-   ES

Canterbury is a Cathedral City and a fairly small and cosy university town at the southeastern tip of England. It is in the county of Kent and is part of the government district known as the City of Canterbury. During the middle ages, Canterbury was a place of pilgrimage. Its medieval old town is surrounded by Roman walls and is characterized by its cobbled streets and half-timbered houses.

The ferries from France dock (at nearby Dover) and the Eurostar train terminal (at Ashford, 20 kilometres away) makes Canterbury be closer to Europe. Its historic and symbolic stepping points in the spreading of Christianity to England from the mainland is what brought UNESCO World Heritage Site status upon Canterbury's monuments.  Awarded the status in 1988, it offers bags of history and heritage in three impressive locations:

• Canterbury Cathedral, set in beautiful gardens,  was built around 597AD and it is the headquarters of Anglicanism. Its stained glass windows and stone engravings are characteristic of the Gothic and Romanesque elements. After the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket at the cathedral in 1170, Canterbury became one of the most notable towns in Europe, as pilgrims from all parts of Christendom came to visit his shrine. This pilgrimage provided the framework for Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th-century collection of stories, The Canterbury Tales. it is now the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England. The building is also rewarded for the beauty of its architecture and early stained glass windows.

• St Augustine's Abbey, founded in 598 by the Benedictine monk Saint Augustine on a mission from Rome. Its influence was decisive throughout the High Middle Ages in England. Originally created as a burial place for the Anglo-Saxon kings of Kent, this great abbey marks the rebirth of Christianity in southern England. The abbey is now in ruins.

• St Martin's Church, the oldest in England still used as a parish church. Christian communities already existed in England in the first or second century, but they practised separate from the Church of Rome and paganism still was abundant on the island. In the 6th century St. Martin's became the private chapel of Queen Bertha of Kent. Queen Bertha was a Christian when she arrived in England and her husband King Ethelbert allowed her to continue to practise her religion in an existing church in use in the late Roman period. This church is still in use nowadays, making it the oldest in England.  It was here in 597AD that St Augustine and his companions came to worship, before King Ethelbert granted him the land for the world-famous abbey and cathedral, completing the World Heritage Site.
Canterbury, the seat of the spiritual head of the Church of England for nearly five centuries, is nowadays a popular tourist destination: consistently one of the most-visited cities in the United Kingdom, the city's economy is heavily reliant upon tourism.  There is also a substantial student population, brought about by the presence of the University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University, the University for the Creative Arts, and the Girne American     University Canterbury campus. Canterbury remains, however, a small city in terms of geographical size and population (55,000 residents), when compared with other British cities.



During the first week of July, I attended the course  "Teaching English through multiple intelligences" at the university of Kent, Canterbury. I gave some information about it in this post.
The course had been previously selected by me as one of the mobilities for teachers in our ERASMUS+ KA101 project called "APRENDIENDO DE EUROPA: CIUDADANÍA, IDIOMAS Y PATRIMONIO EUROPEO EN EL AULA".

The theory of Multiple Intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University, and it was first published in the book Frames of mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Gardner´s Video). Originally Gardner identified seven main intelligences: Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal and Intrapersonal. In 1999 he added an eighth, Naturalistic Intelligence.

Then, it is a fact that all of us  have different cognitive strengths and  Gardner’s ideas of intelligence show us that children learn differently.  Therefore, it is necessary to have a variety of approaches and activities to  offer  individualized (student´s needs) and pluralized (multiple ways to understand concepts) education so that the process of learning engages our students and the curriculum meets the needs of each child.

See the video  There is more than one kind of intelligence. You will realize everyone has different stronger intelligences and sometimes the weaker ones need only to be awoken up. There are questionnaires that help you to work out which of the intelligences is the most prominent one. If you are interested to find out your own there are several websites and you or your students can do the test online: Edutopia, Literacynet.

Going back to the idea of improving our teaching through M.I. theory, the basic idea behind multiple intelligence activities is that people learn using different types of intelligences. This is for me the the concept of "using multiple intelligence in the ESL classroom": By using different kind of activities and varying the tasks, teachers will be giving support to our learners who may find more traditional activities difficult (Usually, linguistic and logical ones). In this sense, the course has provided me with ideas and strategies to bear in mind when planning my lessons as well as with activities for team-building and group-bonding, as both are key concepts to develop interpersonal intelligence and collaborative work.

The main idea is that including different kind of activities in each lesson, I will be focusing on students’ strengths and developing  his weaker intelligences. So, for example, combining physical actions with linguistic responses is helpful for those students who have the ability to use the body to express ideas and this way they can tie language and actions to accomplish tasks and learn. These different activities and tasks have a common objective: diversity outreach.
Although some examples of the activities/intelligences that were carried out in the course can be found in the links at the end of this post, there is a chart of learner types and some suggested activities for each type beside.

My final reflection about M.I Theory in teaching my subject is what I have always borne in mind but now I am even more aware of it: It is hard work but when planning my English lessons, I should also provide different types of multiple intelligence activities so that they will appeal to a wide range of learners; vary the tasks so that I touch upon all the types of intelligences now and again. It is about personalizing and pluralizing a teaching method, and, in this sense, it is a measure for diversity outreach.

The links below contain information and resources on this course activities. Some of them are descriptions of activities carried out in this and other teacher training courses, others are new activities designed following this course guidelines. The authors of these materials and activities are some of the participants in this course: Heike Neumeyer and Laura Romero, teachers of Spanish and English, in Germany and Spain respectively. Moreover, you can find some notes I took during my week at Pilgrims, Canterbury.

This is another awesome experience in this kind of training courses abroad: getting to know other ESL teachers outside Spain, sharing your time with excellent professionals and learning from all of them. In this case, people from Germany, China, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia and South Africa, long-distance friendships.

And last but not least, this course also gave me the opportunity of designing my first escape room. It was based on a course task: how to tell a story to your students. i decided to tell my students the story by making them to find the story out. To do so they had to follow some puzzles and activities in the classroom till they found the key to know all the details of the story and got out of the room. We made it in the classroom with all the participants in this course and we really had a good fun. Enjoy it yourselves! USEFUL LINKS:

- Classroom activities (By Heike Neumeyer).
- Powerpoint activity: Getting to know your mates (By Laura Romero)
- Course notes (By Pilar Torres)
*The teacher trainer in this course promised to send us the materials... Still waiting for them :(
- Symbaloo: Multiple Intelligences and Neuroscience  &  Escape Rooms.
- Examples of Lesson plans considering multiple intelligences in the ESL Classroom