Multiple intelligences? But how many are there? The number seems to go up and up.  Howard Gardner is the man who first identified multiple intelligences and he has since added to his list.

Read the text and then do the exercises.

Everybody has a different approach to learning and the more we understand about the type of learner we are, the more effective our studying should become.

Howard Gardner first introduced us to the idea of Multiple Intelligences in 1983. He believes that there are several types of intelligences that can’t be simply defined from one IQ test. He categorises intelligences under the following headings;

1.  Verbal linguistic – having a good verbal memory, being interested in words and how language works

2.  Analytical / logical – being able to investigate and have a scientific approach to learning

3.  Musical – being sensitive to sounds and rhythms

4.  Visual spatial – being imaginative with a good visual memory

5.  Kinaesthetic – being receptive to touching objects to enhance your memory

6.  Interpersonal – being good in group work, listening to others

7.  Intrapersonal – being aware of your own personal goals and motivations

8.  Naturalist – understanding the link between nature and humans

It’s important to understand that these intelligences work together and it would be unwise to think of ourselves as having only one or the other. Labelling learners as a particular type of learner could stop them from exploring all of their intelligences. So instead we should think of ourselves as having dominant intelligences.


When you are next in a classroom ask yourself these questions to think about how you learn:

  • When I hear a new word do I need to see it written down to know how it’s spelt?
  • Am I interested in grammar and how English tenses are put together?
  • Are my notes kept neatly in a methodical way?
  • Do I keep a personal dictionary of newly learnt words?
  • Does my personal dictionary help me to remember the words?
  • How easy do I find it to hear differences in sounds?
  • Does drawing pictures of new words help me to remember them in English?
  • Does touching an object help me to remember what it’s called?
  • Do I enjoy listening to the teacher and taking notes?
  • Do I prefer working on my own or with other people?
  • Do I know why I’m learning English?

This list of questions is obviously limited but it’s a good start towards becoming a more effective learner. The more you are aware about your dominant intelligences in the learning process the more you can exploit them to make learning a more enjoyable and rewarding journey.

Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2


Howard Gardner has identified seven distinct intelligences. According to Gardner, we are able to know the world through language, logical-mathematical analysis, spatial representation, musical thinking, the use of the body to solve problems or to make things, an understanding of other individuals, and an understanding of ourselves. But individuals differ is in the strength of these intelligences. The diversity, according to Gardner, should impact the way people are educated, for example.

I think we develop multiple intelligences all the time ....because we need of Verbal linguistic for expressing ours ideas, Analytical / logical to understand what we learning, Musical to feel the musicas notes when play instruments, Visual spatial for remember the enviroment and peoples what we knows, Kinaesthetic is important for enhance our memory througth touch, Interpersonal is a skill very important for employee developing into the company, Intrapersonal understanding ours own weakness and strenght and Naturalist to respect the enviroment who live whit all particularing.

I find that the exercises are very helpful. However, i felt that it was unfortunate that i lost two points in task two because of the ordering of the answers in the last sentence when the responses were technically accurate. therefore, i felt the marking system ought to be a bit more flexible

Hello Kathy-Ann Felix-John,

I'm glad you're finding the exercises useful. We try to ensure that the exercise keys cover all possible correct answers so I'm surprised the task did not accept a correct answer. If you can remember, please post the answer you gave so we can check this.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, thanks alot for your exercises and your answers. I have the same question with Kathy-Ann Felix-John: in task 2 of "Multiple intelligences" - the last sentence, if I change order of two words "intrapersonal" and "visual - spatial" the result changes, too. I don't know the reason because I think it's the same meaning. Could you help me? Thank you very much.

Hello Mai Hanh,

I see the problem you mean here. It's related to the way the task is constructed, where one possible answer is given for each space. I'll pass this on to our technical team to see if they can find a solution.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter.

I think there is no need for a correction. The word "intrapersonal" couldn't have the article "a" in front of it. So there is no other way to put the words in the sentence.

My regards

After doing task 2 do I go back to the previous page and choose something else? It doesn't say on this page where to go next

Hello Mandy1,

Most of the pages on LearnEnglish are not tied together in a particular order to form a course, though we do have series which have a certain sequence of episodes. Task 2 is the final task on this page so once you have done that you can move on to another topic or area.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


I am no sure about the meaning of the expression " Labelling learners", can somebody help me?