On Saturday 25th June Montessori Academy hosted a Montessori language training session at our North Parramatta campus.

The training session was facilitated by Montessori Trainer, Munira Ali, and covered the importance of language to the social, emotional, mental and physical development of the child.

The beginning of the training session covered how the Montessori language program is based on the belief that children are in the sensitive period for learning language from birth to age six.

During this period children begin to absorb the sound and speech patterns of their home environment, repeat common sounds, and learn to recognise, name and pronounce the names of objects in their environment.

Within the Montessori classroom children learn to familiarise themselves with the dynamics of language through the natural development of skills required for oral and written communication and reading.

These skills are acquired through conversation in the classroom, language based teaching methods, and a number of didactic learning materials such as: the moveable alphabet, sandpaper letters, metal insets, coloured pencils, and coloured pencil holders.

Montessori Trainer, Munira Ali, said: “In the Montessori environment, daily exposure to language allows children to increase their vocabulary, gain independence, and become familiar with the world them.

“This in turns provides children with the ability to name their wishes and desires, communicate with others, and develop social relationships,” she said.

To explore how the Montessori language program works, Munira called on a member of the audience to demonstrate how to teach a child to initially describe a language material, engage with it on a multisensory level, and learn the foundations for writing the name of the material or object.

The focus of Munira’s presentation was on encouraging children to work with the materials, learn the foundations of the language program, and then work unassisted to achieve the objectives of each material.

Munira stressed that children should not be forced to read or write before they have indicated interest and developmentally ready to take on the task. In Australia, the average age for learning to write is six years of age.

Education and Training Manager, Kellie Chahroura, said: “The aims of the Montessori Language Curriculum are quite diverse in that they encourage children to verbally interact with others, gain meaning from stories they read, express their ideas, and understand how signs, symbols and patterns work.

“Children use these key learning’s on a day-to-day basis to express themselves, communicate with others, and contribute to their environment.“

The development of language directly relates to the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), by helping children to achieve a strong sense of identity, connect and contribute to their world, and effectively communicate with others.