Overview of the Primary Montessori Language Program
is a vital human phenomenon; it lives, changes and dies. Language is
specifically a human expression and it should be a delight! Language is
learned, not inborn. The mental capacity for creating language is
unique; it allows the child to speak the language (mother tongue)
correctly even if it is the most complicated language.
has all he needs to prepare for language. Therefore, put in to his
environment, he absorbs completely with little effort, the language of
his group/culture. Until the child is approximately six years of age he
absorbs everything with little effort. After age six the child is able
to learn a new language but it is only with a conscious effort that this
can be done.
It is essential that all language be given to the
child within a context. The child needs to know the names, labels, and
the meanings of things in the environment in order for them to have
relevancy. This allows the child to see and understand the greater
picture of things and gives things meaning. Once the greater picture is
achieved, it can then be broken down to the smaller details.
Montessori language materials isolate elements of language and offer
'keys' to the children in the exploration of language. The materials are
presented to the child in the same manner that they learn to speak;
starting with nouns, articles, adverbs, etc. After a new concept is
presented to the child there should always be a return to the total
language environment using verbal storytelling, poetry, story books and
everyday speech. This allows the child to clearly see how the new
concept is applied (with context) in our world.
The Montessori preliminary exercises give the child the vocabulary for
objects in the immediate environment. It is important to use the correct
terminology and clear pronunciation when speaking to the children.
During the first year (2 to 3 years of age) in the Casa/Primary class,
sound games, classified cards, story books and poetry play a very
important role in the development of language. They teach the child to
listen carefully to the sounds that make up words, how to enunciate
correctly and how to use the words in the correct context.
Example: 3-Part Classified Cards
is a complex action that requires both the ability of the hand and the
ability of the mind. The child must have control and co-ordination of
movement to be able to write. However, it is the ability of the child to
take something from his mind, analyze each sound, create each word, and
make it visible either by using the Moveable Alphabet or by writing it
on paper. The exercises in this area prepare both the hand and mind to
work together to achieve beautiful and effortless writing.
on the other hand, does not follow the same process of writing (taking
our own thoughts and symbolizing them). Rather, reading is like going
towards the unknown. When we read, it is not our language with which we
are working with, it is the author's language. Reading is the analysis
of the language followed by a synthesis.
It is in this area that the children are given the
keys for future exploration of the written expression in our world.
Each material has one element that can lead the child to further
exploration. Symbols are given to each of the function of words lessons
to give forceful impressions to the child's mind. The children learn
that the placing of a word in a sentence is important to its meaning.
Example - "The beautiful lady with the old dog." has a very different
meaning then "The old lady with the beautiful dog."
Example - Introduction to the Preposition
This last section of the language area focuses on
the structure of sentences, interpretive reading and punctuation. The
child will only be successful with this if all other work in the
language area has been completed successfully. This material is the
bridge between the primary language and elementary language program.
Example - Simple Sentences Analysis
If you are
homeschooling your child and wish to have a little more theory,
direction on the presentation, and suggested age of when to present the
Montessori Language materials you can purchase our Language Teaching Manual.