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Montessori Phonetics – How and Why We Use Them

Montessori Phonetics By Amber Evans

Phonics is a reading method that allows a child to learn the sounds of letters by developing an understanding of how these sounds are used individually, in groups and whole words. Phonetic instruction is the foundational stepping stone in a Montessori Language Arts program. Learning phonics provides an excellent way for children to have fun and get engaged in what they are learning. When children learn the sounds that letters and groups of letters make, they are able to decode words that they have not encountered before.

Since the English language doesn’t always follow predictable rules, the phonics system helps young readers develop logic, reasoning and analysis skills. Phonetics allows the child to understand and apply what they have learned confidently and independently. Additionally, phonics can lead to whole-word recognition, which helps children read faster as they practice. This makes learning to read fluently much easier in the long run.

Montessori phonetics also help develop stronger reading comprehension. As the child become a more fluent reader, they are able to stop focusing on the individual letters of each word. This gives them the opportunity to focus on the meaning of what they are reading.

When implementing phonics in the Montessori classroom, the first thing to consider is the child. The child must be sound conscious, meaning that the child is aware that words are made up of individual sounds and able to discern those sounds. Rather than following the conventional method of teaching from a to z in order of the alphabet, we divide the letters into manageable groups so that a child can start using the letters to begin making words right from the beginning. If a child can implement what they are learning immediately, it generates more interest and excitement.

Montessori Phonetics in Language Development

Sensitive periods also play a big role when learning phonics. A sensitive period refers to a period in which the child is more aware of and interested in learning a certain thing. If this period is missed, learning will take longer and be more tedious. At Step By Step Montessori, we create a learning environment that fosters language development and our teachers are well-trained to support this sensitive period and guide each child during this time.

 

References:

  • Benefits of Learning Phonics by Superpages.com 2018
  • Language Arts by North American Montessori Center 2009
  • Teaching phonics the Montessori way by Shen-Li Lee