Montessori Language Arts – The Excellence Path to Early Childhood Language Development: English for Specific Purposes

Montessori Language Arts – The Excellence Path to Early Childhood Language Development: English for Specific Purposes

Julia Selva Sundari S. (Holy Cross Arts and Science College for Women, Tamil Nadu, India)
DOI: 10.4018/IJCDLM.2020010105

Abstract

This article offers a quick read on Montessori pedagogy. It is to help formulate a successful method and practical learning. English language teaching (ELT) has numerous methods. They are rich in knowledge and theory but, practically not all methods come handy for successfully learning a new language. The success of learning a language is in its effective communication. Here, the term communication does not correspond to the skill element but to the effective and precise delivery of the conceived idea. Language cannot be learned as we learn math, science, and technology, it has to be experienced and acquired. We do not need a goal but an active process. As Einstein to science so is Maria Montessori to language arts. Her method has been appreciated but has carried limited relevance in the world of language arts — many associate the Montessori method to play way method. A deep understanding of the Montessori method of language teaching offers innumerable opportunities to construct a successful working model to teach second language learners.
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Introduction

Language is the central point of difference between the human species and all others. Language lies at the root of that transformation of the environment that we call civilization…language is an instrument of collective though ...Hence, language is truly the expression of a kind of superintelligence. (Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind)

The dawn of the twenty-first century has evolved to witness the dominance of science and technology. The same phenomenon has underrated the position of language in the developmental scenario. Language has been moved to the back position since science is associated with development and language to mere humanities. The fast-paced life looks for a platform to mechanize living and consider language as mere tools to communicate. The ill forgotten reality of life lies on the basal point “communication.” Communication is the tool that connects knowledge and understanding; it voices the people’s mind. Effective teamwork has its roots on effective communication thus if language takes the latent position, and people tend to lose sight of the need to specialize in the transfer of knowledge it can well be associated with an apocalypse in the happening. The ideas that are conceived by individuals can be lost in its pathway to be precisely communicated. Documentation, group talk, and communication strategies have failed in this era of smart tools due to the loss in language skills. Language is a vehicle to speak the mind. The mind cannot work on its own or transfer to the best of its originality in the absence of a language. A Competent method to language building is the requirement of the hour. Montessori Method has seen its usage limited to early childhood development. The efficacy of the method will help the language educators formulate a course curriculum modeled on the same.

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Auto Education

The greatest help we can give our children is to stand by and see that they are free to develop in their own way. (Maria Montessori)

A planned and constrained setting would leave a child restricted and reduced to be one other mechanical and robotic product from the factory named Education. Maria Montessori the first female doctor from Italy, who dedicated herself and her knowledge in breaking the most conservational form of education, founded the Montessori method that roots in the belief that every child is a unique being. Her method believed and aimed at getting the child set to face the challenges of adulthood encompassing development that befits self, society, and with whole humanity.

Her method called for certain tailored concepts that she believed and proved would lead to development in a child. Some of the concepts are auto education with didactic materials, individualized education, the Montessori environment, independence, and the prepared environment, non-graded grouping, education of the senses and control of error. (Montessori,1964: Orem, 1971).

Auto Education, learning by self in an environment set suitably to aid the self-realization of concepts, can be defined as the perfect environment into which a child enters voluntarily to be educated. Kramer (1976, pp. 295-296) defines Auto Education as a method that focusses on “the pupil’s liberty as the basis for developing independence, his freedom to work when and for as long as he wants to on a given task and to progress at his own state.” Maria Montessori’s AUTO EDUCATION operates as an individualized system that believes the following:

  • 1.

    Liberty of the pupil-that is to permit a development of individual spontaneous manifestations of the child’s nature (Montessori, 1964);

  • 2.

    The child as the master of the house;

  • 3.

    Need to develop cognitive skills and self-reliant character in a class;

  • 4.

    Child as a unique person striving for order in his or her life to match the “inherent order and structure in nature;”

  • 5.

    Need to encourage accommodation to external reality, rather than assimilation to the personalized motives and fantasies of the child.

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