It is not hard to see in everyday life that people have different strengths, weaknesses, and ways of processing or interpreting information. In a classroom setting, it is important to recognize this fact and to understand that all students have different ways of retaining knowledge and different patterns of thought that will influence their learning. Rather than catering to a single intelligence, teacher
s should employ a broad range of techniques to ensure that the students feel confident and interested in language learning, and that they are able to grasp the concepts being taught.
Although natural language acquisition itself follows certain patterns of hearing and mimicking, language acquisition at a later age is subject to learning experiences and structures that students have had in the past. It is difficult to completely mimic natural language acquisition in a class and teacher
s must come up with ways to help students learn and retain knowledge. Catering to multiple intelligences becomes an important part of this process.
Take for example a traditional classroom structure where the students are drilled with memorization of vocabulary words, memorization of verbs and conjugations, and memorization of grammar structures. A student with a terrific mind for memory will most likely have no issue getting an A in the class. But what about a student who doesn't memorize well? In addition, what happens to the student who is good at memorization once the test is over? In a few years, the student will probably forget the language they have learned because they never implemented the language in a functional way. They simply answered a lot of questions
The theory of multiple intelligences was posited by Howard Gardner. He identified 8 different abilities that comprise intelligences: spatial, linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, music, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. In general, spatial intelligence involves visualizing with the mind and people with a talent for visual art and design tend to have high spatial intelligence. Linguistic intelligence involves words, both spoken and written. Linguistic people tend to excel at language learning and are good with reading, writing, storytelling, and the memorization of words and dates. Logical-mathematical involves reasoning, logic and numbers. High reasoning, scientific thinking, and math skills typically indicate a logical-mathematical intelligence. Bodily-kinesthetic is characterized by a good sense of timing, good reflexes, and clear goals during physical action. People who are highly interpersonal are able to understand or empathize with others easily and are sensitive to people's moods and feelings. Intrapersonal intelligence are very self-reflective and introspective. They tend to think philosophically and critically. Naturalistic intelligence is characterized by interests in nurturing the natural environment and applying information associated with it.
Possessing multiple intelligences is perfectly natural for people. After all, someone who is good at math is not only good at math. They might be naturally talented in both math and music. That is not to say that the intelligences exist in perfect balance either. One or a few intelligences may be stronger than others.
With so many different intelligences, it may seem daunting to appease all the intelligences in one's classroom. By keeping lessons varied and touching on a variety of subjects, a teacher
can engage these intelligences. Additionally, these intelligences can co-exist in a person so there are bound to be overlaps. teacher
s should get to know their students and their interests in order to fully engage them. Traditional teaching has focused intensely on the linguistic and logical intelligences, but often fails to accommodate the others. In order to effectively teach to all students, it is important to use different methodologies, activities, and exercises that will appeal to the intelligences present in one's class.