We are providing you with an overview of the Primary Montessori Language Program so that you have a better overall picture of the progression of materials and lessons.
Language 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.
The child 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.
The 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.
Montessori Preliminary Language
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
Writing 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.
Writing with the Moveable Alphabet
Reading 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.
Example - Miss Rhonda's Readers
Montessori Function of Words
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 than "The old lady with the beautiful dog."
Example - Introduction to the Preposition
Montessori Reading Analysis
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
Scope and Sequence of the Primary Language Program
Introduction to Writing
Introduction to Reading
Objects in the environment
Matching Cards and Labels
5-Part Definition Sets
singular - plural
masculine - feminine
comparatives - Superlatives
Function of Words
If you are homeschooling your child or wish to introduce your primary students to the Montessori method of language you can purchase our Primary Language Teaching Manual. It includes theory and step-by-step directions on the presentation of each lesson.