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25152 Elk Lick Road
South Riding, VA 20152
A bilingual experience ...
When asked how best to teach a second language to children under six, Renilde Montessori, Maria Montessori’s granddaughter noted the following. "The simplest and most natural way to do this is to have a person in the school with whom the children need to communicate, an assistant for instance, making sure that this person speaks only the one language that needs to be introduced" (AMI/USA News,1995) Dr. Montessori observed that human beings have a predisposition for language and a desire to communicate. These two qualities, combined with the presence of a foreign speaking person in their environment, encourage children in our schools to become bi-lingual while following their natural and individual development.
At MSSR, we have native speakers whose pronunciation and fluency are naturally available to all of the children all of the time, in the same way that the Montessori materials are there and available for the children to use whenever they are interested. A child who has been exposed to a second language while his brain is developing acquires the pattern of that language in the brain. Even though that child may subsequently forget the lessons and vocabulary of childhood, when later exposed to the language, he will be able to recall the basic patterns of the language and consequently will be able to pick it up more quickly than if he was learning it for the first time as an adult.