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Howard Gardner from Harvard University developed the theory of Multiple Intelligences. Gardner himself has realised that it is still a developing theory and since the beginning he has added more intelligences to his theory. Originally there were seven intelligences on the list but more have been added over time. Outlined below is a brief description of the first seven intelligences.
1. Linguistic Intelligence. This intelligence focuses on the use of language, mainly in regard to speaking and writing. People who have a high linguistic intelligence are able to learn languages quickly and use the language to accomplish certain goals.
2. Logical/Mathematical Intelligence. People with a high logical/mathematical intelligence are able to problem solve and work out mathematical and scientific problems.
3. Musical Intelligence. The ability to compose, perform and appreciate musical patterns are all aspects in determining the level of musical intelligence.
4. Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence. To have a high level of bodily/kinesthetic intelligence people need to be able to use their either their whole body or parts of their body to solve problems.
5. Spatial Intelligence. People with a high spatial intelligence are able to see and then use patterns in a range of spaces.
6. Interpersonal Intelligence. This area of intelligence is concerned with understanding the intentions, motivations and desires of other people. People with a high interpersonal intelligence are capable of working productively in team environments.
7. Intrapersonal Intelligence. People with a high level of intrapersonal intelligence have the ability to understand themselves, identifying their feelings, motivations and fears.
As previously mentioned these are the original areas of intelligence as defined by Gardner. Over the years he and his colleagues have continues to develop the theory and other intelligences have been proposed. Some have now become widey accepted as legitimate intelligences while others are still considered as not being important. Some of the others possible intelligences include naturalistic intelligence, spiritual intelligence, existential intelligence and moral intelligence.
It is believed that all people have some level of degree
in all of the above-mentioned intelligences. Often though, people will have a few predominant intelligences. This therefore raises some interesting challenges for teacher
s and esl teacher
s in particular.
It is important for teacher
s to identify their students' areas of strength in the multiple intelligences. There are numerous tests that can be used for this purpose. teacher
observation will also help to identify these strengths. teacher
s need to cater for all their students and to do this they need to incorporate all of the intelligences into their lessons. This does not mean that every intelligence needs to be included in every lesson. Lesson need to be carefully planned to cater to the strengths of the students whilst also attempting to improve their level of intelligence in other areas. Usually students will be most likely to participate in activities that incorporated their area of higher intelligence.
The primary aim of an esl
classroom is to improve students' english
skills. The intelligence most frequently used will be linguistic intelligence but teacher
s should include the other intelligences in activities in order to include all students. I believe that Gardner was right on the mark with this theory.