Effects of Spatial Intelligence-based Instruction on Learning Pictorial Idiomatic Expressions in an EFL Context

Mehdi Solhi Andarab


In this study, at the outset, the effect of spatial intelligence-based instruction on learning pictorial idioms in an EFL context was investigated. Then, an attempt was made to find the possible difference between male and female learners' spatial intelligence with regard to the learning of pictorial idioms. To this end, 50 female and 50 male EFL students were randomly selected.  After distributing a questionnaire, the participants with high spatial intelligence were assigned to the experimental group while the participants with lower intelligence profile were assigned into the control group. The same procedure was followed with regard to the male participants. The number of the participants was slightly high. Therefore, they were divided into several subgroups. The both groups showed to be homogenous concerning their knowledge of the English idioms. Then, the idioms taught to the both control (the learners with low spatial intelligence profile) and the experimental groups (the learners with high spatial intelligence profile) were pictorial spatial intelligence-based. The treatment continued for approximately 3 months. An independent samples t-test applied on the scores achieved from a posttest showed a significant difference between the control and the experimental groups of the both male and female participants in apprehending the meaning of the English idioms. However, the results obtained from the two-way ANOVA conducted on the scores earned from the posttest showed a significant difference between the male and female participants’ intelligence profile in learning the pictorial idioms. As a result, the spatial intelligence-based instruction of English idioms proved to be highly beneficial when teaching idioms.



Spatial Intelligence-based Instruction, Pictorial Idioms

Full Text:



Armstrong, T. (2000). Multiple intelligences in the classroom (2nd edition). Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Armstrong, T. (2003). The Multiple intelligences of reading and writing. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Armstrong, T. (2004).The best of multiple intelligences activities. Rachelle Cracchiolo, M.S. Ed.

Bennett, M. (1996). Men’s and Women’s Self-Estimates of Intelligence. The Journal of Social Psychology, 136, 411-412.

Christison, M. A. (1999). Multiple Intelligences: theory and practice in adult ESL. Eric Digest. http://www.Cal. org/ncle /digest/MI.htm

Christison, M. A. and Kennedy, D. (1999). Multiple Intelligences: theory and practice in adult ESL. Eric Digest. http://www.Cal.org/ncle /digest/MI.htm

Cieslicka, A. (2006). Literal salience in on-line processing of language learners. Second Language Research, 22(2), 115-144.

Dillon, L. (2006). Multiple intelligence theory and the college English classroom. http://www.mcte.org/ journal / mej06/14.Dillon.pdf

Furnham, A. (2000). Thinking about intelligence. http://www.thepsychologist.org.uk/archive/archive_home .cfm/volumeID _13-editionID_49Article ID.../thepsychologist %5Cfurnham.pdf

Gardner, H. (1991). Intelligences in seven steps. http://www.newhorizons.org

Gardner, H. (1993). Frames of Mind: the theory of multiple intelligences. London: Fontana Press.

Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligences Reframed: multiple intelligences for the 21st century. New York: Basic Books.

Gardner, H. (2006). The development and education of the mind. Great Britain: Routledge.

Halley, M. (2004). Learner-centered instruction and the theory of multiple intelligences with second language

learners. Teachers College Record, 106 (1), 163-180.

Halpern, D. (1997). Sex Differences in Intelligence. American Psychologist, 52, 1091-1102.

Hussein, R., Khanji, R., & Makhzoomy, K. (2000). The acquisition of idioms: transfer or what? J. King Saud University, 12, 22-34.

Irujo, S. (1993). Steering clear: Avoidance in the production of idioms. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 21, 205-219.

Kallenbach, S., & Veins, J. (2001). Multiple intelligences in practice: Teacher reports from the adult multiple intelligences study. ERIC/AE Digest Series.

McPartland, P. (1981). Take it Easy: American Idioms. Language Learning, 33(4), 5-10.

Nelson, E. (1992). Memory for metaphor by nonfluent bilinguals. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 21, 111–25.

Nippold, M. A., & Martin, S. T. (1989). Idiom interpretation in isolation versus context: A developmental study with adolescents. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 32, 59-66.

Saeidi, M. (2006). Multiple intelligence-based focus on forms: From Theory to Practice. Iran: Islamic Azad university of Tabriz.

Scarcella, R. C., & Oxford, R. L. (1992). The tapestry of language learning: The individual in the communicative classroom. Boston: Heinle & Heinle.

Wu, S. (2008).Effective activities for teaching English idioms to EFL learners. The Internet TESL Journal.


DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.4n.3p.109


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.