Language activities are developing at a rapid rate during the toddler years and in the authentic Montessori HMS classroom, our teachers may start with card or object matching to introduce foundations for alphabet and language. Then we may progress with a phonetic lesson and use the Montessori sandpaper letters.
We gathered some language tips to use at home so that you may assist your child with this very important progression towards their language, and ultimately, reading and writing skills. Your child becomes happier as they learn the words to express their needs, rather than needing to resort to crying or a tantrum.
"The development of language is part of the development of the personality, for words are the natural means of expressing thoughts and establishing understanding between people." — Dr Maria Montessori
1. Listen to your child.
Whenever time allows, stop what you're doing, look them in the eye, let them take as long as they need, and – hard as it is – try not to finish their sentences. If your child say “ba-ba” for ball; you can show you have listened by including the real word in a sentence, for example, “Yes, you threw the ball in the park.”
2. Use rich language A child wants to learn the name of everything in their environment and understand the meaning of words they hear. Give the child the names of dogs, vegetables, food, vehicles, trees, birds and anything else you find.
3. Keep talking
It is lovely to describe to your baby and toddler what you're doing and provide them with extensive vocabulary. If you have a newborn and a toddler, you can make eye contact with the baby and talk to them about what their brother or sister is doing; then both children are made to feel special.
4. Read, read, read
Choose good books to share with your children and read aloud often. Young children are interested in the world around them (rather than fantasy) so choose books with pictures of real objects and stories about known experiences, such as visiting grandparents, going shopping or getting ready in the morning.
5. Include moments of silence in your day
Keep the television and radio off if you are finished listening to them together. It is difficult to filter out these background noises and is not ideal for language acquisition. In addition, as adults we like to give our children feedback on everything they do, but it is also ok to remain silent sometimes and allow your child to evaluate for themselves what they have done. *taken from Montessori Blog "The Montessori Notebook" one of our favorite Montessorians based in the Netherlands.
Visit our Language page under Academics to read more about the language cycle at each age, and to see a language progression demonstrated.