The Montessori Language Academy Japanese Language Curriculum has been designed to introduce children (between the ages of 3 to 6 years old) to the Japanese language through foreign language immersion. Our Japanese language teachers – who interact with children (in Japanese) during the first half of the day – are all native from Japan. They are also fully certified by the American Montessori Society and are members of the Illinois Association of Teachers of Japanese.
Children first ‘guess’ the meaning of communication through Montessori hands-on materials and daily routines. Meaningful usage of the language encourages children to use and practice their social and academic vocabularies. Gradually, as they learn the Japanese alphabet and build their vocabulary, children start to read, write, and converse in Japanese. Our students also study Math, Science, and Geography in Japanese.
Cultural celebrations and activities give opportunities for children to experience a taste of Japanese lifestyle. Monthly themes and topics that the children are interested in are covered in the English class in the afternoon, so that they can learn that there is more than one way to look at anything. Studying a linguistically and culturally distant language like Japanese awakens an understanding of the degree to which languages and cultures can differ and coincide. In doing this, they not only learn the characteristics of other societies, but they are able to perceive the distinct aspects of their own. Hence, they take their first step in becoming citizens of the world.