by Michael Berman
well as there being a case for adding Spiritual Intelligence
to Gardner's list, it can also be argued that there is a Metaphoric
Intelligence. Dr Jeannette Littlemore, in a recent contribution
to Humanizing Language Teaching (2001a), made a case for their
being a 'Metaphoric Intelligence' (an ability to comprehend
and produce novel metaphors) and suggested that this might
bring a number of benefits to the language learning process.
She claims to provide theoretical and empirical evidence showing
that metaphoric intelligence does indeed meet Gardner's eight
criteria for the existence of an intelligence type. However,
Gardner himself makes no mention of Metaphoric Intelligence
and it is still open to debate whether it exists or not. Moreover,
a case can be made for what has been called metaphoric Intelligence
having points in common with Zohar's 'Spiritual Intelligence',
such as an ability to see a connection between diverse phenomena.
Whether we view metaphoric intelligence as an acquired skill,
or as a distinct intelligence, the fact remains that it is
likely to have a number of useful applications in language
learning. It should enrich language production and facilitate
the comprehension of metaphoric expressions. It is therefore
likely to contribute positively to an overall level of communicative
the fact that we each have a unique profile mean that we should
plan individual lessons for everyone in the class to take
this into account? Clearly this would be impractical and the
solution lies in including material designed to appeal to
each of the types in every lesson we give. The table presented
below lists classroom activities that cater for the different
Intelligence types. However, this classification is clearly
subjective and dependent on individual teaching styles. Moreover,
it should also be pointed out that a number of the activities
cater for more than one Intelligence type and could consequently
be placed in more than one category:
to develop the Intellligences
Intelligence: group discussions and organized debates
/ reading / storytelling / completing worksheets / word building
games / giving presentations and reports / producing summaries
/ journal writing / listening to lectures.
Intelligence: logic puzzles / problem solving activities
/ logical-sequential presentations / guided discovery / ordering,
matching and gap fill activities / computer games / utilizing
statistics to develop arguments / cultural comparisons and
Intelligence: charts / graphs and diagrams / mind maps
/ peripherals / storyboards / videos / illustrating concepts
and things / reading maps and interpreting directions.
Intelligence: Circle Dancing / Relaxation Exercises /
Brain Gym / Craftwork / Flashcards / acting out an event or
thing / cooperative or competitive games like classroom board
Intelligence: Songs / Background Music / Jazz Chants /
creating songs or jingles to summarize concepts or ideas.
Intelligence: Circle Time / group work / paired activities
/ brainstorming / peer teaching / questionnaires, surveys
and polls / board games / interactive software programmes
/ team problem solving / simulations / group writing projects.
Intelligence: project work / independent study and individual
instruction / monitoring of own skills / researching and online
activities / essay writing / learner diaries / personal goal
setting / pole-bridging activities / reflective learning activities.
Intelligence: classifying & categorizing activities
/ Background Music - in the form of sounds created in the
natural world / hands-on learning / and taking nature walks
or field trips.
Intelligence: guided visualisation / storytelling / promoting
reflective learning by asking 'Why?' or 'What if?' questions.
intelligence: the use of extended metaphors in debates
/ guesswork / 'think aloud' activities where the learners
work out the meanings of metaphors together / activities using
the internet, where the learners look up the word in google
search images, find and choose a picture corresponding to
its literal meaning and create a booklet containing these
pictures, with the word in context, in its metaphorical sense
typed underneath it (eg 'target', or 'bandwagon')
It is clear that unless we teach multi-modally and cater for
all the intelligence types in each of our lessons, we will
fail to reach all the learners in the group whichever approach
to teaching we adopt. Another reason for teaching multi-modally
is that with high levels of stimulus and challenge there are
higher ratios of synapses (connections) to the neurons in
the brain. This means more routes for higher order cognitive
functioning. The optimal conditions for synaptic growth would
include multiple complex connective challenges where, in learning,
we are actively engaged in multi-sensory immersion experiences.
theory, according to Gardner, is an endorsement of three key
We are not all the same.
We do not all have the same kinds of minds.
Education works most effectively if these differences
are taken into account rather than denied or ignored.
He suggests that the challenge of the next millennium is whether
we can make these differences central to teaching and learning
or whether we will instead continue to treat everyone in a
uniform way. Gardner proposes "individually configured
education" - an education that takes individual differences
seriously and crafts practices that serve different kinds
of minds equally well. Hopefully this book will go some way
towards promoting that state of affairs.
"Teaching is only demonstrating that it is possible.
Learning is making it possible for yourself."
from "The Pilgrimage" by Paulo Coelho
Michael. 1998. A Multiple Intelligences Road to an ELT Classroom,
Carmarthen: Crown House Publishing
Michael. 2001. ELT Through Multiple Intelligences. London:
Michael. 2001. Intelligence Reframed for ELT London: The Golem
Howard. 1983. Frames of mind. The theory of multiple intelligences.
New York: Basic Books.
Howard. 1999. Intelligence Reframed. Multiple Intelligences
for the 21st Century. New York: Basic Books.
Daniel. 1996. Emotional Intelligence. London: Bloomsbury
Jeanette. March 2001. An article in Humanising Language Teaching.
D. & Marshall I. 2000. Spiritual Intelligence The Ultimate
Intelligence London: Bloomsbury
|Michael Berman is currently a research student at the University of Wales, Lampeter, and working part-time as a teacher at Oxford House College in London. Publications include A Multiple Intelligences Road to an ELT Classroom and The Power of Metaphor for Crown House Publishing and The Shaman and the Storyteller for Superscript. Michael has been involved in TESOL for over thirty years and has given presentations at Conferences in Austria, Azerbaijan, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, and the Ukraine.
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