incorporates the different kind of visual prompts and techniques that would appeal to the students. . The reduction of class size is a factor very much in consideration and has been so for a while now. Reducing class size is perhaps more feasible for private TEFL teachers, or in institutes where class size is small anyway, but to able to do so would enable the teacher to give a more personalized education and put into practice this kind of theory The practice of this theory in an actual classroom will also stimulate a greater interest of the teacher in his/her students, for the simple reason that getting to know them better will allow them to ascertain what methods work best with which student. This will also foment the interest of the student. A student that feels they are being taken personally into account will naturally feel more inclined to study and learn and even enjoy doing so.

To summarize, the new wave of teachers beginning their careers and the ones already out there, must be ready to embrace this new theory of education. Everyone is capable of learning, it lies in the hands of the teachers to find which way is the best for each student. Whether we are at heart musicians, mathematicians, athletes, or any other kind of person, there is a more suitable and appropriate way of learning for each of us, our differences can be celebrated, and our way of thinking no longer considered inferior to another. As people, we can all get to the same place, just in different ways, that's all.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

'http://www.thomasarmstrong.com/multiple_intelligences.htm

'http://surfaquarium.com/MI/

'http://www.pz.harvard.edu/

'http://www.pz.harvard.edu/Research/ResearchMI.htm

'http://www.gardnerschool.org/

' http://www.chariho.k12.ri.us/curriculum/MISmart/mi_smart.html #about