The education plan envisioned and implemented by Maria Montessori was based on her observation of children in diverse cultures and the required response to their needs. This led her to the conclusion that children have basic behavioral tendencies of exploration, imagination, order, repetition, manipulation, precision and communication.
Language development is included in the entire Montessori classroom. Activities in the other curriculum areas foster vocabulary development, communication skills, writing and reading.
In the Montessori Method, writing precedes reading, as the children explore with drawing and forming letters. Reading is prepared indirectly from writing. The child starts from what he/she knows about the letters and the sounds. Introduction to language begins with giving meaning to the symbols of our alphabet. When the child discovers that each letter has a sound and that sounds blended together create words, he/she begins to read independently. Sandpaper letters utilize a child's natural desire and sensitivity to touch to provide a phonetic basis for reading.
When the discovery is made that words strung together create meaningful speech, children begin to isolate parts of speech and grasp the concept of a proper sentence. Assimilation of language results in an expansion of both vocabulary and writing competence.