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On Teaching to Diversity: Investigating the Effectiveness of MI-Inspired Instruction in an EFL Context


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This study reports an experiment conducted to investigate the effectiveness of implementing MI-inspired instruction in an EFL context. To this end, a group of ten intermediate female students took part in a quasi-experimental study. At the beginning of the experiment, Multiple Intelligences Survey (Armstrong, 1993) was administered to determine the participants' MI profiles. The participants were pre-tested using Oxford Placement Test (OPT) (Allen, 2004) to determine their level of proficiency. During the control phase, the participants received so-called 'MI-poor' instruction which mostly focused on verbal-linguistic type of intelligence among others. During the experimental phase, based on the initial MI survey and students' exit slips, a variety of activities were implemented to invoke various types of intelligence. At the end of both control and experimental phases, OPT along with Headway Stop & Check tests were administered. OPT was administered to determine the participants' general progress and Stop & Check tests were given to trace any possible specific progresses. The findings of the study revealed a significant performance on Stop & Check tests which was indicative of the at least partial effectiveness of implementing MI-inspired instruction.
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The Journal of Teaching Language Skills (JTLS)
Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 2010, Ser. 59/4
(Previously Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities)
On Teaching to Diversity: Investigating the Effectiveness of
MI-Inspired Instruction in an EFL Context1
A. Tahriri Dr. M. Yamini
Ph.D. Student Assistant Professor
Shiraz University, Shiraz Shiraz University, Shiraz
email: email:
This study reports an experiment conducted to investigate the
effectiveness of implementing MI-inspired instruction in an EFL
context. To this end, a group of ten intermediate female students
took part in a quasi-experimental study. At the beginning of the
experiment, Multiple Intelligences Survey (Armstrong, 1993) was
administered to determine the participants’ MI profiles. The
participants were pre-tested using Oxford Placement Test (OPT)
(Allen, 2004) to determine their level of proficiency. During the
control phase, the participants received so-called ‘MI-poor’
instruction which mostly focused on verbal-linguistic type of
intelligence among others. During the experimental phase, based
on the initial MI survey and students’ exit slips, a variety of
activities were implemented to invoke various types of
intelligence. At the end of both control and experimental phases,
OPT along with Headway Stop & Check tests were administered.
OPT was administered to determine the participants’ general
progress and Stop & Check tests were given to trace any possible
specific progresses. The findings of the study revealed a significant
performance on Stop & Check tests which was indicative of the at
least partial effectiveness of implementing MI-inspired
Received: 9/6/2009 Accepted: 1/30/2010
* Corresponding author
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The Journal of Teaching Language Skills (JTLS) 166
Keywords: 1. Multiple Intelligences Theory (MIT) 2. Implementation
3. EFL.
1. Introduction
Learner variables have increasingly been a major issue of interest for
psychologists in general and language educators in particular. Due to the
significance of learner characteristics, differentiated instruction has received
an increasing attention in recent years. Gardner’s (1983) Multiple
Intelligences Theory (MIT) -- a major relevant theory which has seized
many educators -- has recently been embraced by numerous theorists and
applied by countless language instructors.
MIT has proved influential in the field of psychology and its paramount
influence has been the focus of attention in language pedagogy in recent
years. Gardner (2005) defined intelligence as “a biopsychological
information-processing capacity” (6) which he considered to have both
biological and cultural bases (Gardner, 1983). The idea that intelligence is a
culture-dependent construct is indicative of the necessity of exploring MIT
in a variety of situations including EFL context. Differentiating instruction
is the pivotal implication of MIT. Viewed from MI lens, more students
succeed as different pathways can be offered to them. This is a learner-
based philosophy which could bring about far-reaching implications in the
realm of education. In essence, MIT challenges the traditional notion of
intelligence as a unitary concept and proposes the existence of at least eight
intelligence types. Gardner (2003) enumerates these intelligences as
verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial, bodily/ kinesthetic,
musical/rhythmic, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalist. In fact,
Gardner (1999) proposed several criteria to identify intelligence types. This
reveals that the selection of intelligence types should not be arbitrary.
Gardner examined Spiritual Intelligence as a candidate, but he ended up
rejecting it as being short of the proposed criteria. Existential Intelligence is
another possible candidate which does not seem to meet all the criteria.
Arnold and Fonseca (2004) also referred to so-called Existential Intelligence
as “less amenable to development in the classroom” (131).
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Various intelligence types reflect a pluralistic view towards learners’
individual differences. Gardner (2005) argued that all people have these
intelligences and it is what makes people human beings. Individuals
Gardner argues – do not have the same profile of intelligences. No particular
intelligence type is considered to be superior to other types. However, all
types of intelligences are needed when one is to function productively in
society. A desired objective is to try to release and empower language
learners to use various intelligences in their learning (Gen, 2000). MI theory
helps us “to look at what these students could do well, instead of what they
could not do” (Harburger, 2004). In fact, MIT can better serve the needs of
various learners as it offers a model for relevant reforms in curriculum
(Dryden & Morrone, 1999).
The theory of multiple intelligences, according to Gray and Viens
(1994), has the potential to distinguish the ways students can solve
problems. It can be used to identify strength and group students according to
complementary intelligences.
In EFL contexts, novice teachers frequently complain about
heterogeneous classes where instruction is found to be a demanding
challenge. In fact, such heterogeneity might not be a matter of ‘various
capability levels’ but ‘varied capability types’. It seems that this so-called
heterogeneity is most often misunderstood. The consequence of this
misunderstanding can be disastrous. As a result, many students might lose
their motivation as the instructor does not legitimize their different
capability. Moreover, students might find their capabilities unattended and
hence not do their best to reach their full potential.
