Benefits of Multiple Intelligences

Keywords: english language teaching multiple intelligence

As there is no standard meaning of 'intelligence', it remains one of the most controversial topics in mindset as well as education. Although some researchers advised that cleverness is a general ability; other believe that this can be a combination of various amounts of skills and abilities. Based on the theories of seeing brains as an over-all ability, IQ (Intellect Quotient) checks which evaluate capabilities as problem-solving, memory space, learning, and design acceptance have been greatly popular in diagnosing learner's talents and probable, especially among young learners. However, some suggested that the assessments were disputable and limited, as non-cognitive factors such as thoughts also play an important role in people's lives, which the IQ testing do not include. Also, the IQ lab tests were not able to reflect about how people learn and acquire knowledge. An effective language learner takes a wide selection of skills which an IQ test is unable to diagnosis. (Lightbown & Spada, 2002) It had been until the advantages of "Multiple Intelligences" (MI) by Howard Gardner in 1983 that emotional intelligences were officially acknowledged and intelligences were seen as a selection of interconnected abilities and abilities (Gardner, 1983). Gardner's theories revolutionize the intellectual world, helped bring new insights into education as MI theories seek to help students identify and develop their talents; discovering more effective ways of coaching as well as learning. This content gives a short introduction on the development of intelligence theories and MI theories. Then it targets the advantages of MI theories and exactly how maybe it's accommodated with British language instructing methods.

2 Ideas of Intelligence

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the term "intelligence" means: 'the capacity to learn or understand or even to deal with new or attempting situations' or 'the potential to use knowledge to control one's environment or even to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria' (Retrieved May 18th, 2010, from http://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/intelligence). Historically, the first people who researched brains were neither psychologists nor teachers but philosophers such as Plato who linked people's cleverness to blocks of polish, differing in size and purity (Cianciolo & Sternberg, 2004). It was in the early twentieth century that Charles Spearman, a United kingdom psychologist proposed the theory of "general brains" (or "the g factor") which helped bring light into modern theories of brains. Spearman compared lots of mental aptitude lab tests and found similarities in the results. Therefore, he concluded that intelligence is a general cognitive ability which could be measured and analyzed (Spearman, 1904). Down the road, the French psychologist Alfred Binet invented the first intellect test, known as today's IQ (Brains Quotient) test (Cianciolo & Sternberg, 2004). However, as scholars commenced to realize that the overall intelligence theory emphasized only on cognitive aspects such as problem-solving, the necessity for a new "intelligence" emerged.

In the 1920's, Edward Thorndike explained the term "social brains" as 'the capability to control and understand people and to act correctly in human relations' (Matthews et al. , 2004). Similarly, in 1940, David Wechsler argued that 'conative non-intelligent factors' which add firmly to 'wise behavior' are essential to success in life and that the intellect model wouldn't normally be complete unless such factors are included (Boyatzis, 2007). In 1983, Gardner released the idea of "Multiple Intelligence" including both Interpersonal intelligence (the capability to understand the interior feelings of other folks) and Intrapersonal brains (the capability to understand oneself) which handles feelings (Gardner, 1983). Gardner believed that the overall intelligence was unable to fully describe cognitive capacity and performance results, and that cleverness is too complicated to be constrained in one idea.

3 The theory of Multiple Intelligences

Originally, Gardner recognized seven types of brains in 1983, which include: Verbal/linguistic, Logical/mathematical, Musical, Bodily/kinesthetic, Spatial/aesthetic, Interpersonal and Intrapersonal intelligence (Gardner, 1983). The first two have been highly valued in schools; another three tend to be associated with arts; and the ultimate two are what Gardner known as 'personal intelligences', coping with feelings and emotions. An eighth brains, naturalistic, was added latter (Gardner, 1999).

In Structures of Mind, Gardner pointed out that the traditional cleverness which college systems normally emphasis on is mainly predicated on a narrow selection of verbal/linguistic and reasonable/mathematical skills. As though such skills are essential to an individual's studies and future profession; other styles of intelligences, especially the 'personal intelligences' are also necessary to real human development and extremely difficult to reside in without (Gardner, 1983). Good social skills are of significant value to an enjoyable social life. For most children, the best skills lie in the the areas than verbal and rational intelligence, which have a tendency to be frequently neglected according to the traditional intellect theory. MI theories provide students an opportunity to learn through their strengths, become more successful at learning all subjects and even increasing the customarily highly valued "basic skills".

According to Gardner, the eight intelligences are separate and independent. Each individual possess a basic group of intelligences which develop at differing times to different certifications (Gardner, 1999). However, Gardner also mentioned that the intelligences are meticulously related to one another and almost never operate individually. They are used at the same time and tend to complement each other (Gardner, 1983). For instance, a dancer requires musical skills to check out the rhythm, but also kinesthetic skills to move properly and social skills to appeal to the audience and intrapersonal skills expressing her emotions. As different intelligences are meticulously connected; when skills in a single area produces, another area or even the whole constellation of intelligence may be enhanced (Gardner, 1983). Therefore, it's important to encourage students to explore and exercise all their intelligences.

Gardner also emphasized that there surely is not one cleverness superior than the other; all the intelligences are equally important and essential to a person's development (Gardner, 1983). Most people tend to disregard kinesthetic intellect and limit it to runners. However, many highly professional occupations require people who have good kinesthetic skills, such as electronics, mechanics and surgeons. A doctor must acquire the ability to control his muscles very finely.

