The Montessori language programme for 6-12 year olds
Between the ages of 6 and 12 years, children’s language will evolve at a rapid rate. The words and phrases they use will become more complex and they will gain the ability to communicate more effectively. Children educated under the Montessori Language Programme will follow a syllabus that encourages the development of their language skills, but also focuses on influences from the world in which they live. This gives them much more freedom and expression to explore and discover. Not only will they learn to communicate effectively they will be able to apply this learning to the world around them. The teaching experience in Montessori systems is built more around child focused learning. This is different to traditional primary education which has more emphasis on teachers governing what children learn.
The Montessori language curriculum programme is designed to help children enhance their vocabulary and explore language in new and interesting ways. This primary school education programme will adopt a research based learning style. Learning often takes place through activities that encourage children to develop their intellect but also their imagination. Lessons delivered by a trained teacher in Montessori practices will guide children towards activities that help them fine tune their reasoning abilities. In addition, it will also guide them in the development of language skills in many different areas.
When children reach the age of six years, they are more motivated to understand about the world around them and their place within it. Their language studies will be in depth and children will be encouraged to explore this in detail, moving outside of the classroom to access resources such as the library, fostering an inclusiveness approach to education that encourages them to make a valued and positive contribution to the world around them.
Language Programme Explained
When children reach the age of six or seven, they will be moving past the stage when exploration through the senses is a basic need in their learning journey. They take a more cerebral exploration approach, wanting to explore the world and the society in which they live while learning the difference between right and wrong and thinking about themselves in a meaningful way. Children at this age will start to ask bigger questions and aim to seek the answers.
A great deal of academic work can be undertaken between the ages of 6 and 12 when children are at the peak of their primary education. The Montessori curriculum for this age group is strictly structured and includes:
- The history of grammar, syntax and language
- The way in which written and spoken language is composed
- Literature, interpretive reading and style
- Research skills
When children are developing their language skills, the curriculum needs to be able to reflect this through a selection of thought provoking learning activities. Children should be able to take objects, emotions, events and ideas and then symbolise these in abstract form, removing them from their immediate context. The Montessori method will help children as they progress into the second phase of development where they will be starting to put language into certain contexts as well as being able to explore the reasons for why things happen. In this stage it is therefore crucial that as children study language the information that they learn and absorb is presented in a way that encourages their imagination.
A good quality Montessori language curriculum is usually divided into four main parts:
Spoken and written language
Symbols, etymology and spelling taught through the history of language
Grammar delivered through teaching about the function of words
Listening, speaking, reading and writing. Bringing all of these elements together to build effective communication styles
Children will be able to work with a variety of resources such as books, pictures, stories and technology and in doing so they can learn about the progression of language over the years. The learning materials should help them recognise and understand:
How the things that we encounter every day were given their name and how they were made or found. Children should be also taught that the naming of things is something that never stops as new things are introduced and discovered
The reasons why language is in a constant state of change
The ways in which language is used to express creativity as humans
The history and origins of language is a fascinating subject for children at this age who will be enthralled and engaged with the curriculum content. As they discover these different topics, these will form a strong foundation on which they can build their spelling skills and perfect their art of handwriting as they continue to develop skills in reading and creative writing.
This guide has introduced you to the Montessori Language Programme for Elementary 6-12 year olds, giving you a good foundation on which to build your own teaching techniques using this method.
You can find all of my language resources here
Read more about teaching Montessori 6-12 here