Language in Montessori

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The Montessori classroom uses the phonics approach to teach reading. Outline the graded phonics sequence and state the reading skills required at each stage. “Language lies at the root of that transformation of the environment that we call civilization.” (source 3) Language is the ability to understand speech and a desire to convey one’s feelings and thoughts. It is through communication that human beings are able to cooperate with each other to solve common problems. It is through communication based on written and oral language in particular that each generation has passed on its accumulating wisdom to the next. “Language, we may say, grow with human thought”. (source 4). Language is the ability to understand speech and a desire to convey one’s feelings and thoughts. It is part of the human tendencies to want to communicate with others. Montessori said, ‘To talk is the nature of man’. Humans needed language in order to communicate, and soon, the powers that come with the language revealed. The evolution of the human language began when communication was done through pictograms and drawings. “By reading I mean the interpretation of an idea by means of graphics or a symbol…A child does not read until he receives ideas from the written word” ( source 5 ) It then developed into ideograms when pictures began to turn into symbols. Later, these symbols became words, words involved letters, vowels emerged, and one symbol came to represent one sound. Language differentiates a community from one another but at time it also unites and binds human beings of different races together through a common language. The sensitive period for language occurs from birth to six years old. This sensibility is transitory and once gone it will never return. The language explosive happenings and eruptions in his powers of expressions continue in the child well after the age of two. After two and a half years old, which marks the borderline of man’s mental formation, begins a new period in organizing the language and this continues to develop without explosion, learn many new words and perfects his sentence formation. At six years old, a child has learnt to speak correctly according to the rules of his mother tongue. Reading and writing go hand in hand. Montessori observed that young children often have “an explosion into writing” and because of their early sensorial awareness, writing comes before actual reading. Through the sensorial exercises the child has preparation to handle the pencil and the sensitivity of touch develops through the tactile exercises and the eye is trained for developing eye-hand coordination .This indirect preparation for writing is achieved by the development and refinement of the senses of touch, sight and sound.(Source1) Language skills are encouraged through a phonics curriculum. Children learn the sounds of letters then match objects to the letters and eventually use a movable alphabet to form simple words. This is the beginning of the reading stage. It is an important tool of culture, and as such, children need to be given the correct introduction to all aspects of language from a very early age. It is important for the child to read with comprehension and write with correct grammar, spelling and vocabulary. There are exercises that prepare the child’s hand to use writing tools, while his mind is being given information he may record. Language is an empowering skill in the Montessori setting. The role of the directress is pivotal and she can induce the child to reach high levels of verbal and written expression. “In every exercise when the child has recognized the differences between the qualities of the objects, the teacher fixes the idea of this quality with a word.” ( source 5) Language is spread through the Montessori curriculum .It is used in Sensorial, Practical life and Math lessons. The sensitive period for language is the longest because we are never finished learning new vocabulary. The social graces are...
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