The Use of Multiple Intelligences Theory in TEFL

  • م. منتهى صبار جبر كلية التربية الاساسية - الجامعة المستنصرية
Keywords: Multiple Intelligence Theory, TEFL, Use


        The theory of multiple intelligence (MI) was proposed by Howard Gardener in the early 1983 .It posits that there are various kinds of human  beings intelligence and each person possesses eight  intelligences includes(linguistic intelligence, logical- mathematical  intelligence, spatial intelligence, musical intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, naturalistic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence,  intrapersonal intelligence).

      This theory has an important role in education and all teachers have to understand the MI among students so as to develop lessons to each kind. MI is essential in TFL because learners will learn according to their strengths and potentials and they can even develop their less developed area; moreover, it can build learners' self-confidence which is important in learning the language. The problem of this research is that the educational systems focus on logical –mathematical and linguistic intelligences and neglect the other types of intelligences. This may due to the difficulty and barriers faced by teachers in implementing other types of MI. MI theory proposes that students of different kinds of intelligences should have equal opportunities in learning and teachers should present their lessons in different ways to accommodate different intelligences in the classroom. 

       The study displays many ways and activities in which teachers can implement MI theory in the classroom. The aims are to explore the EFL instructors' perceptions about facing difficulties in implementing MI, and to identify the barriers in implementing this theory in teaching.  The population of the study represents EFL instructors at Mustansiriyah and Baghdad Universities. The researcher used an online written interview for the first aim and adopted an objective questionnaire which matches the second aim of the study .As a result, it is noticeable that EFL instructors believe that MI theory is difficult to be implemented and that there are many barriers that hindered teachers from applying MI in teaching like the external pressure imposed on instructors by faculty, insufficient time, and the limitations in the pedagogical knowledge about MI theory. 

     Finally, the researcher recommends that EFL instructors need to identify students' MI profile so as to adopt various MI activities in teaching which match their strengths, and for syllabus designer to review the syllabus to be in harmony with MI theory.

How to Cite
جبرم. م. (2021). The Use of Multiple Intelligences Theory in TEFL. مجلة أبحاث الذكاء, 14(30), 346-361. Retrieved from