In EFL classes in general and Iranian context in particular, various
capabilities and preferences of learners are not usually taken into account.
This is in part due to the misconceptions that since students are learning a
foreign language together, they have much in common hence neglecting the
learner characteristics. The homogeneity of teaching practices and
classroom procedures currently in use is indicative of such a problem. The
present study addresses this problem to investigate the significance of
implementing MI-inspired instruction. It is to be examined if such a
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problem can be solved by paying due attention to EFL learners' individual
differences. Moreover, it has not been determined how this diversity relates
to particular strengths of various EFL learners. Enhancing language
instruction is a desired objective at which all educational attempts are duly
directed. Having an understanding of various capabilities and individual
preferences are in line with classroom activities and procedures seems to be
a potential solution to such a noticeable problem.
Gardner (1993) argued that the various kinds of intelligences would call
for different ways of teaching, rather than one particular way. This argument
needs to be empirically investigated across a wide variety of contexts. The
present study gains significance as it deals with this problem in an EFL
context which might not reveal findings similar to those pieces of research
conducted in other contexts. Now it seems plausible to give further credit to
the role of context as it is considered to be a determining factor in language
pedagogy. The implications drawn from the implementation of MI are
claimed to be far-reaching and profound (Dryden & Morrone, 1999).
Diversifying teaching practices to accommodate various intelligences is an
option in need of empirical investigation. There is now a paucity of research
on how to implement MI theory into practice and how to cater for its
potential role. The applicability and effectiveness of MI theory in an EFL
context is interestingly a very appealing issue worthy of further exploration.
From a theoretical point of view, the effectiveness of MIT can be examined
through such explorations. Currently, our understanding of diverse
intelligence types is imprecise and not well-grounded. From a practical
point of view, deeper insights will be gained concerning the relationships
among EFL learners' preferences and capabilities and EFL classroom
procedures. When it comes to classroom, the point is “how the intelligences
can best be mobilized to achieve specific pedagogical goals" (Gardner,
2003: 11). Gardner’s question is in fact very significant and a well-grounded
answer to it is in effect an answer to a multitude of unsettled issues and
controversies in the area of language teaching and learning.
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2. Literature Review
In what follows, a number of major studies relevant to the present study
are outlined.
Walters (1992) argues that if the purpose of education is to prepare
students to face the challenges they might face after graduation, constant
challenges are to be posed to force students to invoke various intelligences.
He further states that to be compatible with the very nature of MIT, more
authentic and performance-oriented procedures are needed. Veenema,
Hetland and Chalfen (1997) also referred to the Spectrum Approach based
on a nine-year research which aimed at recognizing different students’
abilities. One of the advantages of MI-inspired instruction –in their opinion
is that the line between curriculum and assessment is blurred. Also, the
materials used by the teacher are ‘intelligence-fair’. Meaningful and real-
world activities are used for the assessment procedures. Dryden and
Morrone (1999) also highlighted the significance of MI as it makes learning
meaningful for learners. MIT gives credit to the role of personal experience
and discovery-oriented learning. It has the potential to help learners attain
full possession of their capabilities and powers. MI is in fact an effort to
realize how culture and various disciplines are able to shape human
potential (Osciak & Milheim, 2001). Mbuva (2003) also suggested that MIT
is an effective teaching and learning tool at all levels. He argued that
“traditional ways of understanding pedagogy, and static methods of
teaching, are giving way to the new classroom examination and application
of the MI” (p. 1). Arnold and Fonseca (2004) also argued in favor of the
application of MIT to EFL contexts. They asserted that neuroscience
confirms the need for a holistic view of the language classroom based on
which both the physical and affective dimensions of learners are to be taken
into account if their cognitive side is to have optimal function.
There are several survey studies, two of which are summarized here. In
a study by Loori (2005), the differences in intelligence preferences of ninety
international ESL male and female students were examined. The results
showed significant differences between males’ and females’ preferences of
intelligences. It was found that "males preferred learning activities involving
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logical and mathematical intelligences, whereas females preferred learning
activities involving intrapersonal intelligence” (p. 77). In another study by
Sadighi and Tahriri (2007), somewhat different findings were found. The
participants of the study were a group of junior EFL students. The findings
showed that male and female participants were different with respect to their
intelligence types. Whereas females were found to be mainly ‘naturalistic’
and ‘intrapersonal’, the males were found to be ‘naturalistic’ and
‘linguistic’. However, females were found to be more naturalistic compared
to male participants. One part of this study was in line with the results
reported by Loori (2005) as females were found to be of intrapersonal
Numerous experimental studies have been carried out which have
addressed the implementation of MIT. For example, Hoerr (1994) describes
a successful application of MIT. A discussion of the nature of intelligence in
this study resulted in a revised educational curriculum and varied
instructional techniques. Furthermore, the application led to “alternative
assessment (using a combination of portfolios, progress reports, profiles,
demonstrations of understanding, and standardized tests), improved
professional development for teachers, and new ways to communicate with
parents” (Abstract section). In an MA thesis, Elliott and Gintzler (1999)
implemented and evaluated a personal approach to MI instruction. They
developed thematic lessons which strengthened various intelligence types of
the participants. Planning webs and monthly themes incorporating a
multitude of MI products were constructed along with informal journals.
Observations, survey checklists, product choices and student reactions were
utilized to document MI instruction. It was reaffirmed what strategies are
utilized, how information is presented and how they affect student learning.
