The Enhancement of Learner Autonomy and Assessment of English Language Proficiency for young Learners through Multiple Intelligence Theory
Learning English is vital for young learners today given both the increasing globalization of academic, governmental, economic affairs and associated rise in the global profile of English as a lingua franca as well as potential for personal enrichment that comes with learning any foreign languages. As the need for learning English among young learners increases, so does the need for appropriate measures for informing relevant stakeholders ( e.g. learners, parents and educators) of the learners English Proficiency Level. Inevitably, the appropriate measurement of English proficiency will be critical if assessment is to play an effective role in young learners’ English development and academic success.
In order to equip learners properly, English teachers working in the school system must have the necessary knowledge of English as a school subject and the skills to teach it in a way that learners find motivating and meaningful. In addition, teachers should be able to support their students as they become more autonomous in their language learning.
In devising English Language Proficiency assessments for young learners, an array of issues needs to be carefully thought out in terms of young learner’s characteristics and their language development. For that, Theories of learning and intelligence can be used to identify and clarify the claims that are made in English Language Proficiency tests and validity of test interpretations. According to the theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI) every single child and person in general, can excel in a different area depending on their intelligence (linguistic, logico-mathematical, visual-spatial, musical, bodily-kinaesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalist). The implications for language teaching are that classroom activities should be organised in a way which stimulates our students’ various intelligences. As a result, they get more actively involved in the learning process.
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