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Multiple intelligenceMultiple intelligences is a psychological theory suggesting that people have aptitudes or intelligences in seven areas. Though not set in stone the seven areas are linguistic, musical, logical/mathematical, spatial, body/kinesthetic, intra-personal, and inter-personal. The implications of this theory in education are abundant. If students have different intelligences, then teachers must teach their subject from each of these intelligences. The intelligences fall into two main categories, those related to the world, and those related to people.
When teaching english
as a foreign language, teachers must think about how their students learn, and what their intelligences are in and focus on teaching the language from those. Students with linguistic intelligence will usually excel in language with less effort than other intelligences. They usually do best with a great deal of auditory stimulation, whether spoken directions, or through speaking activities in class. Students with musical intelligence learn best with the use of rhythm and song and will require a focus on the rhythmic nature of language, and the use of songs in class to teach concepts and practicing pronunciations. Students with logical/mathematical intelligence need a focus on the logic behind the language, and will do well with lessons on grammar. Those with spatial intelligence are visual learners; they can see how language fits together as well as how the world as a whole works together. They need visual aids to help in acquiring new vocabulary, and they will do well with written language. Students who have body/kinesthetic intelligence will be those that need movement. They will be most successful when language is accompanied with activities that require movement; role playing works well with these students.
The final two intelligences relate knowing oneself and being able to work with other people. These two are linked to one another and distinct from the others in that the others deal with how students interact with the world, and these two with how we interact with the people in the world. Students who have intra-personal intelligence know themselves well; they will do well when the language is related to them. The teacher needs to know the interests and needs of these students and relate the study to their interest for them to be successful; also self-evaluation is a very useful tool. Students with inter-personal intelligence know how to work with others; they will do well in a class that has a great deal of group projects.
By understanding the intelligences of the students in their class, teachers can make their plans based on what will make their students successful. A teacher must take care to not try to teach all material in the same way, in one lesson they should try to teach their objective in a way that will reach as many of the students in the class as possible. A teacher must also be flexible and realize that what worked for one class will not necessarily work for all classes, the make up of the class will be different and so will the intelligences represented by the students. Though they idea that students learn differently is not a new idea, thinking about how students learn will always lead an educator to try new ways of reaching all students and make everyone successful.