It was demonstrated that a teacher's instructional method can affect students'
strengths and weaknesses. In another study, Hall Haley (2001) aimed at
identifying, documenting and promoting applications of MIT in language
classes. The results of the study indicated that MI-inspired approaches had a
profound impact on language teachers. A more learner-centered classroom
was the outcome which made the teachers enthusiastic about their
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pedagogy. Students were also found to have keen interest in the concepts of
MIT and their reaction was positive. In a second action research, Hall Haley
(2004) investigated learner-centered instruction from the MI perspective.
Results of the study showed that upon the implementation of MIT, students
achieved greater success rates. Osciak and Milheim (2001) also focused on
MI strategies which could be implemented with web-based instruction.
They stated that “utilizing the principles of Multiple Intelligences theory
and the dynamics of the Internet allow instructional designers to develop
learning experiences that are diversified, exploratory, guided, and soundly
constructed” (p. 358). They also argued that web-based instruction is a very
flexible type of instruction on the basis of which all intelligences could be
represented and cultivated irrespective of the student's physical location. In
a study by Kallenbach and Viens (2002), data were gathered through on-site
observations, qualitative interviews, and teacher journals. It was found that
the application of MIT can lead to high levels of adult learners' engagement.
In his PhD dissertation, Walker (2005) aimed at identifying "the causations
of the girls' reticence to demonstrate verbalization skills that were
commensurate with those of their male counterparts" (Abstract section) and
developing a set of strategies to increase females' verbal participation.
Observations were made and all the students were interviewed during the
study. Little significant change was found in female students' emotional
quotient. Tallies on the observational sheets revealed an increase in females’
verbal participation. However, “the females' frequencies of self-initiated
speaking and responses to higher-level inquiries did not increase to the
levels projected by the writer" (Abstract section).
To sum up, literature on multiple intelligences reveals the significance
of a multidimensional style of education and pinpoints a number of ever-
neglected key considerations in the area of language teaching. As Hall
Haley (2004) rightly points out, a review of the literature indicates the
paucity of research concerning practical applications of MIT in EFL and
ESL contexts.
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2.1 Research Questions
The study sought to answer the following questions:
1. What intelligence types are more salient in EFL learners?
2. What is the relationship between EFL learners’ intelligences and their
preferences and capabilities?
3. Does MI-based instruction enhance EFL learners’ language learning
compared to the type of language instruction in which a minimum number
of intelligence types are activated?
3. Methodology
This section introduces the participants, the instruments, data collection
and data analysis procedures.
3.1 Participants
An intermediate EFL class was randomly selected from Allameh
Tabatabae Language Center in Rasht, Iran. The participants consisted of ten
female language learners who were attending an intensive course over a
two-month period during the summer in 2008.
The age of the participants averaged 19.1. The textbook used was New
Headway English Course (Soars & Soars, 1996). The textbook was divided
into four equal parts, hence resulting in four successive levels, i.e. (I1, I2, I3
& I4) each of which consisted of four units. The first level investigated in
the present study was I3 to be followed by I4 in the second half of the term.
Repeated measures design was utilized to cancel out the potential factors
such as personality, cognitive and affective factors which might affect the
findings of the study. To this end, the female participants served as control
group in I3 level and as experimental in I4 level.
3.2 Instruments
In order to identify the characteristics of the participants of the study,
Multiple Intelligences Survey (Armstrong, 1993) was utilized to collect
information about the intelligence profiles of the participants. The checklist
consists of eight sections representing the eight types of intelligence based
on Gardner’s classification. The Persian translation of the checklist was
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administered at the beginning of the experiment. The reliability of the
translation was checked through back translation by two university
To pre-test the participants, Oxford Placement Test (Allan, 2004) was
utilized. The test consists of two parallel versions. The OPT is an objective
test which consists of 200 items on listening, reading, grammar and
vocabulary. The first section is a test of listening skills. The performance on
this test is based on applying knowledge of sound and writing systems at a
speed well within the native speakers’ competence. The second section tests
grammar, vocabulary and reading skills together in contextualized items.
Item reliability across various test populations was found to be high. The
facility values and discrimination indices have been already checked to
provide meaningful discrimination at various levels as identified by the
Common European Framework. In 2003 and 2004, further tests were carried
out to establish inter-test reliability and concurrent validity of the OPT with
ESOL examinations (Allan, 2004).
Voice recording was also utilized to record EFL learners' class
performance to see which intelligences are paid attention to and which ones
are not based on the classroom activities and teaching procedure. Any
success and progress were noted and the general trend was identified
through keeping daily logs. Some data were collected through student exit
comments to get appropriate feedback with respect to the students' attitudes
concerning classroom procedures.
3.3 Data collection and data analysis
To teach from an MI perspective, the procedure presented by Agostini
(1997, cited in Larsen-Freeman, 2000) was utilized. To this end, lessons
were planned so that various intelligence types were represented in the
experimental class. A variety of activities were developed some of which
were based on the textbook and some were innovative in nature. Wherever it
was possible to modify the activities to invoke various intelligence types, it
was prioritized. Otherwise, more relevant activities were implemented.
Following this procedure, in each session a number of intelligence types
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were activated based on the initial survey. The sample activities used with
the experimental group are based on activities which are commonly
associated with each intelligence type.
