10 de septiembre de 2018

Notes and Reflections about Multiple intelligences in Teaching English

During the first week of July, I attended the course "Teaching English through multiple intelligences" at the university of Kent, Canterbury. I gave some information about it in this post. 

The course had been previously selected by me as one of the mobilities for teachers in our ERASMUS+ KA101 project called "APRENDIENDO DE EUROPA: CIUDADANÍA, IDIOMAS Y PATRIMONIO EUROPEO EN EL AULA"

The theory of Multiple Intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University, and it was first published in the book Frames of mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Gardner´s Video). Originally Gardner identified seven main intelligences: Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal and Intrapersonal. In 1999 he added an eighth, Naturalistic Intelligence. 

Then, it is a fact that all of us have different cognitive strengths and Gardner’s ideas of intelligence show us that children learn differently. Therefore, it is necessary to have a variety of approaches and activities to offer individualized (student´s needs) and pluralized (multiple ways to understand concepts) education so that the process of learning engages our students and the curriculum meets the needs of each child. 

See the video There is more than one kind of intelligence. You will realize everyone has different stronger intelligences and sometimes the weaker ones need only to be awoken up. 

There are questionnaires that help you to work out which of the intelligences is the most prominent one. If you are interested to find out your own there are several websites and you or your students can do the test online: Edutopia, Literacynet
Going back to the idea of improving our teaching through M.I. theory, the basic idea behind multiple intelligence activities is that people learn using different types of intelligences. This is for me the the concept of "using multiple intelligence in the ESL classroom": By using different kind of activities and varying the tasks, teachers will be giving support to our learners who may find more traditional activities difficult (Usually, linguistic and logical ones). 

In this sense, the course has provided me with ideas and strategies to bear in mind when planning my lessons as well as with activities for team-building and group-bonding, as both are key concepts to develop interpersonal intelligence and collaborative work. 
The main idea is that including different kind of activities in each lesson, I will be focusing on students’ strengths and developing his weaker intelligences. So, for example, combining physical actions with linguistic responses is helpful for those students who have the ability to use the body to express ideas and this way they can tie language and actions to accomplish tasks and learn. These different activities and tasks have a common objective: diversity outreach

Although some examples of the activities/intelligences that were carried out in the course can be found in the links at the end of this post, there is a chart of learner types and some suggested activities for each type below. 
It is adapted from Jeremy Harmer's book The Practice of English Language Teaching but was originally taken from 'How to use Gardner's intelligences in a class program' by M Loon for the University of Canberra.

My final reflection about M.I Theory in teaching my subject is what I have always borne in mind but now I am even more aware of it: It is hard work but when planning my English lessons, I should also provide different types of multiple intelligence activities so that they will appeal to a wide range of learners; vary the tasks so that I touch upon all the types of intelligences now and again. It is about personalizing and pluralizing a teaching method, and, in this sense, it is a measure for diversity outreach 

See more on M.I. activity types:

The links below contain information and resources on this course activities. Some of them are descriptions of activities carried out in this and other teacher training courses, others are new activities designed following this course guidelines. 
The authors of these materials and activities are some of the participants in this course: Heike Neumeyer and Laura Romero, teachers of Spanish and English, in Germany and Spain respectively. Moreover, you can find some notes I took during my week at Pilgrims, Canterbury. 

Laura´s present for me
This is another awesome experience in this kind of training courses abroad: getting to know other ESL teachers outside Spain, sharing your time with excellent professionals and learning from all of them. In this case, people from Germany, China, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia and South Africa, long-distance friendships. 

And last but not least, this course also gave me the opportunity of designing my first escape room. It was based on a course task: how to tell a story to your students. i decided to tell my students the story by making them to find the story out. To do so they had to follow some puzzles and activities in the classroom till they found the key to know all the details of the story and got out of the room. We made it in the classroom with all the participants in this course and we really had a good fun. Enjoy it yourselves!!


- Classroom activities (By Heike Neumeyer).

- Powerpoint activity: Getting to know your mates (By Laura Romero)

- Course notes (By Pilar Torres)

*The teacher trainer in this course promised to send us the materials... Still waiting for them :(

Other related links:

- Symbaloo: Multiple Intelligences and Neuroscience  &  Escape Rooms

Tablero Pinterest: Escape Rooms (Laura Meseguer´s invitation)

Examples of Lesson plans considering multiple intelligences in the ESL Classroom


2 comentarios:

Heike Neumeyer dijo...

Amiga, me mola tu blog, ya me inscribí como stalker, ähhhh follower, haha. un abrazo, me siento 2 centímetros más alta, porque me veo publicada en el WWW. Boniiiiito. Nos vemos seguramente en algún rincón del mundo. Greetings to all the Canterbury ladies from summer 18

Cristina dijo...

Hola Pilar, acabo de descubrir tu blog y pedazo de blog!! Menudo trabajazo haces! soy profe de inglés tb y quiero actualizarme con las nuevas tecnolgías y gracias a tu blog he descubierto un sinfin de actividades, proyectos, etc, que intentaré llevar a cabo en clase, encontré tu blog buscando información sobre penpals o algo parecido y mira por donde ví tu post sobre Flipgrid, super interesante, estoy familiarizandome con esto porque me gustaría iniciar conversaciones con otros alumnos de USA. En fin, no me alargo más, que Enhorabuena y Mil Gracias por ese pedazo de blog, que es super útil!
Un saludo