Teach English in Jinqiao Zhen - Hengyang Shi

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The theory of Multiple Intelligences was developed by Howard Gardner. The theory postulates that there are many different types of intelligences, which involve different skills and ways of thinking. Gardner (1989) relied that intelligence was divided into the following categories: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal and intrapersonal. Linguistic Intelligence relates to an individuals ability to use language. This involves the comprehension and production of verbal and written language. Students with linguistic intelligence generally excel in ESL classrooms as they acquire and understand language easily. Individuals with high linguistic intelligence benefit by reading or listening to concepts. Students with linguistic ability enjoy reading real texts, and more advanced students will be motivated to read novels. They are also motivated by words games (ie- crosswords and parts of speech-bingo). For linguistically intelligent students, with some English, open-ended activities, such as writing different text types (eg- essays, story, newspaper article, diary entry) are a good activity as they enable them to draw on their linguistic ability, and are motivating as provide challenge and creativity. Visual/ spatial intelligence relates to an individual’s spatial judgement and reasoning; and their ability to visualise the world with accuracy. Individuals with good visual/ spatial intelligence are able to remember images, faces and details and are able to visualise and create accurate images (Armstrong, 2009). Individuals who have visual/spatial intelligence learn best when provided visual representations rather than through auditory information, and will remember how to spell words by looking rather than phonetically. Teachers should augment what they say with visual cues and written examples. Moreover, written texts should be illustrated, and props and pictures should be used. Activities which involve creating drawings should be utilised. Examples include Pictionary, making posters and comic strips. Graphic organisers (ie Venn diagrams and sequence charts) will help the memorisation of concepts and vocabulary (Pesce, n.d. - d). Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence relates to motor skills and coordination. Individuals with bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence are skilled at controlling the movements of their body and manipulating objects. They process information physically through tactile sensations and movement and are more focused when they are physically active. Consequently, they can find activities which involve sitting still for long periods difficult (Armstrong, 2009). Thus an ESL teacher should provide activities which allow for physical activity. Such activities include role-playing and charades; scavenger hunts, songs with movement; and physical games (eg- a ball game, where the catcher of the ball needs to provide a vocabulary related to a topic) (Pesce, n.d. - c). Craft activities which involve the whole hand and tactile sensations are also good (eg- clay). Logical-mathematical intelligence relates to logic, reasoning, critical thinking and the ability to understand abstractions and casual relationships. Individuals with logical-mathematical intelligence like to classify, categorise and find patterns ( Armstrong, 2009) . Individuals with logical mathematical learning styles learn best when activities are structured. They prefer sequential step by step activities and obvious goals. Thus the ESL teacher should make the goal explicit especially if it is a more open-ended activity where the goal is less obvious. They can also guide students through the steps of an open ended activity by providing a step by step demonstration. As they are able to easily understand patterns, they often access language through the grammatical structures. Teachers need to support this by providing opportunities for students to analyse and self-discover patterns in grammar. Musical intelligence refers to an individual’s ability to process and understand music. Individuals with this intelligence are able to distinguish and understand differences in pitch, tone, rhythm and of different types of sounds. These individuals will then use this knowledge to perform and create music. Individuals with musical intelligence learn songs easily. Thus a good ESL teaching strategy is to teach through songs, and provide opportunities for students to create their own songs. Chants are also useful, as they are rhythmic and easy to remember (Pesce, n.d. -b). Rhymes, rhyming activities and games should also be used to support pronunciation and aid memorisation (Verner, n.d.). Rhythms can be found within English as sentences are broken up into words, with one word being stressed; and words are broken up into syllables, with one syllable being stressed. Emphasising this rhythm supports pronunciation. Sentence rhythm can be emphasised by clapping on each word in a sentence and then clapping louder on the stressed word. Word rhythm can be emphasised by clapping on each syllable and then clapping louder on the stressed syllable. Interpersonal intelligence relates to an ability to interact with others. It involves being able to communicate with people, an understanding of emotions and behaviour of other people and an ability to empathise and relate to others. Individuals with interpersonal intelligence prefer collaborative learning experiences (Armstrong, 2009). To promote this group students in pairs and groups. Collaborative activities include discussions, brainstorming, interviews and role plays. Interpersonal students enjoy teaching others, thus a good activity is for them to teach the class either an English related skill or a general skill (Pesce, n.d - a). As interpersonal intelligent students are good at empathising another good activity is for them to write or talk about someone else’s perspective (Pesce, n.d. - a). Intrapersonal intelligences refers to a capacity to be self-reflective. An individual with high intrapersonal intelligence is able to understand their own emotions, motives and behaviours. They are self-motivated, like to set goals and reflect on their learning, and often prefer to work independently. To support intrapersonal learners enable students to set and reflect on English learning goals; and provide them opportunities to direct their own learning by providing choices (Armstrong, 2009). As intrapersonal students are introspective a good activity is reflective journaling. It is important to include activities that suit different intelligences so that all students can learn. Teachers can do this by integrating visual, music and movement activities with speaking, listening, writing and reading activities; and by providing opportunities for students to work collaboratively and guide their own learning. References: Armstrong, T. (2009). Multiple intelligences in the classroom (3rd ed.). Virginia: ASCD. Gardner, Howard. (1983). Frames of mind, New York: Basic Books, Inc. Pesce, C. (n.d. -a). ESL Learning Styles: 9 ways to teach interpersonal learners. Retrieved October 19, 2019, from https://busyteacher.org/15527-how-to-teach-interpersonal-learners-9-ways.html Pesce, C. (n.d. -b). ESL Learning Styles: 9 Ways to Teach Musical Learners. Retrieved October 21, 2019, from https://busyteacher.org/15551-how-to-teach-musical-learners-9-ways.html Pesce, C. (n.d. -c). ESL Learning Styles: 9 Ways to Teach Tactile-Kinesthetic Learners. Retrieved October 19, 2019, from https://busyteacher.org/14223-how-to-teach-tactile-kinesthetic-learners-9-ways.html Pesce, C (n.d. -d). d. ESL Learning Styles: 9 Ways to Teach Visual Learners. Retrieved October 18, 2019, from https://busyteacher.org/14192-how-to-teach-visual-learners-9-ways-esl-learning.html Verner, S. (n.d.) Phonology in the Classroom: It’s Time to Teach Rhyme. Retrieved October 17, 2019, from https://busyteacher.org/11076-phonology-in-the-classroom-time-to-teach-rhyme.html