To begin the MI study, the project was explained to the participants in
the study in order to guarantee their cooperation. The MI survey was
administered so that the intelligence profiles of the participants could be
prepared. OPT 2 (Allan, 2004) was also administered to determine the
proficiency level of the participants. As the control group of the study
during their I3 level, the participants received more traditional teacher-
centered instruction. Standard classroom procedures were maintained. The
teacher had control over the presentation of the materials and exercises that
had to be done in class. Consequently, as the textbook called for,
verbal/linguistic intelligence was the focus of instruction. No other
intelligence types were activated. As the experimental group of the study,
the students received instruction that incorporated the elements of MIT (MI-
based instruction) during the I4 level. A wide variety of MI-based activities
was utilized in the experiment (see Table 1 as an example).
Table 1: Intelligence types along with relevant activities (Unit 10)
Intelligence Types Relevant Activities
Grammar tests
Making guesses
Grammar Practice
Pair work (Short dialogues)
Discussing grammar (Giving reasons)
Making a chart (Ss’ life events)
Making guesses
Grammar Practice
Itinerary (a tour guide)
Discussing grammar
Risky activities (An opinion survey)
Guessing (based on man’s pictures)
Guessing (Bizarre packet of cigarette)
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Intelligence Types Relevant Activities
Language Work
Role-play (Help your friend quit
Group discussion (smoking & smokers)
Matching compound nouns
Making compound nouns by matching
Personal collections
Bringing collections to class
Guessing games (twenty questions)
Writing letters
Spending free time (personal writing)
Role-Play (Making complaint)
The students were asked to give their exit comments at the end of every
other session. Voice-recording was also utilized to ensure the accuracy of
the collected data. At the end of the experiment, post-tests (OPT & Stop and
Check Tests) were administered to compare the progress of the participants
and compare the performance of the members of control and experimental
groups. The collected data were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively.
Data were examined by taking students’ class performance and the surveys
conducted. The daily logs were used to record brief descriptions and the
frequency of the implementation of MI-inspired activities in the sample
classes. The participant students completed exit comments in which they
described their individual reactions to the MI activities and procedures. Data
obtained from classroom observations, MI surveys, daily logs and students'
exit comments were scrutinized.
4. Findings and Results
In this section, the findings of the study are presented. Then the relevant
conclusions will be elucidated.
The experiment began with administering the Persian translation of the
Multiple Intelligences Survey (Armstrong, 1993). To come up with a more
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comprehensive profile of the strengths of the participants of the study, the
dominant intelligence of each participant was determined and the type close
to the dominant one was also specified. Table 2 summarizes the intelligence
profile of the participants of the study as determined by the MI survey.
Table 2: Intelligence types of participants
Student Dominant Intelligence Type(s) Secondary Type(s)
1. Interpersonal Bodily-Kinesthetic
2. Logical-Mathematical, Visual/Spatial &
Musical-Rhythmic -------------
3. Logical-Mathematical -------------
4. Logical-Mathematical & Interpersonal Bodily-Kinesthetic
5. Logical-Mathematical & Naturalist Interpersonal
6. Logical-Mathematical Intrapersonal
7. Logical-Mathematical Bodily-Kinesthetic
8. Interpersonal & Naturalist -------------
9. Interpersonal -------------
10. Bodily-Kinesthetic Visual-Special &
Table 3 shows the frequency of primary and secondary intelligence
types of the participants of the study in descending order. As some students
showed more than one dominant intelligence type, the number of the
intelligence types in the table is more than the number of the participants.
Table 3: Frequency of intelligence types
Primary Types Secondary Types
Logical-Mathematical (6) Bodily-Kinesthetic (3)
Interpersonal (3) Logical-Mathematical (1)
Naturalist (2) Interpersonal (1)
Body-kinesthetic (1) Visual-Special (1)
Musical-Rhythmic (1) Intrapersonal (1)
Visual/Spatial (1) -----
The above table includes the answer to our first research question
concerning the salient intelligence types in our participants. As can be seen,
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logical-mathematical, interpersonal, bodily-kinesthetic and naturalist were
the most frequent types respectively. The initial survey helped the
researcher direct classroom activities towards most frequent types in the
experimental phase of the study.
At the beginning of the experiment, the participants were pre-tested to
determine their level of proficiency. To do so, Oxford Placement Test 2
(Allan, 2004) was utilized. The following table shows the results of the pre-
test administered at the beginning of Intermediate 3 (I3).
Table 4: I3 pretest and post-test results
N Minimum Maximum Mean Std.
Pretest 10 124.00 142.00 132.9000 5.83952
Post-test 10 118.00 149.00 134.2000 9.93087
Based on OPT language level, those who scored 120-134 were
considered as lower intermediate and those who scored 135-149 were rated
as upper-intermediate. As Table 4 reveals, the participants were between
lower and upper intermediate levels.
For the control group, an attempt was made to restrict the range of the
activities to those in the textbook which in particular were verbal-linguistic
in nature. In case the activities given in the textbook could possibly address
various intelligence types, they were either not covered or modified
deliberately to limit the number of intelligence types invoked. Based on the
profile of the participants, a plan was devised to address various intelligence
types through the experimental phase. Based on students’ exit comments,
the activities were refined to better meet and serve the specific needs and
preferences of the students. In addition, when an activity was implemented,
it was tried to direct the activity towards a number of intelligence types to
enrich the class with an atmosphere of diversity.
Based on classroom observations, MI surveys, daily logs, students' exit
comments and oral interviews, the data were compiled. The collected data
were analyzed qualitatively to identify effective teaching activities. This
was checked against the students’ preferences and feedback. All in all, the
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intelligence types and preferred activities were identified so that the
classroom activities would be geared to them. A summary of the findings is
presented in Table 5 which, in effect, presents the answer to our second
research question concerning the relationship between intelligence types and
learner preferences. In order to observe the anonymity principle, the
students are identified by either their initials or the letters of the alphabet.
