cse02.rtf - The Multiple Intelligences Entry Point Approach...

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The Multiple Intelligences Entry Point Approach: Engaging Language Learners into Any Topic Josh Lange, UK Josh Lange is UK representative of the Multiple Intelligences Institute and EAP Teaching Fellow for University College London. E-mail: [email protected] personal website: Multiple Intelligences Institute: Menu Introduction Background: the problem with learning styles in the TESOL classroom Learning styles are not intelligences The entry point approach The entry point approach in secondary or adult TESOL: an example Conclusion: summary of the Pilgrim’s presentation and MI entry points activity References Introduction When I asked her about Multiple Intelligences Theory (MI), a very intelligent and highly- respected English for Academic Purposes teacher-trainer at the University of Reading, Sarah B, replied “that’s similar to learning styles, isn’t it?” Another great teacher-trainer at Oxford University, Emma K, once responded to me when I asked her if she knew about MI Theory “they told us about it on the DELTA but not much more.” I believe Sarah and Emma’s very honest statements would be repeated by most TESOL professionals, in other words “I generally know what MI is, but not really how to use it”. That was the purpose of this session at Pilgrim’s, to give participants a first-hand experience in using this modern theory in a practical way, a way that can support any topic in any setting, as long as the teacher believes that addressing a topic in more than one way is beneficial to today’s English language learners. Many teachers will find that they are already using the theory in novel ways. This paper first discusses one major obstacle to using learner-centered strategies in second language classes, then defines the difference between a ‘learning style’ and an ‘intelligence,’ then matches cutting-edge theory to the Entry Point Approach, and finally gives concrete examples showing how Entry Points can be used in most secondary and adult TESOL settings to better humanize language teaching. Background: the problem with learning styles in the TESOL classroom Research has shown that “kinaesthetic and tactile learning styles were strongly preferred by ESL students [in colleges and universities] when compared to native English speakers” (Reid, 1987; Stebbins, 1995). In related research, Oxford (1985) suggests that offering students some sense of familiarity by initially building upon students’ own inclinations makes ESL students less resistant to risk-taking and change, factors which linguists (Krashen) suggest are
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essential for successful L2 acquisition. In addressing the variety of language needs and learner differences to motivate learners and improve their own practice, TESOL and EFL teachers must rely upon a variety of learner-centered technologies to be successful in their task, technologies which unfortunately have little to do with formalized linguistic thinking.
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  • Winter '18
  • Theory of multiple intelligences, Howard Gardner, Second language acquisition, entry point

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