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Bilingual Montessori Preschool Learning
La Jolla Montessori School implements individualized learning in English and Spanish
By: La Jolla Montessori School
"Learning two languages and being verbally fluent in both via a 1.5 year toddler program, and 3 year primary and Kindergarten program is perhaps the best thing our students achieve at La Jolla Montessori School," Kelly McFarland, M.Ed., Director, says.
"In our bilingual Montessori preschool program, we have our English teacher give a lesson to a child in English first," she says. "The next day, our Spanish teacher gives the child the same lesson entirely in Spanish. Over time, students immerse themselves in conceptual learning. They get great joy from knowing two words for the same thing."
How the Montessori Method Helps a Child's Thinking
Two key philosophies of the 110 year-old methodology created by Dr. Maria Montessori are:
• Individualized learning, and
• Building conceptual understanding rather than memorization.
In other words, understanding how things work rather than memorizing.
In a Montessori preschool, teachers do not teach all the students the same lesson at the same time. This allows the instructor to see your child's strengths and weaknesses clearly so together they can discuss problems and continue practicing the subject until it is understood. Thus, teachers focus on the correct set-up and backdrop of learning to help students attain a stronger conceptual understanding.
"Applying that backdrop, we treat our bilingual Montessori preschool program as one complete, full environment,"
The Immersion Process
From 'circle time' through day's end, students learn both languages through reading, stories, songs, words, sounds, and counting. Since LJMS starts with toddlers and later makes the transition into primary school, children learn smoothly.
"By teaching the exact same lesson over two days—one day in English and the next in Spanish--it becomes natural for children to assimilate learning. And their understanding carries into other subjects like math, language and geography because the brain is disseminating information through multiple neural pathways," she says.
"Over time, they become familiar with both languages. By the third year, peer age learning comes to the fore. The oldest children become guides and teach the first-year children. It's truly the beauty of the primary environment!
La Jolla Montessori School, a bilingual Montessori preschool, helps children achieve verbal fluency early on and builds lifelong thinking. With continued coursework, this skill will act as a core prerequisite towards their entry and ultimate management into Workforce 2040.
Schedule a tour today! https://lajollamontessorischool.com/
Edited by Nazanine Pineda