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Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

Hello, World! Foreign Language and Culture Studies

on May 31, 2012

“The world is so full of a number of things,

I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

Montessori education encourages exploration and tries to open up a child’s horizons by encouraging a positive and curious spirit. The world around us contains wonders for students to explore at many levels, from the microscopic to the universal. 

Foreign languages and cultures can provide rich and varied experiences for young people through new words, new places, new traditions, new food, new music, new art, new fashion, and many other cultural components. So, whether your students will start by learning more about their own family heritage or will be introduced to a completely new culture, there is literally a whole world of potential adventures for students studying other languages and cultures.

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For almost 40 years, François Thibaut has been teaching young children to speak new languages, using immersion, visual cues, and humor. His highly-acclaimed Professor Toto programs are designed for children from ages 2 to 8, and they are available in French, Spanish, Chinese, Italian and German. Visit the Professor Toto website to view excerpts from the instructional videos, read reviews of the program, and find out more about their 30-day risk-free guarantee. http://www.professortoto.com

You can also read the personal impressions of a teacher and grandmother when she tested out the Professor Toto system with her 27-month-old English speaking Chinese granddaughter. https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/adventures-in-chinese-for-children

Reading, Writing and Spelling in Spanish helps you build customized, creative Spanish lessons for students 3-11 years old, with grammar, vocabulary, number, time, geography and many more resources. http://www.amonco.org/montessori_spanish.html

Foreign countries can provide an interesting basis for unit studies.  Most of us have worked with unit studies before; but if you are not familiar with them, you will find a good overview here:  http://www.examiner.com/homeschooling-in-albuquerque/benefits-of-homeschool-unit-studies

This unit study guide for Italy provides many ideas and resources, and might also inspire you to design your own unit study for a country or region that you feel would engage your students. http://www.amonco.org/montessori_italy.html

For more great Italian unit studies ideas, be sure to peruse “Oh, How I Love Italy” from Marjorie Kiel Persons at Classical Magic, Inc. http://www.amonco.org/summer4/montessori_summer4.pdf

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For more on the benefits to children of learning a foreign language, read this interesting interview article from The Duke University Talent Identification Program. http://www.actfl.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=4724

Also, review this analysis from the NEA. http://www.ncssfl.org/papers/BenefitsSecondLanguageStudyNEA.pdf

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Find out more about how childhood varies in selected countries, with articles for students and by students. http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0212302/akidslifein.html

To explore more about both multiculturalism in the United States and world cultures, check out this extensive resource: http://www.everyculture.com


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