Table 5: Intelligence types and learner preferences
S Intelligence type Preferred activity
E Interpersonal *Bodily-
hand-on, pair-work and problem-solving
Visual/Spatial & Musical-
logical type, classification and categorization,
working with charts and making inferences
G Logical-Mathematical logic-based exercises and puzzles
Logical-Mathematical &
Interpersonal *Bodily-
interaction-based activities, mathematical
types of exercises, and speaking and guessing
M.N Logical-Mathematical &
Naturalist *Interpersonal
text-based activities, more formal exercises,
vocabulary items and making inferences
M.S Logical-Mathematical
text-based activities, speaking, preview, and
Mo Logical-Mathematical
making inferences and categorization
S Interpersonal & Naturalist interaction-based activities, speaking and
T Interpersonal role-plays and simulations
Bodily-Kinesthetic *Visual-
Special & Logical-
Speaking and conversational activities,
grammar-based exercises.
S = student * = Secondary intelligence type
To answer the third research question, Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test was
run. The first comparison was done between the I3 pretest and post-test
results, which indicated that there was no statistically significant difference
in this respect (Table 6). Furthermore, at the end of both control and
experimental phases, Oxford Placement Test (Versions 1 & 2) was
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administered to check students’ progress. Another Wilcoxon test was run to
see the difference. The results, as shown in Table 6, revealed no statistically
significant difference.
Table 6: Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test on I3 pretest/post-test and I4/I3 post-test
N Mean
Sum of
Ranks Z Sig.
Negative Ranks 5 4.10 20.50
Positive Ranks 5 6.90 34.50
Ties 0
I3post-test -
Total 10
-.716 .474
Negative Ranks 3 3.17 9.50
Positive Ranks 6 5.92 35.50
Ties 1
I4post-test - I3post-
Total 10
-1.543 .123
In order to trace the specific progress the participants of the study might
have made, two content-valid post-tests were also administered at the end of
both control and experimental phases. The tests were taken from New
Headway Intermediate practice tests. The I3 post-test consisted of the
following items: General revision, present perfect: active & passive,
conditionals and time clauses, vocabulary and translation. The I4 post-test
consisted of general revision, indirect questions, reported statements and
questions, reported commands, vocabulary and translation. Each test was
scored out of one-hundred. The post-tests referred to as Stop & Check (3&
4) were based on the units seven to nine and ten to twelve of the textbook
respectively. They were concerned with the specific objectives covered
during the experimental and control phases of the study. Table 7 shows the
comparison between the two groups.
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Table 7: Wilcoxon test on I3 and I4 post-test (Stop & Check)
Sum of
Ranks Z Sig.
Negative Ranks 9 5.33 48.00
Positive Ranks 1 7.00 7.00
Ties 0
I3post-test -
Total 10
-2.092 .036
As the above table shows, the difference is significant at the 0.05 level
(2-tailed). This finding shows the significant effect of the treatment.
Analyzing the class performance of the participants revealed that the initial
surveys were almost truly indicative of their intelligence profiles. In most
cases where the present researcher implemented activities in line with the
MI profile of the participants, their affective and cognitive reactions were
almost salient. From an affective perspective, they expressed more
willingness and ease as this was reflected in their exit comments. When a
different and contrasting activity was practiced, they explicitly voiced that
they were bored and this was reflected in their class performance. From a
cognitive perspective, when MI-informed activities were put into practice,
the participants had improved performance which could be noticeably
recognized in their class performance.
5. Conclusions
As the findings of the study reveal, the difference between the
performances of the participants on I3 pretest and posttest was not found to
be statistically significant. In other words, the treatment offered during the
control phase was not effective. Concerning the performance of the
participants after the experimental phase, their scores were found to be
higher after the treatment. Based on the performance of the participants on
Stop & Check tests, a significant progress could be observed among the
participants. This is indicative of at least partial effectiveness of
implementing MI-inspired instruction in an EFL context.
This study looks forward. It does not just answer some research
questions, but it suggests questions to be pursued in future. It hopefully
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invites instructors to get closer and address MI in their classrooms in order
to enrich their classes with diversity and hence empower language learners.
The MIT in fact gives us a more egalitarian perspective towards giftedness.
This is a revolutionary idea which has outstanding pedagogical implications.
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... As our main concern in the present study is about the application of the instrument in the Iranian context, it is worth stating that researchers in Iran use the original version of MI scales, such as Armstrong's (1994) MI survey, which are developed in Western cultures and are used with native English speakers, or they just translate the target scale from its source language to Persian without going through validity and reliability processes needed for adapting a scale to be used in another context. Examples of such empirical studies in the field of ELT in Iran are those undertaken by Ahmadian and Ghasemi (2017), Hosseini (2003), Pishghadam and Moafian (2008), Saeidi (2009), and Tahriri and Yamini (2010). Such inclinations are due to the reason that there is lack of any instrument with psychometric properties to measure individual's MI in the Iranian context. ...
... Similarly, in another study examining the role of MI-based instruction in the EFL context in Iran, Tahriri and Yamini (2010) used the Armstrong's (1993) MI survey to measure a group of female Iranian EFL students' levels of MI. In the article, the authors reported that before employing the scale in their study, they translated it into Persian and its reliability was assessed through back translation. ...
