Multiple Intelligences theory and EFL

4th Year Methodology II (Curr 411) Prof. Asmaa Gheith Director, Center for Developing English Language Teaching (CDELT) Faculty of Education Ain shams University Cairo, Egypt 2009

Learning outcomes
Through completion of this part, e-learners should be able to: Identify the concept of multiple intelligences; Identify various types of multiple intelligences; Formulate a vision depending on reflecting the multiple intelligence concept; Identify linear thinking and dynamic thinking processes, and accordingly; Reflect some language learning activities that enhance and utilize the concept of multiple intelligence.

Entire group discussion in a face to face session. Asynchronous and synchronous online activities. E-group activities.   

Assessment Techniques    

Students' e-groups¶ activities to formulate their own vision of the multiple intelligence concept. Collaborative e-group activities to present a theoretical framework. Individual reflection of a teaching point to utilize the concept of multiple intelligence in language teaching/learning E-quizzes.

Multiple Intelligences theory

Multiple Intelligences theory

Technological intelligence


Multiple Intelligences are mainly systemic phenomena. Generally, in education, learning takes place when more than one human intelligence interact systemically for further development.

Language learning in particular, is a mere issue of blue print until learners start to manipulate their various human intelligences through this systemic process "This provides preferred learning styles as well as their behavioral and working styles, and their natural strengths". ences.htm.

This is absolutely a systemic language learning process based on multiple intelligences. Moreover, language learning is the outcome of solving such a systemic linguistic problem. In this context, the outcome is represented in

Variety of meanings are constructed by learners according to their visions, learning strategies, and different intelligences involved in learning. Accordingly, there should be a focus on conscious/unconscious attempts for developments.

There is a shift of language learning paradigm. Teachers' role is transferred to encourage learners to create their own visions, identify available /unpredictable intelligences, select appropriate ones, and through adapting positive learning styles, genius

linguistic outcomes take place through a systemic language learning process. This study is an attempt to shed light on this academic and systemic process of language learning.

There are eight different intelligences.

Multiple intelligences as a system

Do I enjoy writing? Do I like word games, including crossword puzzles, word jumbles, acrostics, or the like?


Poets Writers Lawyers Journalists Teachers Translators .

Do I like to arrange ideas? Do I like to organize/rearrange events? Am I interested in solving problems?

Logical / Mathematical 

Scientists Engineers Computer programmers Accountants.

I think in


and pictures?


Architects Engineers Mechanics Artists Decorators

Am I interested in self reflection? Do I often evaluate yourself / goals? Do I always make new decisions about myself?


Thinkers Analysists Evaluators Thinkers

Am I interested in extending relations with others? Do I have communication skills ?


Counselors Leaders Politicians Social workers

Am I interested in sports? Do I enjoy reading body language?


Athletes Football players Actors Clowns

Do I have a world wide awareness ? Am I aware of the environmental components ? Am I one of them?


Farmers Environmental conservers Ecologists Biologists Geophysicists

Do I respond to music? Do I like to sing or play an instrument?


Musicians Orchestra Actors Music composers Theatre

Do I enjoy learning/ playing with computers? Can I invent hardware/ software? Can I get results out of working through using technological devices?


Program designers Web planners Computer users Hardware inventors

Educational Implications

Educational Implications


Linear thinking
Static process



Dynamic thinking process
Choice Wholeness Autonomy Reflection Mapping Analysis Images Creativity

Integration Vision Positive interaction Decision making


Teaching Through Multiple Intelligences


Discussion Dialogues Debates Practicing language arts

Logical / Mathematical 

Creating new identities Reorganization of contexts Statistics logical analysis Graphs indications

Visual / Spatial 

Visualization Mind Mapping Games Drawing Painting Collage

Bodily / Kinesthetic
Field Trip Games Sports 



Listening to Music / songs Playing music Composing musical notes


Journaling Contemplation Reorganizing selfconvictions Creation of personal visions Relating world issues to personal values Reflection


Group Work Dialogues Collaboration Projects Peer Tutoring Discussions


Planting Field trips Walking Tours Wildlife Viewing Awareness of environmental components