As Gardner mentioned, the eight intelligences are amoral; that could be placed to constructive or destructive use (Gardner, 1999). Therefore, it is important for teachers to comprehend MI theories and use it positively in their classes.

4 The great things about MI theories

Though there are specific criticisms worried on Gardner's theory of MI, it received positive response from many educators and has been greatly applied to schooling. On first thought, the idea of educating different intelligences does sound impossible for formal education; coaching you are hard enough already, aside from eight. Gardner responds to this by clarifying that psychology does not always dictate education; it helps to understand its conditions instead (Gardner, 1999). Also, eight types of intelligence could be observed as eight means of teaching rather than one; which could become more accessible to learners one way or another.

On a general basis, MI ideas have three benefits

Self-development and development. MI theories can help students and teachers better understand their skills. It can help students to develop self-assurance as it demonstrates how they can use their strengths to handle their weaknesses. It motivates students to find where their interest and durability lies and motivate their talents further.

A broader choice of schooling. All intelligences are necessary for an individual to have a complete life. Therefore, professors need to attend to all or any intelligences, not simply those that the traditional cleverness targets. MI ideas are well suited for differentiated and individualize learning; providing teachers the potential to build up new and adaptable programs which can better meet the learner's needs. Professors could also redesign old classes to match new requirements (Green & Tanner, 2005). A number of activities could be contained in the new curriculum, which would easily motivate and attract learners.

MI ideas also consider morality. Gardner once considered adding a "moral intelligence" to the MI ideas. But he later deducted that 'Morality' is a complex concept coupled with numerous psychological aspects such as personality, will and persona. It is therefore not an cleverness in itself (Gardner, 1999). But he did not give up the idea of "moral cleverness" and stated that 'we must work out how cleverness and morality could work together to make a world when a great variety of folks would want to live' (Gardner, 1999).

Sometimes instructors unconsciously change MI theories to their teaching program such as using visible support or playing a song. If they grasp MI theories and its benefits; it could be more good for them in their teaching process. Therefore, it is essential to add MI ideas in professor education.

5 Accommodating MI ideas in ELT

MI ideas have the potential to be designed into all coaching methods, although there are three main strategies which collaborate with MI theories constructively. They are the Communicative Language Teaching Methodology (CLT), Task-based Learning (TBL) and the SAFER model.

  • The Communicative Vocabulary Teaching Procedure (CLT)

The description of CLT differs among different people; a small interpretation of is that it is a teaching way found in second or spanish education which recognizes communication as the technique and the purpose of learning a vocabulary. Activities in CLT typically consists of student making conversations, role-plan and simulation being popular ones (Harmer, 2007). CLT considers learners' needs and different requirements just as MI do, also being versatile in mother nature. CLT is a typical way which combines different intelligences along. By making discussions, students hold the chance to practice their verbal and rational skills. When talking to each other, they also practice their social skills. By requesting students to produce a conversation regarding a picture or one's own experience, visible and intrapersonal skills may be developed. Students may be asked to sing or dance along songs to apply their musical and kinesthetic skills.

  • Task-based Learning (TBL)

TBL is a teaching approach of earning meaningful tasks the concentrate of the learning process. It is made on the assumption that students will naturally acquire the vocabulary focused on jobs instead of dialect varieties (Harmer, 2007). Willis (1994) advised that TBL usually has three periods: Pre-task, the Task routine and the Language emphasis (cited from Harmer, 2007). Like CLT, TBL also frees the students from limited words control. In all three levels students should use their own language rather than rehearsing one pre-selected item. The dialect explored comes from the students' needs which can be personalized and highly relevant to them. They will be exposed to an array of phrases, collocations as well as dialect varieties. A TBL category also provides students lots of of opportunities to communicate, bringing a large variety of pleasurable and motivating activities which could be combined with MI theories into the classroom.

  • The SAFER approach

Unlike the previous two, the SAFER methodology is less popular and utilized by teachers. SAFER was proposed by Berman, indicating that this model is an alternative to the original ELT classroom pedagogy. Berman mentioned that the SAFER model included ex - models such as PPP (Present Practice Produce) and TBL; merging educational kinesiology and Suggestopaedia techniques (Berman, 1998).

The steps in SAFER includes
S: Preparing the scene A: Authenticity F: Focusing on main top features of each intellect type E: Problem correction R: Review

(Berman, 1998)

Berman thought that the SAFER method could help to generate better learning conditions and enhance the learning process through revision. However, his way is known as quite specified rather than widely adapted. But Berman has indeed made a great work in applying modern pedagogical considered to ELT, brining new insights to the use of MI theories.

6 Conclusions

Among the two main ideas of intellect: standard and multiple intelligence; MI theories have been generally considered more medical, including non-cognitive factors such as thoughts. Gardner's MI ideas brought new insights into education, helping students to identify and develop their talents and discovering more effective coaching methods. Gardner explained that the eight intelligences are evenly important and essential to an individual's development. As though the intelligences are independent, they hardly ever operate independently. Therefore, development in a single area often increases the development of another (Gardner, 1983). The intelligences can work positively and negatively, consequently, it is important for teachers to comprehend MI theories and exactly how to use it to their teaching methods. MI theories have the potential to be modified to all coaching methods; although there are three main approaches which collaborate with MI theories constructively. Which are the Communicative Language Teaching Procedure (CLT), Task-based Learning (TBL) and the SAFER model. MI theories are of wide adaptability and overall flexibility, to use MI theories effectively, teachers should always remain open-minded and creative, prepared to make changes in their teaching methodology.

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