... First of all, in order to better appreciate various capabilities of individuals, any culture including Iran requires well validated or adapted MI scales so as to be used by teachers, researchers, and counselors in order to measure individuals' MI levels in a culturally appropriate way (Saeedi et al., 2015). Second, due to the dearth of Persian MI scales enjoying acceptable psychometric properties, many people in the country use self-made MI instruments without going through proper validity and reliability steps, or they may employ well designed MI scales which are developed in other cultures for populations different from the Iranian one (e.g., Ahmadian & Ghasemi, 2017;Tahriri & Yamini, 2010;Pishghadam & Moafian, 2008;Saeidi, 2009). Therefore, the present study and that of Saeidi et al. (2015) are considered as steps taken toward solving this issue by adapting and validating the MIDAS scale for the Iranian Adult population. ...
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This study reports psychometric properties and derivation of norms for a Persian version of the Multiple Intelligence Developmental Assessment Scales (MIDAS) for Adults. After examining and confirming equivalency between English and Persian versions, translated and validated by Saeidi, Ostovar, Shearer, and Asghari Jafarabadi (2015), the scale was administered to a sample (N = 2146), including students, undergraduates, graduates, and adults from different provinces in Iran. The participants were at least 19 years old and above (M = 29.40, SD = 2.26). Out of 2146 samples, 1103 females and 1043 were males. To examine the validity and reliability properties of the scale, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, Cronbach Alpha (α) reliability correlation coefficients, and corrected item-total correlations were employed. Exploratory factor analysis using varimax rotation identified eight principal components, which accounted for 67.21% of the variance for 115 items. The internal consistency coefficient (α = .92; ranging from 0.89 to 0.93) was also very high. The confirmatory analysis generally replicated the original conceptualization of the MIDAS. According to the results, the Persian-MIDAS-adults questionnaire has good psychometric properties in the research community and can be safely used as a valid tool to assess MI in Iran.
... They reported significant relationship among language learning strategy use, the participants' multiple intelligences and their proficiency level. The study conducted by Tahriri et al intendedto determine the effectiveness of an MI-inspired instruction in Iran (Tahriri, 2011). More specifically, it aimed to investigate whether MI-based instruction enhances EFL students' language proficiency and language achievement in comparison with the instruction in which verbal-linguistic intelligence is activated (Tahriri, 2011). ...
... The study conducted by Tahriri et al intendedto determine the effectiveness of an MI-inspired instruction in Iran (Tahriri, 2011). More specifically, it aimed to investigate whether MI-based instruction enhances EFL students' language proficiency and language achievement in comparison with the instruction in which verbal-linguistic intelligence is activated (Tahriri, 2011). Additionally, the researcher surveyed EFL instructors' views regarding the implementation of the MI theory using an open-ended questionnaire. ...
... The findings indicated that only 40% of the teachers who were already familiar with the MI theory had implemented it in their classrooms at least'to some extent.' (Tahriri, 2011). Concerning the applicability of the MI theory in an EFL context, 66.6% considered it as applicable. ...
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Aim: The present study was an attempt to investigate the relationship between multiple intelligences and reading comprehension ability of medical students. With advancements in psychology and cognitive sciences, the role of individual differences has been highlighted in the realm of L2 teaching. One of the outcomes of regarding individuals as different beings is the concept of Intelligence which has also gained an increasing importance in L2 learning, especially in reading comprehension skill. Method: To this end, 157 students from the Guilan University of Medical Sciences took part in the study. The participants were given a reading comprehension test and Multiple Intelligences Developmental Assessment Scales (MIDAS). Result: Findings indicated that the multiple intelligence profile of the medical students who completed the MIDAS questionnaire included interpersonal, linguistic, and logical-mathematical intelligences with a higher mean compared to other intelligences. Moreover, results of Pearson correlation and multiple regression analysis revealed that that there is a positive relationship between medical students' MI profile and reading comprehension skill. Conclusion: However, this relationship was shown to be rather weak, in that the correlation coefficient was (r= .18, p< .05). Based on the findings of this study, L2 material developer, syllabus designers, and teachers can provide the learners with reading materials which address their multiple intelligences and help them in becoming more successful in their studies. Copyright © 2018, Mojgan Mesbah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
... teachers provide students with the pedagogical activities designed according to their developmental features (Armstrong, 2009). Furthermore, it can be used to identify learning dispositions of various language learners (Tahriri & Yamini, 2010) and produce differential outcomes in language learning (Haley, 2004). MI theory with its view of learners' diversity in intelligence profiles can contribute to teachers' more accurate identification of student's cognitive skills for the purpose of better addressing their disabilities (Armstrong, 2009). ...
... According to Allen (2004), the OQPT has been calibrated against the proficiency levels based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF), the Cambridge TESOL Examinations, and other international tests such as TOEFL. Moreover, according to various researchers (Allen, 2004;Jabbari, 2014;Tahriri & Yamini, 2010), the cut-off points considered for proficiency levels are reliable indicators. The scoring criteria are as follows: Advanced ...
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With the quick transition to online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital to take the recent development in language teaching methodology into consideration, especially the pedagogical utility of new models of English for Academic purposes (EAP). Accordingly, the main objective of the present study was to investigate the efficacy of the adjunct model in improving the overall reading comprehension skills of Iranian architecture students in online EAP courses. To this end, from the population of students studying architecture at the Isfahan University of Art, three intact classes, each with 35 sophomore students were selected. While the first class was taught by a language teacher (the Language-driven Group) and the second class received instruction from a content teacher (the Content-driven Group), the third class was taught by applying the adjunct model involving both content and language teachers. At the end of the semester, a reading comprehension test was administrated to all students. The analysis of the data through running a one-way ANOVA and post hoc analysis revealed that the students in the adjunct class outperformed their peers in the other two classes on the reading comprehension test.
