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Can the Montessori Spanish Curriculum be used in my Bilingual Preschool and Elementary School?

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Absolutely! Depending on what your vision is for your bilingual school. Are you trying to teach a “parallel curriculum” in Spanish? In other words, do you want to introduce each aspect of the Montessori curriculum in English and Spanish? For example, you introduce a geography lesson in English one day, and then do the same lesson in Spanish. Or do you plan on doing only certain subjects in Spanish. For example, all your math lessons will be taught in Spanish and not English. Here is a third scenario, do you envision having a circle time each day that is completely in Spanish and introduces a work designed to teach Spanish.

MontessoriSpanish fits in with the last scenario. It is a curriculum designed to teach Spanish (as a second language) in a Montessori way. It is not a complete parallel curriculum to the traditional Montessori curriculum. Although you will find there are lessons that can be used parallel to the English Montessori curriculum. For example, we have a lesson that explains the bead stair in our Numbers Unit. Also, during your Practical Life lessons in English, you may wish to introduce the lesson Ponga la mesa (Setting the Table).

The MontessoriSpanish curriculum does not introduce the Spanish language to the children exactly the same way as you would when teaching English (Language Arts). It does not begin with letters then one syllable words, etc. Here is the reason: when children are introduced to the alphabet in English, they are not just learning “s” sounds like sss. They are learning that these little characters have sounds. The brain assimilates this concept and automatically applies it to the letters of the words they see on the Spanish cards. As they hear these words spoken, they are looking at both the picture and the letters that make up the word. By the time the children are working with the three-part cards, they ‘just know’ what sounds each letter makes.

Also, words in the themes are not limited to one syllable words because very few exist in the Spanish language. Most words the children will be introduced to are 2 to 3 syllables long. They are able to grasp this because the lessons are accompanied with songs. The children have an easier time pronouncing the longer words because they hear the ‘melody’ of the word first. Children are speaking Spanish in a very short time!


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