Reading English as a Second Language Assignment

Reading English as a Second Language Assignment Words: 2425

It was hypothesized that grouping students according to dominant types of their Multiple Intelligences (MI) while teaching eating and providing them with environment and activities that correspond to their intelligence type would benefit the development of reading skills.

The results of experiment – testing, questionnaires, classroom observation, and interviews held in the experimental (students grouped according to MI type) and control groups (no such grouping) – all support the hypothesis about the positive impact of taking into consideration the students’ dominant type of intelligence in the process of teaching reading. Introduction In my previous article in this Journal (Celli, 2012) I viewed some heretical issues concerning MI as well as some activities that can be beneficial for MI-based teaching. Let us review them in short.

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According to Gardner (1983), all human beings possess different intelligences in varying degrees and each individual manifests varying levels of these different intelligences and thus each person has a unique “cognitive profile”; that is, a) all humans possess different intelligences in varying amounts; b) each individual has a different composition of intelligences; c) different intelligences are located in different areas of the brain; d) y applying MI we can improve education; and e) these intelligences may define human species.

The idea is that rather than thinking of intelligence as a unitary and general ability that can be measured and reduced to an intelligent quotient (Q), we should acknowledge a range of intelligences. Among MI Gardner names: linguistic/ verbal, logical/mathematical, spatial/visual, musical, photosynthetic, inter and interpersonal, as well as naturalistic intelligence. Later he and his followers added some more intelligences to the main list. There is certain disagreement on whether incinerating on students’ dominant MI, learning style and other related issues has any noticeable positive impact on the quality of learning.

For instance, Graphs (1984, 51) asked ‘How long can people tolerate environments that match their preferred learning style before they become bored? So his aim would be to teach people new learning styles or at least let them sample unfamiliar ones’. Taking into consideration these doubts and opinions (which I myself share), in the process of experiment I did not ask students in the experimental groups to use only one way of learning (comfortable for their dominant intelligence hype), but to use it more often than other ways of learning. White (2004) totally questions Gardener’s theory.

He quotes Gardner (1983:62): Frames of Mind states that there is no ‘algorithm for the selection of intelligence, such that any trained researcher could determine whether candidate intelligence met the appropriate criteria’ (p. 63). Rather, Gardner goes on: it must be admitted that the selection (or rejection) of a candidate’s intelligence is reminiscent more of an artistic Judgment than of a scientific assessment. (p. 63). Thus White concludes that the identification of intelligences appears to be a subjective matter. Some other authors do not doubt Gardener’s theory but are not sure that it can be so simplistically applied in schools.

For example, in DEMOS (2004:12) it is stated that “in misguided hands, learning styles could become not a nears of personalizing learning, but a new version of general intelligence that slots learners into preconceived categories and puts unwarranted ceilings on their intellectual development and achievement. Gardner (2003) himself is against such an application when development of MI became the teaching goal. “Multiple intelligences” should not in and of itself be an educational goal. Educational oils need to reflect one’s own values, and these can never come simply or directly from a scientific theory.

Once one reflects on one’s educational values and states one’s educational goals, however, then the putative existence of our multiple intelligences can prove very helpful. And, in particular, if one’s educational goals encompass disciplinary understanding, then it is possible to mobile our several intelligences to help achieve that lofty goal. My research is not psychological and I am not testing * Salesman CELLI is a Doctorate Student at BIBS; Shish University, Rebel, Iraq; scelik@hotmail. Com 5 Salesman quell Journal of Education, SINS:2298-0245 Gardener’s MI theory.

Neither am I testing all possible pedagogical applications of MI. The goal of this research was Just to find out what kind of impact has taking into consideration students’ MI in the process of teaching reading in FEEL as well as to check our hypothesis – whether grouping students according to their dominant intelligence type and organizing for them the respective type of activities mainly can really have a positive impact on teaching reading. This is why our research is an experimental one (a quantitative study, as skill measurements are applied).

The aims of the experiment included : – raising the motivation of students in the experimental group by offering them activities which are in congruence with their intelligence type – thus, making the process of reading easier and more pleasant – to provide the individual approach to each student – to let students use those learning strategies which are more available for them – finally, improving their reading skills Selection of the Students The students in this experiment were in preparatory school of English at Shish University (Iraq) where I have been working for five years.

Those students had earned English for more than three years in high school. Since the education language at Shish University is English, all students should have an adequate level of the English language. To measure their level of English, a proficiency exam which is provided by Oxford University Press is held. The students who succeed in the exam start directly to study at their departments. The passing grade in our prep program is 70 in all four skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking in English).

The students who are not successful in this proficiency examination have to study English at the rep school the goal of which is to help students reach an adequate level of English for attending lectures at their departments. Students are given a placement test examination in which again all four skills are included but easier than the proficiency examination is offered to define their level of English skills. According to the placement test results the students are grouped into classes. During this experiment, the average class size was 21 .

Two intermediate and two pre- intermediate classes were chosen for the study, as we needed to compare the results in two seamlessly classes. The study was carried out over a six month period. The participants were placed randomly to the control and experimental group from the population because it was supposed to provide a maximum assurance that a systematic bias did not exist in the selection process and that the selected participants were representative of the population. Representative nears that the sample participants have 6 characteristics similar to that of the population and can, therefore, stand for the population.

Randomly selecting the samples of the participants from the population and then randomly assigning the participants to the various groups was thought to e an adequate arrangement for the experimental study. Randomly assigning the research participants to the various comparison groups meant that each research participant had an equal probability of being assigned to each group. No one had more/less chance to be assigned to any comparison groups. It was taken into account that every individual could bring his/her certain variables.