... According to Allan (2004), the developer of the test, OPT has been calibrated against the proficiency levels based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF), the Cambridge Examinations, and other major international examinations such as TOEFL. The cut-off points for proficiency levels set by Allan (2004) was considered by several researchers (e.g., Jabbari, 2014;Rebarber et al., 2007;Tahriri & Yamini, 2010) as reliable indicators that would signal language proficiency levels. ...
The studies that have investigated the effects of multimodality on reading comprehension and vocabulary retention of EFL learners in the context of Iran through mixed methodology are very limited. Accordingly, this two-phase study aimed to investigate the effect multimodalities might have on reading comprehension and vocabulary retention of Iranian EFL learners. To this end, the first phase of the study included a sample of 30 male EFL learners selected through intact group sampling who were homogenized by using an OPT (Oxford Placement Test). Then they divided into experimental and control groups randomly. Passages used for experimental group were accompanied by visual images, videos, and audio tracks, while passages used for control group were the same texts without any of these. For conducting the second phase of the study, in the control group the teacher introduced the new vocabularies of each text only by their L2 definition but in the experimental group the teacher used L2 definition and image for introducing the new vocabularies. In the qualitative part of the study, an open-ended questionnaire and interview were used. By comparing pre-tests and post-tests using MANCOVA, the results showed the effectiveness of using multimodality in L2 reading classrooms and vocabulary retention of EFL learners. The analysis of the results obtained from the qualitative phase revealed that learners preferred texts to be accompanied by visual images.
... From this point of view, this quasiexperimental investigation is different from the existing studies. Many of the previous research investigations focused on the relationships between the dominant intelligence types and reading achievements (Abdallah, 2008;Akbari & Hosseini, 2008;Cristison, 2005;Hajhashemi, Akef, & Anderson, 2012;Hajhashemi et al., 2013;Sheorey & Mokhtari, 2002;Tahiri & Yamini, 2010;Visser, Ashton, & Vernon, 2006). Some of the studies tried to find out the association between reading competency and reading strategies ( Kornhaber, and Gardner 2006n). ...
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In this quasi-experimental study, quantitative findings were examined in terms of how grouping students based on their dominant type of Multiple intelligence and providing different Multiple Intelligence activities that correspond to their intelligence type effect the development of their reading skills. A control group and an experimental group were designed to compare the effectiveness of the Multiple Intelligence teaching activities and tasks on the development of reading skills. A questionnaire was administrated to the 95 undergraduate EFL junior students to identify their dominant type of intelligence at a private university in Iraq. Based on their dominant type of intelligence, different learning centers were established with different activities for each one. After a 16-week experiment period the effects of Multiple Intelligence teaching activities were measured by using pretest, progress tests, achievement exams and a posttest. The results of this study indicated that the experimental group has significantly developed their reading comprehension skills in terms of understanding and visualizing the meaning in the mind. In addition, there were considerable association between Multiple Intelligence teaching activities and students’ motivation to the classes that reinforces classroom management as well.
... Research conducted with the aim of exploring effects of techniques and strategies based on MI principles has focused on their impact on language proficiency in general and/or on specific skills in particular. Results have revealed that using Mi-based strategies positively affects students' performance in class (Tahriri & Yamini, 2012) as well as their level of achievements not only in general (Haley, 2004;Soleimani, Moinnzadeh, Kassaian, & Ketabi, 2012;Bas & Beyhan, 2017) but also in specific sub-skills (Aderson, 1998;Condis, Parks, & Soldweddel, 2000;Soleimani, Moinnzadeh, Kassaian, & Ketabi, 2012). ...
... There have also been specific studies in the area of English language teaching to prove the effectiveness of the integration of MI theory into language classes (Abdi & Rostami, 2012;Ghamrawi, 2014;Pourmohammadi, Zainol Abidin, & Yang Ahmad, 2012;Saeidipour & Taheri Otaghsara, 2014;Tahriri & Yamini, 2010). ...
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This study sought to investigate whether there are differences among EFL instructors of various intelligence types in terms of the types of activities that they implement in their classes. It also sought to investigate teachers’ perceptions about the theory of multiple intelligences. To this end, 30 male and female EFL instructors teaching the same textbook with the same method of teaching participated in the present study. To gather the data, three successive sessions of each class were observed and the class activities were recorded through an observation schedule. Semistructured interviews were also carried out to explore the teachers’ perceptions of multiple intelligences. And finally, teachers’ dominant type of intelligence was determined by Multiple Intelligences Checklist. The results of one-way ANOVA and post hoc test revealed that only teachers of logical-mathematical type were influenced by their dominant intelligence type and other intelligence types did not exert a significant influence on the types of activities being implemented in the classes. The results of this study can be a fillip at least for teachers with logical-mathematical intelligence to be careful about their dominant intelligence type, not allowing it to affect their teaching and to compel them to use activities in line with their dominant intelligence.
