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Montessori Academy's vision is that each student
will become an independent, confident, motivated learner, and a responsible community member as a result of the dynamic partnership between
students, parents, and teachers.
This partnership within the exceptional Montessori environment, while developing these characteristics, enables each student to become a life-long learner.
|Foreign Language Instruction |
Studying foreign languages at an early age significantly improves academic thinking skills, achievement and performance outcomes on a host of standardized measures. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages or ACTFL is a fabulous resource for a comprehensive discussion of the overwhelming statistical data that studying foreign language(s) improves early brain development, cognitive ability and logical reasoning, creativity, memory skills, standardized test scores and attention control. Studying a foreign language is also a valid indicator of better college performance in students.
We know that preschool and elementary-aged children are at their peak with respect to learning multiple languages. Learning multiple languages at an early age is proven to stimulate and “hard-wire” multi-lobe brain development. Surprising to some is that these newly-stimulated brain connections trigger the same developmental areas that are most closely associated with increased math and higher reasoning skills. Once these brain development areas are stimulated, the connections become permanent in these young, growing minds.
In an ever-increasing global economy, bilingual and multi-lingual students will have an almost immeasurable edge for career growth. More importantly, these students will emerge with a deep-rooted appreciation for other cultures and people and with a unique vantage from which to foster these qualities in others.
Foreign Language in Our Classrooms
Instruction in foreign languages has always been a focus of a well-rounded Montessori education. Our Spanish language teacher begins in the Primary (ages 3-6) classrooms with fundamental vocabulary and develops more extensive skills in students through 8th grade. Primary students attend Spanish classes one time each week and Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Middle School students attend Spanish three times each week.
Foreign Language After-School Enrichment Programs
Additionally, we facilitate multiple after-school foreign language enrichment offerings on the Montessori campus. Beginning at age 3, students can elect to participate in additional Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese classes that take place after school. These extracurricular clubs are based entirely on a practical, conversational curriculum that uses hand-on, manipulative-based learning with attention to multiple learning styles. The curriculum is designed to spiral in a continuum to increase retention and early conversation. Our After-School Foreign Language Program is organized through the The Development Company, LLC, the strategic partner for children’s foreign language instruction for the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute. All of our teachers are screened and trained through the TFLI to work with this curriculum. All of these classes are taught in low teacher-student settings because interaction and conversation are at the heart of the learning. For more information on how to participate in these after-school classes, please see the Extracurricular Activities tab on our website or visit our office.
For more background on the many benefits of language learning, please visit the resources listed below:
• American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages - What the Research Shows
• Duke’s TIP Program Study on the Cognitive Benefits of Learning Languages
• NEA Research, December 2007 (Research Findings with Citations) The Benefits of Second Language
• Center for Applied Linguistics – Information on Proficiency in Foreign Languages