Listening to Young Children: Applying Montessori’s Method to English as an Additional Language (EAL) Education
Increasing globalization means that many families are moving into English speaking environments, and so too are their young children. To date, research on English as an Additional Language (EAL) education has largely been focused on primary, secondary, and post-secondary schooling. EAL research should include preschool aged children, since this group is also a part of the globalization trend. Likewise, discourse in education surrounding social justice has largely focused on older student groups. Here, the focus is on preschool aged children, bridging the gap between globalization, EAL education, and social justice disciplines. The action research conducted here employed the Montessori Method to promote a socially just learning environment for young preschool EAL children that focused primarily on experiential learning. Data analysis of the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) checklists, used to monitor language progress, indicates that such an educational pedagogy has a positive outcome for English development when social justice is placed in a prominent role in the education process. The education being provided in this study sought to establish that socially just EAL education can be provided, but that the educator must take on the role of a listener in order for this educational model to be successful. This application seeks to give even the youngest of students a voice in their education, without jeopardizing the rate at which English is acquired.
Carla Briffett Aktaş,
Listening to Young Children: Applying Montessori’s Method to English as an Additional Language (EAL) Education, International Journal of Elementary Education.
Vol. 6, No. 1,
2017, pp. 1-7.
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