When participants were randomly selected, the variables they brought with them were also randomly assigned. Random assignment, therefore, produced control by virtue of the fact that he variables to be controlled were distributed in approximately the same manner in all comparison groups at the beginning of the experiment. The comparison groups were similar on the extraneous variables. To minimize the Hawthorne effect, which occurs when the participants are pleased at being included in a study and unconsciously deceive themselves and researcher to ensure its success, students were not told the focus of the specific groups.

Not telling them about what exactly is being studied avoids the possibility that participants would make an extra effort to help the researcher to achieve the aim of the study. The students in this study were English preparatory school students whose majors were different. Totally there were 95 subjects in this study. Defining Students’ Dominant Intelligences Since Howard Gardner (1983) proposed the theory of MI as an alternative to the unitary concept of general intelligence in his book Frames of Mind, educators around the world have been searching for an acceptable method of intelligence measurement.

Although MI theory has been welcome by many educators, its practical application has been limited by the lack of a practical, reliable and valid method of measurement. Gardener’s definition of intelligence and his complex descriptions of the intelligences made it difficult to create a asymmetrically sound method of assessment and also, he advocated that assessments of intelligences should be conducted with the materials of each intelligence (I. E. , musical intelligence should be eased with the help of musical instruments).

It is not always easy and feasible for educators to use these complex tools to assess students’ strengths and weaknesses. Besides, measured in different ways, the assessments were difficult to be compared and to say which intelligence is dominant for each student. That is why questionnaires were introduced which permitted – through the application of certain points assigned to each answer – to find out the student’s dominant type of intelligence. TEACHING IN THE PROCESS OF TEACHING READING TO FEEL STUDENTS Journal of In my research I used two different types of paperclip based MI survey to find out the students’ dominant intelligences.

One survey -MI Inventory- was copyrighted by Walter McKenzie and gained from the internet web site: //aquariums. Com/Ml/ inventory. HTML. The other survey was MI Checklist provided by Thomas Armstrong, the Ritter of many books dealing with MI Theory. I contacted Armstrong via mail and asked the writer whether he could provide an MI inventory test in his research. Armstrong sent an MI Checklist to use it in the research. Also, Armstrong sent some articles and a master copy of his book entitled Multiple Intelligence of Reading and Writing.

The two surveys mentioned above are used in The New School which is a very famous school in the city of Louis, Missouri in the USA, where teaching is based on MI. Walter McKenzie MI Inventory test was administered first study among the student’s experimental groups. In the Inventory, there were nine sections and each section referred to one intelligence. In each section there were ten items which describe the students’ attitudes and personality. In each section the participants chose the items that describe them best.

At the end of the survey, to find the total score and their dominant intelligence, the points received for chosen items were multiplied by ten in each section. For example, in the first section, one student chose 6 items that describe him best, his score in the first section was: 6 x 10=60. Later a new questionnaire-MI Checklist-provided by Thomas Armstrong mentioned above as filled out by the participants to retest the reliability of the MI distribution in the McKenzie questionnaire.

As the students’ level of English Language was low, or not adequate for understanding the survey questions in English, this survey was translated into Turkish, Arabic, and Kurdish language, according to the student’s native language. In order to be sure of the quality of translation, Kurdish and English versions of this survey were piloted with the students of the Dentistry faculty whose English levels were at the advanced mode (once administered in English and once – in their native language).

The results were compared and found equivalent. In addition to those two surveys I also carried out some different techniques to assess the learners’ MI. Those techniques were observations, interviewing other teachers, and interviewing parent’s. Observations: as Armstrong (2009) suggested, one good way to identify students’ dominant intelligences is to observe how they misbehave in class. According to him, they show their dominant intelligences by misbehaving in the class.

The strongly linguistic students would be talking out of turn, students with spatial intelligence would be doodling and daydreaming, the interpersonally inclined detent would be socializing and interacting, the bodily kinesthesia students would be fidgeting, the enthusiastically engaged students might bring an animal to class without any permission, musical students might be singing and interpersonal learners would be sitting alone and might be thinking inside.

All those misbehaving of the intelligences in the classroom provide a positive feedback of the surveys. Another good indicator of students’ proclivities is how they spend their free time in school. In other words, what do they do when nobody tells them what to do? I sometimes had choice time” in the class when students could choose from a number of activities. Highly linguistic students read books, interpersonal students built group games and gossiped, spatial students drew pictures, bodily kinesthesia students created hands- on activities.

Observing the learners in those student-initiated activities provided the information about how they learn most effectively. I also kept a diary for recording these observations. Talk with other teachers: since the teaching process at our university is skill-based, more than one teacher was teaching in each class. For instance, in the pre-intermediate experimental group four different teachers were teaching different skills.

I asked the teachers to observe the students according to MI Checklist and I periodically met those teachers to consider their observations. By doing so I aimed at measuring the participants’ intelligence types with different and many tools to get the most adequate result. Talk with parent’s: it is believed that parent’s are the true experts on their child’s intelligence type. They had the opportunity to see their children learning in a broad spectrum of circumstances encompassing all eight intelligences.

The researcher visited parent’s of the students in experimental class to introduce the MI theory and provided an MI Checklist to observe and document their children’s strengths at home. Although the subjects were in their early adulthood, parent’s provided important and information about their children’s intelligence types. The subjects’ overall MI distributions according to McKenzie test in the intermediate experimental group were analyzed by SPAS 19. 0. The analytical results of SPAS 19. 0 shows the Cockroach’s Alpha is 0. 748, and p is

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