Montessori Preschool Language Teaching
In this blog post I would like to illustrate what the Montessori method is and how it is also effective for language learning in pre-schools.
What is the Montessori Education?
About 100 years ago, Dr. Montessori observed children in order to find out how young kids learn best. Her findings are reflected in the Montessori method.
The Montessori Method is based around the idea that children should decide what they would like to learn as well as when they would like to learn. This means that kids are not forced to learn but instead learn at their own pace and in their own time. Therefore, self-motivation is key.
The Montessori classroom is carefully designed in order to meet the requirements of children.
I’ve encountered Montessori Education about one year ago when I was researching alternative teaching methods. Unfortunately Montessori Education is often mixed up with the Waldorf concept but both approaches are completely different.
Montessori Education requires a prepared classroom with many different Montessori materials and planned activities. The materials promote self-teaching and problem-solving. Thereby the child’s imaginative thinking is also promoted.
Montessori teachers are there to guide and are not supposed to point out mistakes. The key words in the Montessori’s philosophy are: trust, independence, self-control as well as ‘work’.
The ‘work’, which is essentially ‘play’ based on imitation, often requires persistence and self-control.
How does the Montessori method shape language learning?
Language learning becomes more and more important in our globalized world.
Thereby language learning is extremely important for children from a very young age.
In immersion programs children are taught all day in the second language.
On the other hand, in language classes, children are encouraged to explore not only a new language but also a new culture. Often the classes only last for about half an hour and take place one or two times per week. These classes are referred to as exploratory classes.
MMLT provides detailed information
The MMLT (the Montessori methodology in language training) was co-founded by the European Commission in order to create a method for modern language teaching based on the Montessori concept. It also helps language teachers to develop new skills.
There is a free and informative manual available on their website.