Language development is one of the most fascinating topics. I was reminded of this fact when recently I dug out some old Montessori training materials. I came upon articles that I couldn't stop re-reading. So, of course, I had to share some tidbits with you because the times might give you ideas on how to help a child learn to read and to write. Montessori language philosophy and the language approach in general is intriguing and worth time getting to know. Meanwhile I'll give you ideas to ponder on how to help the youngest children develop language.
Do you want to help your child to read?
Language should be presented to the child within context. This approach will help the child make the connection to his world. Montessori isolates pieces of language and gives a guide to the child as he explores his environment. Language introduction follows the same path as speaking. So, a child learns nouns first, then articles, then adverbs and so on. Once a new piece of language is introduced, a child should practice telling stories, writing poems or reading books to see where that particular piece fits into the whole environment. That way a child connects what he has just learned – in isolation – to our world. So the new language has context.
“Once the child can speak, he can express himself and no longer depends on others to guess his needs. He finds himself in touch with human society, for people can only communicate by means of language.” ~ Dr. Maria Montessori
15 Rock Star Language Development Tools for Parents
- Introduce the appropriate words within a relevant context
- Use the correct pronunciation
- Speak clearly and toward the child
- Treat the child with respect (e.g. minimal “babytalk”)
- Make eye contact with the child, even newborns if possible
- Play sound games like “I Spy”
- Repeat a sound (e.g. “C-C-C-C-C-A-T) at the beginning or end of the word
- Use three part nomenclature cards
- Label items in the child’s environment
- Read & listen stories
- Tell stories orally and without script
- Practice different types of poetry with and without rhymes
- Ask questions (and answer if the child cannot yet speak – yes, I know it is as if you're speaking to yourself!)
- Create an environment rich with reading & writing elements (e.g. journals, neat bookshelves, rotate books, baskets in several rooms throughout the house)
- Allow the child to explore books even if simply to turn the page back and forth back and forth
Come check out beautiful Montessori materials for your home and classroom!
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