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Multiple Intelligence in Teaching English

There has always been a watch out for new creative and interesting multiple intelligence methods of encouraging and teaching English language learners. The system of methods followed in teaching is the activities, tasks, and learning experiences used by the teacher within the teaching and learning process. Nevertheless, the educational system should be designed to provide opportunities that ensure that English language learners and all students, in general, can succeed. The system must be continuously examined as to how to most effectively meet the individual needs of every student. This must involve an analysis of how English language learners are taught how to read because literacy is critical to achieving success in school and ultimately success in life. However, the creative practice of Multiple intelligence which is a functional concept that could be seen working in people’s lives in a variety of ways must be prioritized to achieve teaching success for the English language learners.

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However, multiple intelligence offers an enriching way of seeing the world that can expand the thinking about human success. It gives you the chance to discover value and enhance the talents of all learners, not just those who are suited to ‘traditional’ schooling. And it provides a means to improve self-esteem, self-motivation, and independence, which can lead to raising academic standards and life success. To achieve the goals of excellence and equity for the English language learners, the consideration of Gardner’s research on the educational implications of the theory of multiple intelligences in classrooms must be implemented.

Students (even in the early grades) can learn complex material in classroom subjects, although success depends heavily on the methods used (Barton & Levstik, 2004). Bruner (1960) asserted that “any subject can be taught effectively in some intellectually honest form to any child at any stage of development” (p.33). Experience confirms that even uninspiring-looking subject matter can be enlivened through imaginative, engaging instructions.

Teachers’ instructional objectives, though, frequently fail to partly cover much with what their students are interested in learning. This is not because adolescents lack interest in social matters; in fact interest in classroom subject topics usually peaks during adolescence, as it is a time of dealing with issues of identity formation and understanding how people relate to one another (Goodlad, 1984). Forging connections between student interests and curricular instructional arrangements should be the goal. One example of an engaging and relevant topic is the downloading and sharing of music and movies. In as much as teachers are held accountable for covering a lot of content, this does not dictate that instructional arrangements must consist of teacher talk and questioning. However, the creative approach that requires thinking instead of recall, which aims to instruct all students with the same subject matter at the same pace must be implemented. For instance, group work can broaden and deepen lesson content compared with teacher talk to the entire class (Yell, Scheurman, & Reynolds, 2004). At the same time, group work increases the level of students and English Language Learners participation and interaction related to academic work.

In addition to this for English language learners to achieve academically, an effective instruction which draws on three knowledge bases must be implemented. These knowledge bases are: knowledge of contents, knowledge of English, and lastly knowledge of how tasks are to be achieved.

For any teacher to be able to pass on sound knowledge of education to their scholars irrespective of the race or language of instruction they must have a pattern of teaching according to Gardners’ concept of multiple intelligence.

Although, the creative methods of teaching English Language Learners that work effectively are oral presentations; discussions; writing assignments; learning logs; reading aloud either as a large or small group; storytelling; word processing; audio books and cassettes; debates; students presentations to the class; journal writing; lectures; choral reading; advanced organizers; and word games. To assess English language learners, the use of selected response and written essays; vocabulary quizzes; audiocassette presentations or recordings; poetry; and debates must be encouraged. However, linguistically strong students will usually perform well on standardized tests.

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Appropriate teaching strategies for logical mathematically intelligence involves problem solving situations; investigations and experimentations; guided discovery; flow charts; question and answer formats; explorations of patterns and relationships; sequencing of things (as in a story); making predictions of outcomes; computer-assisted instruction; activities that involve measurements; science experiments; number games; and questions that require logical reasoning. In addition to this, the assessment instruments appropriate for logical mathematical learners are problem based learning; scientific investigation; open-ended questions, graphic organizers; pattern games; outlining; logic and rational exercises; deductive and inductive reasoning; calculation processes; and logical problems for students to solve.

