Language Activities at the Jordan Montessori School in Austin:
Language is very important for all of humanity and not just Austin, Texas. We use language to express our feelings, thoughts, ideas and desires to others. We also use language to receive information, and gain knowledge. We have the inner drive to communicate, and the way we use words reflect who we are. It is a powerful tool for us to communicate and helps us to organize our thoughts as we speak to ourselves.
Language plays a significant role for the child. It enables them to communicate with and understand others. To give the child an abundance and variety of language experience in an orderly fashion, the Language Area is divided into four major sections. These sections include Spoken Language, Enrichment of Vocabulary, Written Language, and Reading, which includes a number of subsections. Language exercises begin the moment the child enters the classroom, starting with the Spoken Language exercises.
Children learn English and Mandarin Chinese through a variety of materials and activities. They begin with spoken language which is the foundation for reading and writing. The idea of spoken language is self- expression. The Spoken Language exercises allow the child to freely express himself within the environment and give him the confidence and self-esteem necessary for self-expression. This is done through conversations, storytelling, reading a book, tongue twisters, songs, poems, and riddles.
Another important section of the Language Area is Enrichment of Vocabulary. With these exercises, the child will learn the names of everything that exists in the environment. Enrichment of Vocabulary, along with Spoken Language, provides the child with the necessary means of expression that they will use when they begin writing.
Writing is the ability to express thoughts through graphic symbols. It requires intellectual processing combined with manual dexterity. It gives the child satisfaction as well as another level of independence. Once the child has enough practice with the letters and good control over their hand movements, they will then practice writing on chalkboards where any mistakes are only temporary. When they are able to sufficiently write enough full words on the chalkboard, the child will then start writing on paper and will be led into creative writing, which is an enjoyable activity for the children.
Reading is an exciting discovery for the child, and it will begin as the child looks at what they have written and realize that they can read what they wrote. Somewhere in the beginning of handwriting, the child will begin to read. From there on, writing and reading will develop parallel to each other and will support the development of each other. Reading allows the child to gain information and connect with the thoughts of others, and it also helps them develop their personality and intellect.