The relationship between Test Takers’ Multiple Intelligences and Their Performance on the Reading Sections of TOEFL and IELTS

Mansour Fahim, Marzieh Bagherkazemi, Minoo Alemi

Abstract


The present study aimed at investigating the hypothetical relationship between the multiple intelligences of test takers and their performance on the reading sections of TOEFL and IELTS. Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences suggests that intelligence is not a single and solely inborn capacity, rather a multiple construct which is only partly genetic, and can be crystallized or paralyzed over one’s lifetime. Based on the theory, there are eight types of intelligence: linguistic, mathematical, musical, bodily, spatial, intrapersonal, interpersonal and naturalist, but the list is not exhaustive. The multiple intelligences of test takers were estimated by means of MIDAS, the Multiple Intelligences Developmental Assessment Scales, developed by Shearer (1994). Subsequently, the bias detection for the reading section of TOEFL was carried out on 90 participants, and this subtest was found to correlate positively with linguistic and logical intelligences. By the same token, 89 out of the 163 participants in the study were included in the analysis of the relationship between the multiple intelligences of test takers and their performance on the reading section of IELTS, and this test proved biased toward linguistic and spatial intelligences. The implications concern the inadequacy of the definition of language proficiency .Moreover, Measurement-Driven Instruction courses and preparatory materials of the two proficiency tests, TOEFL and IELTS, can benefit from the results of the study by being designed in such a way as to represent the intelligences which are positively correlated with performance on the tests in question.

Keywords


MIDAS, Multiple intelligences, Language proficiency, Regression analysis, Standardized test, Test bias

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