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Montessori Learning – How Do Children Learn to Read?

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Montessori Learning also known as Montessori education is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori and characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development.

montessori-educationAccording to this approach, speaking has always been preceding the act of knowing how to write. This is because learning to speak is always an easy thing when compared to learning to write.

The Subconscious Path of Written Language

Language acquisition in human beings is dependent of nurture. Young children learn their language through their contact with human language models. Those children who miss out on this language models while they are young, they end up not knowing the language. Spoken language is the easiest to learn, it develops through both spontaneous and subconscious acts. On the other hand, written language is dependent of active teaching.

The Difference between Spoken and Written Language

Written and spoken languages are related. This can be well explained through the acquisition of vocabulary. According to experts, the more people read they are more likely to develop a bigger pool of vocabulary on which they eventually start using while speaking.

Decoding is another way through which speaking and reading are connected. On this principle, it is very easy for one to pronounce a word more easily if they had read it earlier before. This can be explained with the fact that pronunciation is made easier when uttering words already read about bas there is little information to be processed.

How the Brain Process Written Words

Reading has been found to be the hardest part of human language acquisition. According research, when people begin to learn reading, there is one section of the brain that is responsible for phonetic sound to specific letters and the other is responsible for turning these phonetic sounds to words. Due to this, learning to speak always takes a lot of time as compared to speaking.

Montessori Philosophy and Reading

Maria Montessori discovered that all children had an interest in written letters. In explaining this, Montessori thought that this is why sandpaper letters were developed so as to take advantage of this fact. While in Italy, basic phonetic sounds were taught and as result, she observed that reading always preceded writing. She observed that during writing, children only needed to turn sounds into letters; while on the part reading, a child needs to pull apart the letters and then turn them into a phonetic sound before putting them together to form a word.


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Maria Jane

has done MBA from University of Manchester. She loves to write about Lifestyle, Fashion and Health.

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