The Role of Multiple Intelligences (MI) in Listening Proficiency: A Comparison of TOEFL and IELTS Listening Tests from an MI Perspective

| September 26, 2008
Title
The Role of Multiple Intelligences (MI) in Listening Proficiency: A Comparison of TOEFL and IELTS Listening Tests from an MI Perspective

Keywords: Multiple Intelligences (MI), TOEFL, IELTS, Listening Proficiency, Linguistic Intelligence

Authors
Babak Mahdavy
Tarbiat Modares University, Iran

Bio Data
Babak Mahdavy is a PhD student in TEFL at Tarbiat Modares University and is currently teaching English at Qaemshahr Islamic Azad University. He received his MA in TEFL from Tehran University. His research interests include language testing and assessment,language socialization, identity issues and vocabulary acquisition.

Abstract
TOEFL and IELTS listening tests have been said to be different in terms of theoretical foundations, research background, history and appearance and it has also been proposed that IELTS is more content based, task oriented and authentic (Farhady, 2005; Kiany, 1998). In this study cognitive demands of the two tests were compared by giving 151 language learners an actual TOEFL listening and 117 of the same participants a specimen IELTS listening test. The participants were also given a Multiple Intelligences Development Assessment Scales (MIDAS) questionnaire. The results suggest that despite the differences between IELTS and TOEFL listening tests, scores of each intelligence positively correlate with listening scores of both tests and only linguistic intelligence has a statistically significant correlation with listening proficiency as measured by TOEFL and IELTS. Furthermore, the results of regression analysis show that linguistic intelligence is included as a predictor of TOEFL and IELTS listening scores while other intelligences are excluded. The results provide quantitative evidence that only linguistic intelligence makes a statistically significant contribution to listening proficiency and despite the differences between the two listening tests, they only put a small linguistic demand on the test takers. The article suggests that English language teachers provide further assistance to language learners who might not enjoy a high level of linguistic intelligence.

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 10 Issue 3