ORAL LANGUAGE EXERCISES
When the child arrives in a Montessori classroom, he already has a completion of the spoken language. During his first three years of life, the child has been constructing his language and now, in the Montessori classroom, he will be consolidating what he knows. Because the child’s will is being constructed, he can consciously begin to explore language. This is the perfect time for the child to gain the correct tools in his home language.
To teach the child correct oral language, Montessori split the learning into two groups. The first group she called: “The Enrichment of Vocabulary”. In these activities, the child learns new words on a daily basis through formal lessons and classified groups. The second group of oral work is called: “Language Training”. In these Exercises, the child experiences a great variety of language experiences. He learns through the many forms of literature, Exercises in self-expression, and games to learn the grammar of the language. Through both of these groups of Exercises, the child’s later learning in reading will be facilitated by the recognition of words. This is the foundation for all other language expressions.
The purposes in Montessori’s Oral Language lessons are vast. Children will gain a clarity in speech, a large expansion of vocabulary, a familiarity in various aspects of language such as correct usage of the language, artistic expression, a large range of language, awareness of the language structure, and most importantly an appreciation and enjoyment of language. Through all of the Exercises, the child is also being indirectly prepared for the written language work of creative writing and later, total reading.
In the Oral Language lessons, materials are used from the classroom to aid the child’s learning. Some lessons call for objects directly in the classroom, other lessons call for classified cards, different pieces of literature, and even the directress as a language model and source for learning. Because the directress is such an important part in the child’s growth in the Oral Exercises, it is important for her to remember to do these lessons on a daily basis with every child in the class.