Malaysian Gifted Students: The Use of General Intelligence as a Substitute in the Absence of Specified-domain Intelligence in Language Learning

By Wan Safuraa Wan Osman and Melor Md. Yunus.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Chomsky claims the Universal Grammar to be independent of other faculty or mental ability. If that is the case, then the Neanderthals should have been able to speak perfect human language and not started off with animal vocalization (bawls, howls, gurgles, etc) in the first place. However the history of mankind has shown quite the contrary that language seemed to undergo a process of evolution to get to the stage it is in today. Darwin’s theory of natural selection, perhaps can explain how the idea existed within the human mind but, how it became from simple mode of communication to a complex one is still quite unknown. If specified-domain intelligence such as linguistic intelligence is independent of general intelligence, then how did it develop or come into being? Hence, this study seeks to investigate the connection of general intelligence and specified-domain intelligence. By using students (who are gifted in other areas than language and linguistics) as respondents, they have been observed to be able to cope up with the demand of language based tasks given enough instructions and guidance. They started to show improvement within just three days into the program. Their writing work seemed to progress from a work of an amateur (similar to the weak and average-normal students) to one that is of high level with flawless used of language, technique and unique ideas. They are students selected for the National PERMATApintar camp program for the gifted. Thus, this paper shall discuss the significance of this point of conversion in their performance in terms of the use of general intelligence in gifted students as a substitute in the absence of specified-domain intelligence. Detailed findings and implication towards present classroom teachings shall be elaborated further upon this paper.

Keywords: General Intelligence, Specified-domain Intelligence, Gifted Students, Point of Conversion, Language Learning

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp.275-288. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 809.400KB).

Wan Safuraa Wan Osman

Graduate Student, TESL Program (Teaching of English as a Second Language), Faculty of Education, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Studying gifted students’ cognitive ability in the hope of transferring the knowledge to the larger population students is a hope that I have in re-constructing a new classroom for teaching English. The typical classroom with main focus on subject content is ineffective. Allow me to share my findings on how the focus should be placed instead on the students’ thinking skills instead of the subject and see how all subjects can unite into one for students to learn. I’ve work hard for this research and I hope you grant me the opportunity to take it to the next level. Thank you.

Dr. Melor Md. Yunus

Lecturer, Faculty of Education, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia


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