Apr 27 , 2023
Montessori Language Theory
Montessori language theory departs greatly from typical approaches to literacy. Maria Montessori did not just accept the way reading and writing had been taught in the past. Instead, she performed considerable research and child observation to determine the most successful method to early literacy.
The end result? A well-thought-out framework that meets each kid where they are in their development and prepares them for a lifetime of reading, writing, and learning. In this post, we'll go over some of the important features that set Montessori language theory apart from other systems. We'll talk about why these distinctions matter and how you may use them in your Montessori home or classroom.
How Montessori Language Theory Prepares Children for Literacy
Montessori language theory varies from conventional techniques in that it thoughtfully prepares children for reading even before they pick up a pencil, movable alphabet, or reader.
This isn't the time to recite the alphabet song, memorize sight words, or flip through notecards. The Montessori approach, on the other hand, prepares children for literacy via engaging, hands-on practice that develops their minds and bodies for reading and writing.
Practical life activities, for example, are important preparation work for reading and writing in a Montessori classroom. On the surface, tasks like as mirror polishing, item transfer, and flower arrangement appear to have little to do with reading. However, these exercises help to improve a variety of reading skills.
To begin, these activities stimulate the senses. They help children focus, which is essential when they sit down for the first time to write or read. Many of these activities also practice the tripod grip, physically training their hands to hold a pencil in the future. That's why a simple Montessori transfer task with a spoon or tongs isn't only for pleasure; it helps youngsters acquire the abilities they'll need to write one day.
Montessori sensorial activities also helps a kid prepare for literacy. According to LePort Montessori, items like knobbed cylinders help children develop their pincer or tripod grasp, and rough and smooth boards prepare children to learn letters with sandpaper letters.
The Value of Letter Sounds
Contrary to what you may have learned from "The Sound of Music," reading does not begin with "A-B-C" – at least not in a Montessori setting. While it may appear logical to begin teaching infants the alphabet in alphabetical order with letter names, Montessori takes a different approach.
Children learn sounds long before they learn letter names in Montessori. This begins with sound games, in which an adult assists a kid in isolating the many sounds that make up words. An adult might say in a sound game, "I spy something that starts with 'buh.'" That's correct! "The book begins with 'buh'!"
Children can make a more seamless transition to writing and reading by learning letter sounds rather than letter names. When reading the word "cat," for example, Montessori students do not have to think about the letter's name and then the sound that letter makes. Instead of thinking about the letter name, they can simply sound it out.
Why is it that writing comes before reading?
Writing occurs before reading in the Montessori method. This is another significant distinction that distinguishes Montessori from traditional techniques. Because this strategy is unusual, it may appear perplexing at first. However, educating a youngster to write also teaches them to read.
A youngster learns about each individual letter and the sound it represents as they trace a sandpaper letter or create their own words, either on paper or using a movable alphabet. Writing allows a youngster to become familiar with these letters and sounds. Reading then comes freely and spontaneously as a result of the skills developed via writing.
This writing-first strategy, as Grey Matter Montessori points out, permits reading to become a natural, self-directed process that children can discover on their own. Reading becomes a wonderfully gratifying, interesting activity for children rather than a difficult one.
'Follow the Child' and Montessori Language Theory
The notion of "following the child" is essential in Montessori language theory, as it is in all aspects of Montessori. In a Montessori classroom, there is no defined schedule for children to begin writing and reading. When a child expresses interest and readiness, the process begins.
Parents and teachers should never compel their children to read or write when they would rather be doing something else. Adults instead believe that children have a perfectly designed internal syllabus that will guide their reading journey at the optimal time for each individual child.
Using Montessori Language Theory in Your Home
Maria Montessori created a few essential language items, such as language miniatures, sandpaper letters, and the movable alphabet. However, because Italian is a phonetic language and English is not, English-speaking families may need to supplement their reading resources or approaches.
Language theory according to MontessoriTo cover these gaps, some Montessori teachers have created Montessori materials such as the pink, blue, and green series. Montessori parents, on the other hand, should feel free to utilize whichever approach works best for their families.
To obtain the benefits of Montessori language theory, you do not need to follow a rigid Montessori or by-the-book approach. Feel free to take what works for you, discard what doesn't, and fill in the spaces with whatever seems appropriate for your family.