Preschool children are immersed in the dynamics of their own language development and the Montessori approach provides a carefully sequential program to facilitate this process. Oral language acquired since birth is elaborated and refined through a variety of activities such as songs, games, poems, stories and classified language cards.
Indirect preparation for writing begins with the practical life exercises and sensorial training.
Muscular movement and fine motor skills are developed along with the ability of the child to distinguish the sounds that make up language. With this spoken language background, the teacher begins to present the alphabet symbols to the child. Not only can the child hear the sounds in a Montessori classroom, but she can feel and see the sounds by tracing her fingers over sandpaper letters.
When a number of letters have been learned, the moveable alphabet is introduced. This material consists of beautifully crafted wooden letters that the child can manipulate to reproduce his or her own words, then phrases and, finally, sentences.
Creativity is encouraged and the child grows in appreciation of the mystery and the power of language.
Other Montessori materials follow as the language curriculum unfolds, presenting the intricacies of our non-phonetic spelling and grammar.
Because children know what they have written, they soon discover they can read back their stories. Reading books both to themselves and to others soon follows.
Introduction to the Language Program
An introduction to the Montessori Language Program and the theory behind it.