Nienhuis Montessori Language
The Nienhuis Montessori language materials have some inherent elements in common with the sensorial materials. Mostly it is their simplicity and the fact that they provide keys for the children to discover something that is beyond what lies on the surface.
When children are introduced to the prepared Montessori environment, usually around three years of age, their spoken language is developed, their vocabulary is quite extensive and their grammatical structures of speech are well established. They have a boundless capacity to expand and enrich their language and, as a natural consequence, the desire to write and read.
According to the Montessori philosophy reading, writing, spelling and language should be not taught as separate entities. Children are immersed in the dynamics of their own language development and the Montessori approach provides a carefully thought-out program with activities to facilitate this process.
Children begin to write and to read spontaneously after working with the very simple Nienhuis Montessori language materials. Key materials from this range are the sandpaper letters which introduce the child to the shape of the letters, the movable alphabet which allow to arrange these letters to form words and the metal insets which make it possible for a child to control a writing instrument. The materials function to isolate certain universal elements, which are common to all languages. The child learns that all words are composed of sounds that can be made visible with written signs, that different words have different functions and sentences have structures that make the action the nucleus of the sentence.