Children will benefit from a process of linguistic immersion within their own family: parents are a child’s first learning providers and are responsible for teaching the child their native or family language.
As an organisation, we place an emphasis on multilingualism – French and Luxembourgish – a reality of everyday life in Luxembourg where the people are able to express themselves in a range of languages and which contributes to the country’s rich cultural diversity.
Ignore the erroneous notion that multilingual children develop at a slower rate than monolingual children: what happens is that they acquire more words, in addition to enhancing their intonation and language skills. This means they have more work to do and results in them developing in a different way, but it does not mean that they develop more slowly.
Why is the Montessori method so effective when it comes to young children learning languages?
These can be thought of as periods of special sensitivity, which occur in individuals in the process of development, i.e. during childhood. These are fleeting and are limited to the acquisition of a fixed personality. Once they have developed this personality, sensitivity ceases.
One of these periods concerns the acquisition of language and begins at the age of 3 months, lasting until the age of 5. It is at this point that we intervene, working alongside the child’s parents and family circle, given that it is children of precisely this age that we are responsible for.
“Children who develop the mechanism for language at the deepest levels of their subconscious are able to speak as many languages as are spoken around them and to render this learning permanent”
“How wonderful it would be if we were able to retain this prodigious skill that we find in children who are able to learn a language with all of its grammatical complexity while running, jumping and playing.”
Children absorb everything, both good and bad. This is why it is so important to speak to children as correctly as we can, using language that is as refined as possible in terms of its syntax, the richness of its vocabulary and its intonation. Moreover, this applies to all languages spoken at the creche.
When it comes to spoken language, we stress the importance of the listening skills required in order to learn the different languages used on a daily basis by the teaching team, with, among others, the house of language, the farm, the sound box and, finally, all of the sensory materials specific to this type of learning with the three-period lesson.”
For written language, touch comes into play with sandpaper letters, lines in the sand and names filled in.
Thanks to their capacities for observation, supporting adults must be able to detect this sensitive period for language in each child in order to offer them corresponding activities for each age.
Children in the creche will learn effortlessly, given that they are in a period where they are particularly interested in language. Thanks to the materials used and the positive educational atmosphere that it helps cultivate, the Montessori method provides children with the fundamentals of language learning.
It is essential to make the most of this period in order to provide our children with the keys to the multilingual world of tomorrow.