In order to achieve success in teaching English language learners, the teaching must include pictorial representations, imagery, art activities, semantic mapping, graphic organizers, visuals that accompany words, games that allows the students to use their imagination, posters and pictures to describe what they are learning, slides and movies, computer assisted instruction with colours, puzzles and charts, activities where they observe what they are learning, and constructing dioramas to explain the content being studied. Nevertheless, assessment instruments appropriate for teaching English language learners are demonstrations of content knowledge through art activities, graphic representations and visual illustrations, creation of maps, flow charts, and graphs to explain content, performance-based assessments that includes video recording, photography, and drawings or paintings, mind mapping, and graphic organizers.

Musical methods is another mode of teaching which can assist the English language learners in remembering academic content, hence, they are able to retain and apply information. In this concept the creation or composition of songs that presents the academic content being discussed is presented to the students.

The teachers must have a one on one or intimate teaching relationship with their scholars for them to have sound understanding on how to carry out their teaching pattern, since both the international and native speaking students have different ways of understanding hence making it difficult for them to assimilate whatever they are being taught.

Once the teacher is familiar with the scholars, depending on their level of knowledge, the introduction of phonetics and vowels and how to make up words through, speaking, reading and listening will be the basic teaching pattern (Richards & Rodgers 10, 21). The language of instruction must be put into consideration since most of the scholars are classified as international students. They have to be instructed in a clear and loud voice and every word or assignment being taught has to be repeated before and after writing it down (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p.11).

The teacher must distribute handouts as a study guide, for this will always act as a study guide or a source of revision for them wherever they are, making it easier to learn after lectures. In a situation whereby its difficult understanding objects or word that relates to objects, the introduction of physical objects or diagram for identification has to be put in place for visual viewing and proper identification (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p.12).

On achieving this, great emphasis will be laid on the introduction of the different parts of speech or structuring of grammar and rhetoric (e.g. phrases, clauses and sentences) which will help the students build up on how to make sentences and where to place each word to make a good sentence (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p.13). Though it’s a gradual process that requires patience and time, but each assignment or class reading must be given in segment for easy understanding and vocabulary building. After each class work, every assignment must be dictated to scholars for identification and familiarity with words and sentences, hence building up their writing skills and also improving their reading ability.

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Subsequently all scholars irrespective of their culture, must be involved in group assignment and also being called on to explain the topic of discussion after every topic. This builds up their structure of grammar, hence enabling them to express themselves and also understanding of the topic of instruction. Though some students are slow in learning, be it native or non native speaker and needs enough time in their way of expression. However, the teacher has to be liberal and encouraging in teaching, making the students assume they are one family and learning will be fun.

Through group learning the teacher will be able to pass more knowledgeable ideas and information that will be beneficial to both the native and non native speakers, in the way that they will learn from others mistakes and adjust in their learning wherever they might have gone wrong. It also helps in building the native speakers morally and academically. However, the class must be grouped in a way that both the native and non native speakers will fit in the group thereby building confidence and being able to share ideas.

The teacher must give the scholars a written and oral test regularly to know their performance after every topic either once in a week or in two weeks. Some of the thing that must be considered when given such test is writing in a simple and correct language that they will understand and be able to answer correctly; the question has to be typed and printed in a clear and correct format for the scholars to understand each word and sentence being asked by the questionnaire. Extra time must be given to them so that they can be able to arrange themselves while answering questions and they are to be given the opportunity of asking question when they are not sure of the word or sentence that they are being tested on. For non native speakers the use of dictionary must be allowed for checking the meaning of words which are confusing to them.

Reference list

Barton, K. C. & Levstik, L. S. (2004). Teaching history for the common good. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associations.

Bruner, J. (1960). The Process of Education, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Goodlad, J. I. (1984). A place called school. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Richards, J., & Rodgers, T. (2001). Approaches and methods in language Teaching (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Yell, M. M., Scheurman, G., & Reynolds, K. (2004). A link to the past: engaging students in the study of history. Michigan: National Council for the Social Studies.

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