Quotes: LANGUAGE

Posted on Posted in Language Lessons

“Montessori speaks of the development of language, rather than the teaching of language, and states that this development follows fixed laws that are the same in all children.  She feels that each child absorbs the language of his group, whether it is simple or complex, learning all the rules of syntax and grammar.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 117

“Montessori believed that the acquisition of language was not a conscious act of the child, but that the mind of the child was set to absorb the language of its environment unconsciously.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 117

“To Montessori, the idea of needing to motivate young children to learn language would be absurd.  Finally, she comments on the fact that humans come with a capacity to learn any language—the language of their environment—rather than with a pre-programmed or instinctual language.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 117

“Just before age two occurs what Montessori called the explosion into words, a sudden radical increase in vocabulary.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 118

“She also concluded that frustration, through incapacities in the auditory, vocal, or cerebral parts of the language acquisition system or through an impoverished environment would have grave consequences not only on language, but on the behavior of the child and the adult.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 118

“She describes the child as displaying a sensitive period for language by both producing sounds and showing a predisposition to watch the source of sounds–the mouth of the speaker.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 119

“Also, Montessori summarized the whole idea of transformational grammar when she stated, ‘We must come to understand that the child reaches his knowledge of grammar by himself; but this is no reason for our not speaking to him grammatically or for not helping him to construct his sentences.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 120

“Montessori avoids letter naming altogether, but does present (with the sandpaper letters) letter/sound matching.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 121

“The moveable alphabet is an important part of the language area.  These set of letters allow the young child to write—to use the letter shapes to communicate—at a time when the physical act of drawing the letters may be so difficult and tedious that he would not undertake it otherwise.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 122

“Before beginning the presentation of basic Montessori ideas in the language area, it is important to remember the basic principle of allowing the child to move at his or her own pace.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 123

“His absorbent mind is adding new words to his recognition and speaking vocabularies at a rate he will never again equal.  All areas of the Montessori language curriculum seek to take advantage of the child’s interest in language and communication, and his incredible capacity for leering from his surroundings.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 123-24

“This sensitive period for language has weakened and transmuted itself by age six.  At this point, the child has an interest in the structure of things—in classifying and organizing.  Having already acquired some proficiency in reading, the average Montessori child at this time shows an interest in grammar.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 124

“With children at age six, many traditional reading teachers are attempting to develop the children’s attention span and spark their interest in an area for which the children no longer are sensitive.  Montessori teachers, on the other hand, can continue the necessary work on the more irregular phonics rules, continuing to increase the number and complexity of the child’s sight reading vocabulary words through the materials and experiences available in the other Montessori curriculum areas, and feeding the child’s interest in grammar.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 125

“The teacher must be careful to include the full range of language experiences in the Montessori language curriculum.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 126

“Although Montessori felt that oral reading to a group was a difficult skill and should be postponed until later years, other forms of self-expression are suggested, such as interpretive reading games similar to charades.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 126

“Reading and writing are taught ‘together’, that is in parallel, with writing usually assumed to be slightly ahead of reading with most children.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 126

“Classic Montessorians play ‘ spy with my little eye something that begins with /b/.’  Let the children pick objects and have others try to guess the object.  Insufficient work at this level, particularly with terminal and medical sounds, is probably the single greatest cause of children remaining at the ‘doorway’ to reading for a year or more.’ Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 127

‘The sandpaper letters give the child the link between the sounds she has been working with and a particular shape, thus preparing her for both reading and writing.”  Taken from The Montessori Controversy, Chapter 9, page 128