Teach English in Fengcheng Zhen - Jincheng Shi

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First, a wide definition of intelligence seems necessary: intelligence is the general ability to think and to act rationally, but also to have an effective relationship with everything around. The modern theories state that humans have a multiple intellect, and this would explain the individual differences, through the existence of an unique intelligence profile. Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences (*) considers it in eight forms, starting from the idea that some very intelligent children do not always have the best results at school. Maybe the language skills or the logical-mathematical ones are incorrectly valued in school. Gardner is the one that includes talent and abilities in the category of intelligence. Thus, the stimulation of all these abilities – that are required in the adult life, for task fulfillment – is absolutely necessary in order to value the individual potential. The eight intelligences (or nine, in fact), found by Gardner, value different abilities, as they gather the abilities of problem solving and solutions production, which have to be validated by a culture: 1. linguistic intelligence, which means finding the right words to express what you mean; 2. logical-mathematical intelligence, which helps quantifying things, making hypothesis and proving them, and it also expresses the ability to understand the connection between actions, objects, and ideas; 3. musical intelligence belongs to those who discern sounds, their pitch, tone, rhythm, and timbre; 4. spatial intelligence means visualizing the world in 3D images, with the help of mental representation (blind people can have it, too); 5. naturalist intelligence, that means understanding living things and reading nature, is specific to people who love plants and animals; 6. bodily-kinesthetic intelligence represents a good coordination between mind and body, as the persons possessing it think in moves and have the ability of time sensing and body management. 7. intra-personal intelligence means understanding yourself, what you feel, and what you want; it means a permanent communication with the inner world. 8. interpersonal intelligence is the capacity of sensing people’s feelings and motives, and also the ability of effectively interacting with several persons. 9. existential intelligence, which couldn’t be demonstrated, yet, tackles the questions of why we live, and why we die; it’s spiritual and philosophical intelligence. People think, learn, and create in different ways. Increasing one’s potential depends on what they learn and how they learn, through their specific type of intelligence. Intelligence is not a predefined feature, but fluid one. During the studying process, people will choose the study opportunity that suits them. The Multiple Intelligence Theory can be successfully applied in a Business English class, if we can only take a little time to know our students. I will give some examples. The learner objective will be for the students to be able to differentiate between and operate with nouns, adjectives, and verbs, and to use them in phrases for a company presentation. There can be eight games to choose from, each representing a type of intelligence: 1. Linguistic intelligence – a verbal explanation of nouns, adjectives, and verbs definitions and uses. After that, students will make sentences and read them to the others. A worksheet about starting a business, to fill in the blanks with proper language parts, will be handled to students. 2. Spatial intelligence – The students are shown images to correspond to nouns, adjectives, and verbs from the business field: the noun will be a building, the adjective will be a smiling person, and the verb will be a secretary talking on the phone. Students the create their own images for the three items and put them into sentences. 3. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence – Everyone uses his or her own body to figurate nouns, adjectives or verbs. Their colleagues try to make sentences with them, in the field of negotiation of a new contract for the company. 4. Musical intelligence – The students create different sounds for these three language parts. As someone reads a company presentation, the others recite the sounds accordingly (la la la – for a noun; oh neh neh for an adjective, and doo doo doo for a verb). 5. Logical-mathematical intelligence – We form groups of four; each group will get a box with three compartments (for nouns, verbs, and adjectives). The groups sort sentence parts (economy subjects), from which a certain word is missing, and try to introduce them into the proper place of the box. 6. Interpersonal intelligence – In groups of four, each student holds three cards (for nouns, adjectives, verbs). Another student reads words from a company report, and everybody must quickly drop the corresponding card, getting more points for being fast and less for being slower. 7. Intra-personal intelligence – Everybody is expected to create sentences with personal value (to be incorporated into a CV), using nouns, then adjective, then verbs. 8. Naturalist intelligence – We try to create a haiku poem together (the hobby part of the CV), using nouns, adjectives, and verbs, represented by natural items – wood, flowers, and seashell. I support the idea that adults can also have some fun when they study, especially during Business English, as a little savor in a busy day cannot harm. The surprise element in each exercise, which is to be discovered during presenting their work to their colleagues make people want to participate in all the activities. Multiple Intelligence based lessons challenge everybody to bring out his or her potential, determining a better and more active participation of the students, and, why not, more STT. Studied materials: * Armstrong, T., (2009) . Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 3rd ed. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Gardner, H., & Hatch, T.; Hatch (1989). Multiple intelligences go to school: Educational implications of the theory of multiple intelligences (PDF).