What is the Theory of Multiple Intelligences?

The methodology of centering each learning experience on Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences has truly proven effective as demonstrated by my students’ ability to retain ideas and concepts presented from semester to semester. As my students continue to develop skills in public school in English, I feel it is important for me to strive to construct new curricula to meet their growing interests and skills in Spanish. I believe it is my responsibility to continue to create classes to build their comprehension and language aptitude using creative pedagogical strategies.

Thus far, this journey has been incredibly gratifying and has proven to be the most exciting action research project I could imagine as an educator. I am humbled by my students’ desire and dedication to language learning and to my classes, and I look forward to meeting and engaging more students in this essential life skill of second language learning.

The Eight Intelligences

  1. Verbal/Linguistic – understanding words
    – Reading, writing, presentations, story telling
  2. Logical/Mathematical – pattern recognition, scientific reasoning
    – Graphic organizers, number sequences, problem solving
  3. Visual/Spatial – mental images, graphic representation, active imagination
    – Painting, drawing, patterns, designs
  4. Musical, Rhythmic – sensitivity to sound, melody, and rhythm
    -singing, humming, musical performance
  5. Bodily/Kinesthetic – process knowledge with body motion, mind/body connection
    – dance, role playing, sports, tactile activities
  6. Interpersonal/Social – communication skills, ability to work cooperatively
    – Group projects, giving/receiving feedback
  7. Intrapersonal – self reflection, metacognition
    – independent work, silent reflection
  8. Naturalist – Understanding, caring for, appreciation of nature
    – drawing natural settings, interacting with items from nature

My pedagogical focus is on the creation, development, and sustainability of a foreign language program designed specifically for pre-school and early elementary students. The program’s framework is based on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Gardner, 1983) and revolves around components of brain research (Genessee, 2000). Research supports the idea that the commencement of foreign language education at an early age can truly augment the level of proficiency attained by children as well as promote academic growth in other areas (Center for Applied Linguistics, 2004).

For this reason, it is essential to develop sustainable curricula to immerse children in the rhythm and sound of a foreign language as early as possible. It is my goal to not only create and implement such a curriculum, but also to focus on the value of building a curriculum within current state content standards as a mirroring tool and a developmental stepping stone for learners. These include units and learning modules for areas of science, reading, writing, math, and culture or social studies.

Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of Mind. New York: Basic Books.
Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence Reframed. Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century. New York: Basic Books.

Genessee, F. (2000). Brain Research: Implications for Second Language Learning. ERIC Digest. Retrieved November 22, 2006 from www.cal.org/resources/digest/0012brain.html

Hall Haley, M. (2004). Learner Centered Instruction and the Theory of Multiple Intelligences with Second Language Learners. Teachers College Record. Volume 106, Number 1, 163-180.

Ray, B. (2006). The Art of TPR Storytelling: It’s My Story. [Electronic version]. The International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, Winter 2006, 15-16.

Why, How, and When Should My Child Learn a Second Language? (2004) Retrieved November 22, 2006 from http://www.cal.org/resources/pubs/brochures.html

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