Written Language and Child

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According to Dr. Montessori, the evolution of language begins with the infant’s imigiate capacity to absorb fragments of speech that form the basis for further language development. The child first discovers that sounds have meaning and then isolates parts of speech. The child’s acquisition of oral skills occurs naturally, but opportunities for equivalent patterns of written language development must be provided by parents and teachers. The only language men ever speak perfectly is the one they learn in childhood when no one can teach them anything. (http//www.brainquotes.com/maria Montessori.html) Experiences gained from the Practical Life and Sensorial materials serve as a preparation for reading and writing. Children are given a phonetic basis for reading. The child hears the sound, sees the shape and through tracing, trains the muscles needed for writing. He or she is then ready to pursue an interest in words while cultivating writing skills at an individual pace. Through story telling, conversation and many other exercises, the child’s vocabulary grows. Eventually these preparatory activities culminate in a child beginning to write. Dr. Montessori calls this an “explosion” into writing. The preparation for enjoying the exploration of language in life begins before birth as the child responds to the voices he hears even in the womb. For success in language a child needs confidence that what she has to say is important, a desire to relate to others, real experience on which language is based, and the physical abilities necessary in reading and writing. There are several things that we can do to help. We can listen and talk to the child from birth on, not in baby talk, but with respect and with a rich vocabulary. We can provide a stimulating environment, rich in sensorial experiences and in language, providing a wealth of experience, because language is meaningless if it is not based on experience. We can set an example and model precise language in our everyday activities with the child. If we share good literature, in the form of rhymes, songs, poetry and stories we will greatly increase the child's love of language In any good language environment, in as many situations as possible, the teacher makes sure that experience precedes vocabulary and pictures of objects. She will introduce real vegetables before vegetable cards, real actions before verb cards, real music before composer picture and labels, real shells before shell cards, and so on. At home parents can do the same thing—show the kitchen objects, the office or bathroom objects, and then give the opportunity to handle these objects and to learn the names. In this way the child learns that language is connected to the real world. VOCABULARY CARDS - SPEAKING

In the Montessori classroom we will notice that there are many vocabulary books and cards. It is natural that, during this intense interest in words, children be given pictures of everything—to practice and improve their new abilities.

Dr. Montessori had written an order, such as i might have made by word of mouth.” open the window,” “come close to me”. (The secret of childhood, P.NO. 115)

VOCABULARY CARDS - READING
When a child first begins to recognize the sounds of letters in groups—words—he is doing this silently in his head. Saying these words aloud complicates the process, especially if someone is listening. So a child is not asked to read aloud in the beginning.

To provide practice with this new, exciting single-word skill, give the child pictures and labels for objects for which he already knows the names. He reads each label and matches it to the picture. Then, if the names of the objects have been written on the back of the picture cards, the child can turn the pictures over to see if he has placed the labels correctly. PRE-READING...
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