This study aims to investigate the application of computer technology (CALL henceforth) on mechanics of writing. To this end, a quasi-experimental design and quantitative method was adopted. Oxford Placement Test (OPT), pretest and posttest in form of paragraph writing and adopted editing checklist were used to collect data from 50 homogenous intermediate EFL participants selected from a large sample at Islamic Azad University, Marivan Branch. The data were analyzed descriptively and inferentially using ANCOVA to test the CALL effectiveness on EFL learners' mechanics of writing. Twenty five participants in the experimental group in ten sessions used CALL package developed by the researchers contained audio, video, captured picture, and script of a short film of related topics, but twenty five participants in control group just used the traditional package included a writing textbook. The results of the study revealed that there was a significant difference between the students' mechanics of writing scores mean in the experimental group compared to students in control group. The study suggests that computer applied in mechanics of writing instruction should be given much more consideration to improve the learners' writing skill in EFL settings and motivate both teachers and learners while working on mechanics of writing skill.
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After Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory (MIT), some language teaching practitioners set out to teach students in a way to help their dominant intelligence(s) blossom. In an EFL context, usually teachers’ main focus is to develop communication skills. Nowadays, writing is one of the main ways by which people communicate. Thus, this study aimed at investigating possible relationship between Multiple Intelligences and writing performance of Iranian EFL learners across different genders. To conduct this study, 15 male and 15 female advanced EFL learners from a reputable institute in Tabriz participated. They passed through a placement test to enter the course, yet the researchers administered a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to ensure homogeneity in the group. After a session of introducing the project’s purpose, Multiple Intelligence Developmental Assessment (MIDAS) questionnaire was administered for obtaining participants’ Multiple Intelligence profile. Later, the participants were given a text and asked to read and summarize it. The collected writings were analyzed for grammatical accuracy, complexity and quality of the writing based on Jacob et al.’s (1981) scale. The results of the correlational analysis revealed that overall Multiple Intelligences correlated positively with the quality of the female learners’ writing. The findings suggest that English teachers consider the role of multiple intelligences in learning and teaching process and provide more effective activities to help learners of different intelligences improve their foreign language writing skill. Keywords: Multiple intelligences, Writing performance, gender
Howard Gardner’s brilliant conception of individual competence is changing the face of education today. In the ten years since the publication of his seminal Frames of Mind, thousands of educators, parents, and researchers have explored the practical implications of Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory—the powerful notion that there are separate human capacities, ranging from musical intelligence to the intelligence involved in understanding oneself. Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice brings together previously published and original work by Gardner and his colleagues at Project Zero to provide a coherent picture of what we have learned about the educational applications of MI theory from projects in schools and formal research over the last decade.
In an effort to understand learner-centered instruction from the perspective of multiple intelligences (MI), the purpose of this second teacher action research study was to further investigate the use of MI theory in shaping and informing instructional strategies, curricula development, and alternative forms of assessment with second language learners. My premise was that given what we know about the educational needs of second language learners, all teachers must be better equipped to widen their pedagogical repertoire to accommodate linguistically, culturally, and cognitively diverse students. Results of the study indicated that students did achieve greater success rates when the MI theory was implemented.
In the face of increasing cultural diversity, educators need new ways of understanding how children think. The theory of multiple intelligences provides a means for distinguishing the many ways children have to solve problems and create products, identify cognitive strengths, and group students according to complementary intelligences. (MSE)
Describes a Saint Louis elementary school's successful application of Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences theory. What began as a discussion of the nature of intelligence has resulted in a revised curriculum, varied instructional techniques, alternative assessment (using a combination of portfolios, progress reports, profiles, demonstrations of understanding, and standardized tests), improved professional development for teachers, and new ways to communicate with parents. (MLH)
This paper focuses on the implementation of the multiple intelligences (MI) theory in 21st century teaching and learning environment, suggesting that it offers a new tool for effective teaching and learning at all levels. The eight current MI include: verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, musical/rhythmic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist. Despite research on the effectiveness of the MI theory, traditional teaching and learning strategies of lecture still prevail in school, with the expectation that all students learn in the same way. This paper looks at the different types of intelligences, offering a definition of MI, historical developments of MI, and application of the MI into the classroom social environment. It also discusses two new candidate intelligences: spiritualist and existentialist. The paper concludes that traditional ways of understanding pedagogy, and static methods of teaching, are giving way to the new classroom examination and application of the MI. It notes that in the process of employing the MI, teachers should also consider the cognition, language, and culture of each student. (Contains 36 references.) (SM)
The Adult Multiple Intelligences Study was the first systematic effort related to multiple intelligences (MI) theory in adult literacy education. The study's findings regarding MI theory served as the foundation for a study of MI theory's implications for adult literacy practice, policy, and research. The study was conducted across 10 different adult literacy contexts with different teacher and learner populations. Data were collected through on-site observations, qualitative interviews, and teacher journals. Key findings were as follows: (1) MI efforts can result in high levels of adult learner engagement; (2) choice-based activities increased students' confidence about learning; and (3) connecting MI reflections activities to broader learning goals is important. The following were among the study's implications: (1) teachers must understand MI theory, be able to access it, and be willing to implement diverse learning activities based on it; (2) programs must express institutional support for teachers to engage in and sustain MI-based practices; (3) to reflect MI theory, a policy and accountability system would move beyond current federal funding criteria; (4) the outcome of improved self-efficacy or metacognitive skills could be considered a secondary criterion of an accountability system; and (5) the impact of MI-based interventions on students' self-efficacy and teacher change merit further study. (MN)
This study reports the differences in intelligences preferences of male and female students learning English as a second language at higher institutions in the United States of America. The sample comprised 90 international students registered at ESL centers at three American universities. The study results indicated that there were significant differences between males' and females' preferences of intelligences. Males preferred learning activities involving logical and mathematical intelligences, whereas females preferred learning activities involving intrapersonal intelligence. The study recommends some implications to be considered in ESL/EFL classrooms.