Comparing the Effects of Two Facets of Multiple Intelligences Theory on Developing EFL Learners’ Listening

Ma’ssoumeh Bemani Naeini


Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory (MIT), however having been embraced in the field of language acquisition, has apparently failed to play a role in research on learning styles as an alternative construct.  This study aims at examining the potential effects of MI-based activities, as learning styls, on the listening proficiency of Iranian TEFL university students.  Based on two assumptions derived from MIT, one of the experimental groups (EG1; N=30) worked on activities across intelligences while the other experimental group (EG2; N=30) focused on the activities related to their most developed intelligence.  McKenzie’s (1999) MI Inventory was used to identify the subjects’ preferred intelligences. There was a significant difference between listening scores on TOEFL before and after the intervention of MI-based activities as well as between the two experimental groups, indicating EG1 outperforming EG2.  So, as the findings reveal, integration of MIT can significantly contribute to the enhancement of EFL learners’ listening comprehension and the effect is even more significant if teachers practice an integration of all intelligences rather than the most developed ones, only.   

Keywords: Multiple Intelligences Theory, learning styles, listening proficiency, Iranian EFL context

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