Languages in the Montessori Classroom…
Some people might be surprised to find out that at Eden Prairie Montessori, infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners are learning a second language early on in their education! That’s right, in all of our classrooms all children have the opportunity to learn Spanish from a native speaker. Our Spanish education begins in our infant room with our bilingual staff speaking to our babies in both Spanish and English. It continues into toddlers and preschool/kindergarten with daily class lessons taught in a fun and engaging way.
Benefits Of Learning A Second Language In Preschool
Research has shown that children who learn a second language early on in life have many advantages. They develop better thinking and problem-solving skills. Other studies have suggested there may be long term health benefits! There appears to be a link between speaking a second language and reduced incidence of mental health problems and even dementia in later life. In addition, there are also many social and cultural benefits to learning a language at a young age.
As a child grows, everything he does and all that he experiences helps him to understand the world around him. Children gradually begin to realize that they are not the center of the universe. It is from this understanding that they can develop a sense of their own place in the world which in turn helps to foster both a sense of security and a sense of purpose.
One of the best ways to learn about the wider world is through learning a new language. This, in turn, leads quite naturally to learning about the lives and cultures of those who speak that language.
Helping a young child to assimilate and understand the experiences of others helps his own understanding of the world around him. It allows him to build a stronger connection with members of his own community and beyond. He will learn that he has many things in common with others, as well as many differences. In this way learning a second language helps the child to not only to deepen his own sense of community but also helps him to respect others and value difference. This is one of the Montessori ways!
Learning Language At Preschool Through Play
Of course, the way the language is taught is very important. In accordance with the principles of Montessori’s philosophy, language learning flows from and complements the children’s other activities.
The child absorbs new words and phrases as well as the structure of the language in much the same way as they learned their first language. They hear words sung or spoken and become familiar with their meaning. The Montessori approach is one which ensures that the children enjoy learning and using their new language skills.
Preschool Is The Best Learning Environment For Language!
It is so important that children feel relaxed about learning and communicating in a new language. Because learning is integrated with other activities, the children will not be afraid to try out new unfamiliar sounds or gestures. They will not feel the awkwardness that many older children often feel if they don’t encounter language learning until much later in their education.
Introducing languages through play in the early years ensures that learning is a joyful experience. In a Montessori classroom, the children also benefit from multi-age classes where younger children can learn from the older ones just as those with older siblings would learn at home. And the older children are encouraged by seeing their own progress in relation to the younger ones.
Why Spanish At Eden Prairie Montessori?
Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the USA after English and the second most widely spoken language in the world. It is also the first language in many American families and is the official language some of our closest neighbors. This means that children don’t only hear Spanish being spoken in the classroom. Once the children start learning a few words and simple phrases, what they learn will be reinforced whenever they hear the words or simple phrases they have learned in the world. They can actually put their learning into practice when they are out in their home towns and cities. This not only makes their learning more relevant but also deepens their sense of place in the community, another Montessori principle!
For Ages 0-6 Years Old, Now Is The Ideal Time To Learn!
In her teaching, Maria Montessori often spoke about the importance of recognizing sensitive periods in children’s development when they are most receptive and most able to acquire a particular new skill. During the early years, children’s brains are programmed for language learning. It is one of the most important tasks they have to master to be able to understand and find their way in the world. But the same skills that young children use to become proficient in their mother tongue, can just as easily be applied to absorbing a new language. It’s really never too early to start and Eden Prairie Montessori is the perfect place for this!
Don’t miss out on the benefits of Eden Prairie Montessori for your child. Your child will gain unique learning experiences and big developmental strides.
- Your child will gain confidence with custom, hands-on learning.
- Your child can learn at their own pace, awakening their spirit, imagination, and passions.
- Your child learns cooperation and community with multi-age classrooms.
- Your child will develop a lifelong love of learning.
- Your child will learn independence.
- Your child will develop with the learning style that is best for them.
- Your child will get a multicultural experience and learn from daily Spanish lessons and a multicultural environment.
If you have small children and are on the search for a Montessori-style education, don’t hesitate to schedule a tour at Eden Prairie Montessori at 952-944-8466.