Mäntsälän Englanninkielinen Montessorileikkikoulu

English Education

At the Playschool, we emphasize English as a second language. It is widely accepted that children have an exceptional ability to absorb a second language easily and naturally during, what Maria Montessori called, their Sensitive Period for language development between 0 and 6 years of age.  During that time, young children are especialy atuned to making sense and meaning to the sounds that surround them.  Montessori was a strong supporter of children being exposed to second languages during this sensitive period when this exeptional language learning ability can be optimized.

At this level of children's development, language is easily learned through "absorption"; hearing the language spoken often and with a lot of repetition in a natural setting. They soak in the sounds, words and sentences when passively overhearing adults speak amongst themselves and to other children in English.  This, combined with building a vocabulary based on concrete games and activities, offers an effective environment to aid language learning.

      jenni           santeri

The Playschool's goal is to provide an opportunity for them to learn a second language in a natural, fun, safe, interesting and unpressured environment. We keep it as natural as possible, keeping English "in the air" throughout the day. As teaching methods, we use songs, poems, daily discussions, rhymes, indoor and outdoor games and stories. In addition, the Montessori activities provide an excellent concrete medium for showing and demonstrating the meaning of the new words. These are all fun ways for children to learn in active and natural ways.

When instructing children for the first time with a new Montessori activity, we can easily check to be sure they know the basic concepts in Finnish (numbers, colors, sizes, shapes,. and then use the opportunity to give the names in English.  Information words (names of countries, leaf shapes, geometric solids, plants and animals, etc.) are introduced from the beginning in English since they will learn those in Finnish when they are in school.

We always use a child's home language, when he or she is new to our group, when solving differences between friends, during emotional times, when explaining the rules.  During these times the most important thing is the child's comfort and that they know they are understood.

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