Searching sites Electronic interact Chatting Web creation E mails exchange

Systemic Multiple Intelligences Language Learning

Systemic problem solving

Systemic problem solving

understanding Further developments Definition Evaluation


Expected improvement

Possible solutions

Decision making






Systemic learning process
Identification Assessment \ evaluation


Reading \ writing a text

Decision making

Reflecting prior Knowledge

Selecting Alternatives

Input \

Linear learning process
Storing information Output Reproduction of information

receiving information

Adjectives (minisystem)

Choose the correct answer:

A. B. C.

Happy Angry Astonished


A. B. C.

Happy Angry Crazy


A. B. C.

Genius Angry Confused

A. B. C.

Sad Astonished Happy

A. B. C.

Confused Crazy Angry

A. B. C.

Angry Crazy Astonished

A. B. C.

Confused Lazy Genius

Angry Crazy Happy





Categorize :Vowels ( mini- system)
I :pink 

A: ant Vowels

E :pencil 


O : pot

U: put 

Tin Pen Hot Foot Thin Mat Fruit Cat Pot Ten

Tin Thin

Cat Mat

Pot Hot

Minimal pairs

Pen Ten

Fruit Foot

My name is Samia . I like... ( preferences mini-system)

I like my family ( mini-system)
My father

My mother

My family

My brother Ahmed

My sister Salwa

My favorite pets (minisystem)
Cat :Bossy
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Pets Parrot
The image cannot be displayed. Your computer may not have enough memory to open the image, or the image may have been corrupted. Restart your computer, and then open the file again. If the red x still appears, you may have to delete the image and then insert it again.


My favorite fruits ( minisystem)

? ?


? ?


My favorite drinks( minisystem)

The image cannot be displayed. Your computer may not have enough memory to open the image, or the image may have been corrupted. Restart your computer, and then open the file again. If the red x still appears, you may have to delete the image and then insert it again.



Wrapping up: What does Samia like ?





Senses (mini-system)

Some suggested ideas

MCQ 1. Trur or false:
1.1. Multiple intelligences are systemic phenomena ( ). 1.2. Multiple intelligences cater for students' various learning styles ( ) 1.3. Ecologists should develop their naturalistic intelligence ( ). 1.4. In linear thinking, there are interactive thinking processes between input and output ( ). 1.5. Musical and naturalistic intelligences do not have practical implications for EFL teaching ( ).

2. Complete:
2.1. In systemic learning, learners manipulate interactive skills such as « ««. 2.2. Awareness of environmental components develops ««« intelligence. 2.3. Linguistic intelligence enhances learners' ability to «««. 2.4. Language learning is a ««« process. 2.5. The teacher's role is to «««

3. Choose:
3.1. Linear thinking is a (dynamic- staticcomprehensive) process. 3.2. (Logical- Musical- Kinesthetic) intelligence develops students' ability to reorganize concepts. 3.3. Teachers should encourage learners to (create their own visions- produce predetermined responses- memorize linguistic items). 3.4. (Architects- thinkers- Politicians) are mainly characterized by their spatial intelligence. 3.5. To reflect on one's thoughts and vision, (interpersonal- intrapersonal- logical) intelligence should be enhanced.

4. Match
A 1. Learning takes place when 2. learning outcomes 3. Writers and translators 4. Interpersonal intelligence is required for 5. Systemic problem solving B 1. enables learners to develop their analysis and evaluation skills. 2. are represented in a variety of meanings constructed by learners. 3. building healthy and interactive relationships with others. 4. more than one human intelligence interact. 5. can effectively manipulate verbal intelligence.

Further Readings 

Multiple intelligences Multiple intelligences and education Multiple intelligences The Theory of Multiple Intelligences Multiple Intelligences: Theory and Practice in Adult ESL  



Why teachers are drawn to using: Multiple Intelligences Theory in their classrooms Multiple Intelligences Theory and ILT 83 Busting Multiple Intelligences Myths Multiple Intelligences Theory in Action /detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=E D396810&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED396810

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