Language, although encompassing arbitrary symbols and sounds, is what makes humans, well humans.
Dr. Maria Montessori firmly believed that a child is born with the capability to acquire at least one language with the help of an already-developed language acquisition system.
The Montessori Method of education is a unique pedagogical tool that considers every need and requirement of your child’s development process.
By taking the needs and requirements of the absorbent mind into account Dr. Maria Montessori developed a language curriculum that incorporated both linguistic and scientific aspects for the optimum development of the child.
Montessori Language Curriculum is one the most integral components of the Montessori Curriculum, which prepares children to eloquently communicate from a very young age.
If you as a parent or an immediate caregiver are interested in learning about the method to the madness of teaching language the Montessori way, look no further.
Below is everything you should know about the Language Curriculum in Montessori to efficiently facilitate your very own Montessori Language activities.
The Montessori Language Philosophy:
Language is a cognition that truly makes us human. While other species do hold the capability of communication with a limited set of meaningful vocalization or even partially developed systems of language, there is no species known to date that can express infinite ideas with a limited set of symbols.
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that children are born with an innate capability or a naturally developed system that facilitates language acquisition.
As the child is born with a system of language acquisition, when coming into the Montessori Prepared Environment, the child is provided with specifically developed Montessori Language Materials that allow the child to comprehend arbitrary concepts with little effort.
Till the age of six, the child is provided with concrete materials to comprehend linguistic concepts with the minimum effort possible.
However, after the age of six, the child is promoted to learn a new language with conscious effort.
Development of Language in Montessori:
The Montessori Principle of the “absorbent mind” very well resembles Noam Chomsky’s theory of Language Acquisition theory of the Cognitive Approach to language.
Based on the principle of the absorbent mind, the Montessori classroom is prepared in a specific way to help children absorb stimuli during their third period of consciousness.
During the early stages of development, the adult is responsible for creating an educational environment that facilitates the education of language.
The child needs to be acquainted with the specific names and labels of the materials in the environment to have relevancy.
The process of associating the objects with their corresponding names allows the child to develop an understanding of language.
The development of oral language or speaking skills in children is developed through classroom interactions and grace and courtesy activities.
The Montessori Language materials and activities are a great way of isolating and conceptualizing arbitrary elements of language and provide them a key to exploring new linguistic possibilities.
Each Montessori Language Material is presented to the child in a manner they learn how to speak i.e., nouns, verbs, adjectives, and so on and so forth.
The Montessori Language Curriculum incorporates different symbols and materials that help children identify, categorize, recognize, and classify different elements of language.
The Montessori Method of education provides children with materials that first develop the skills required for writing and then reading.
Montessori Language curriculum for different planes of development:
The Montessori Language curriculum provides children with specifically designed materials and activities that establish a firm foundation to build their vocabulary and understanding of language.
Montessori Language curriculum provides children with materials that isolate concepts and provide them with tangible experience to develop a firm understanding.
Montessori Language curriculum categorizes different levels of linguistic skills based on different planes of development.
To successfully meet the needs and requirements of each plane of development the Montessori Language curriculum follows a specific Language development sequence:
Montessori Preliminary Skills or Montessori Pre-reading Series: (2 to 3 years)
The Montessori Pre-reading or preliminary skill development promotes the development of the vocabulary of objects that are immediately available in the surrounding environment.
Activities involving pre-reading skills in Montessori promote children to develop a firm foundation of vocabulary and word association for forthcoming concepts.
During this stage, the parents or educators should lay heavy emphasis on vocabulary and pronunciation of words.
These activities are ideally introduced to the child during the first plane of development between the ages of 2 and 3 years.
This sequence of Language curriculum is facilitated with the help of the following Montessori Language Materials and activities:
- Montessori Three-Part Cards
- Montessori Nomenclature Cards
- Montessori Sandpaper Letters
- Montessori Books for toddlers
Montessori Writing: (3.5 to 4 years)
While most traditional educational institutions first promote the development of reading skills and then writing skills, the Montessori Method of education takes a more innovative approach.
After successfully identifying, recognizing, and classifying different words, the child between the age of 3.5 to 4 years becomes capable of understanding and differentiating between words.
Writing unlike the identification of words can be a complex skill to develop as it develops the coordination of the ability of hands and the ability of the mind.
Not only does Montessori writing allow children to develop requisite skills in how to efficiently write, but they also promote the development of a pincer grip and learning how to effectively hold a pencil.
When learning how to write the child is not only responsible for coordinating their hand movements but also for analyzing the sounds as well as differentiating between different word symbols.
Here are some Montessori Language Activities and Materials that promote the development of writing skills in children:
Montessori Reading: (4 years)
By the age of 4 years, the child is finally ready, capable, and willing to read and understand new words.
Reading is an activity that requires both analyses of the language and synthesis of the language.
However, unlike writing which requires hand and eye coordination, reading can be considered a solely cerebral skill.
When we are reading a sentence or a phrase, we have to venture out of our imagination and interpret the author’s imagination instead.
One of the most efficient Montessori reading materials is the Montessori sandpaper letters that promote the development of both reading and writing foundational skills.
Another method of developing reading skills in children is by incorporating illustrative and exciting Montessori books for toddlers. Here is a list of books that you can fashion your Montessori shelf to develop your child’s reading skills.
- Mrs. Rhonda’s Readers
- Bob’s Books
- Emergent Reader Series
Want to learn how Montessori Teaches Reading? check this out: https://mymontessorimoments.com/how-montessori-teaches-reading/
Montessori Word study and Analysis: (3 to 6 years)
Word study and Word Analysis are integral for developing requisite skills for expressing oneself using articulate sentences.
Word study and word analysis require a variety of skills prior to the stage where the child begins to read.
Montessori Pink Blue and Green Series is an innovative Montessori Material that promotes children to comprehend and utilize words in a bite-sized form.
With the help of Montessori word analysis and Word study activities the child is able to develop the following skills:
- Compound Words
Montessori Grammar is taught during the early stages of development and is a part of the Montessori Spiral curriculum.
Grammar in accordance with the Montessori Method isolates each part of speech into separate concepts that are represented by a specific shape and designated colors that have a special meaning.
Grammar in Montessori classrooms is taught by specifically designed symbols, also referred to as the Montessori Grammar symbols.
Montessori Grammar Symbols are essentially visual representations that aid in the exploration and understanding of the structure of a language.
While Montessori Grammar Symbols may seem to be mere shapes, each symbol is specifically designed to represent parts of speech.