What is Montessori English Like?

Written by Dan

Last updated

Montessori English is a unique approach to language learning that emphasizes children’s natural curiosity and innate drive to understand their world.

But what exactly does this mean, and how does it differ from traditional teaching methods?

In this article, we’ll delve into the philosophy behind Montessori English, explore its key components, and discuss how it can benefit your child.

We’ll also share insights from educators and students who have experienced this method firsthand.

Whether you’re an educator seeking to implement new strategies or a parent considering different educational options for your child, this guide will provide a comprehensive overview of Montessori English.

Related: For more, check out our article on Whether Montessori Can Be Taught Online  here.

what is montessori

The Philosophy Behind Montessori English

The Montessori method, named after its founder, Dr. Maria Montessori , is a child-centred educational approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, and cognitive.

It is based on scientific observations from birth to adulthood and has been used worldwide for over 100 years.

The Montessori method emphasizes independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development.

It encourages children to explore their environment at their own pace, fostering a love of learning and nurturing their curiosity.

When it comes to language learning, the Montessori philosophy is uniquely compelling. The method acknowledges that children have an innate ability to acquire language skills, providing an environment rich with opportunities for language exploration and growth.

In a Montessori English class, children are not force-fed information. Instead, they are guided to discover the intricacies of the language naturally and joyfully.

This could be through hands-on materials, real-life conversations, or integrated language activities.

For instance, a child may start by tracing sandpaper letters to grasp the shape and sound of the alphabet, then gradually move on to constructing words and sentences with movable alphabets.

Reading is not taught as a separate subject but is introduced as a natural extension of these activities.

Montessori Language Program

Key Components of Montessori English

Individualised Learning

Central to the Montessori method is the belief that each child is unique and learns at their own pace. Teachers observe and understand each student’s learning style, strengths, and interests in a Montessori English class.

They then tailor the lessons accordingly, allowing each child to progress at their own pace. This personalized approach ensures students are neither held back nor rushed through learning concepts.

Hands-On Materials

Montessori classrooms are known for their specially designed learning materials that stimulate the senses and promote understanding. For English language learning, materials like sandpaper letters, movable alphabets, and a variety of reading materials are used.

These hands-on materials allow children to interact with the language physically, tangibly reinforcing their learning.

Multi-age Classrooms

In Montessori education, students of different ages often learn together in the same environment. This arrangement facilitates peer learning and fosters a sense of community.

Older students can mentor younger ones, reinforcing their own understanding of English in the process. Meanwhile, younger students are exposed to more complex language usage, accelerating their language acquisition.

Self-Directed Learning

Montessori English classes emphasize self-directed learning, where students choose what they want to work on from a range of options. This autonomy motivates them to take ownership of their learning journey.

It encourages them to become active learners who seek knowledge out of curiosity and interest rather than passive receivers of information.

Integration with Other Subjects

In Montessori English, language learning doesn’t occur in isolation. Instead, it’s integrated with other subjects such as history, geography, science, and art.

This holistic approach not only makes learning more interesting and relevant but also allows students to apply their language skills in various contexts, enhancing their comprehension and fluency.

Benefits of Montessori English

Development of Independent Thinking

One of the most significant benefits of Montessori English is the development of independent thinking. The method encourages children to explore and learn at their own pace, fostering an environment where they can think for themselves.

This autonomy boosts their confidence and helps them develop problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and a lifelong love of learning.

Encouragement of Creativity

The Montessori approach to English learning also encourages creativity. Providing various hands-on materials and integrating language learning with other subjects gives children the freedom to express themselves creatively.

This could be through writing their own stories, conducting presentations, or even creating art projects related to the language topics they are studying.

Promotion of Collaboration

Montessori English classes often consist of multi-age groups, promoting collaboration among students. Older students help younger ones, fostering a cooperative spirit and teaching valuable social skills.

This collaborative environment prepares students for real-world situations where teamwork and communication are essential.

Enhanced Language Skills

Lastly, the Montessori method significantly enhances language skills. The focus on individualized learning ensures that each child’s needs and pace are respected, resulting in a deeper understanding of the language.

The use of hands-on materials, integration with other subjects, and emphasis on real-world application all contribute to a comprehensive grasp of English.

Students tend to develop excellent reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, setting a strong foundation for future language learning.

The impact of Montessori English on language acquisition is profound and multifaceted. Firstly, the Montessori method respects the natural development of children, allowing them to acquire language skills at their own pace.

This approach aligns with how children learn their first language automatically, resulting in a more natural and stress-free language acquisition process.

Secondly, Montessori English classes emphasize hands-on, experiential learning, a methodology that enhances retention and understanding. Children can grasp abstract linguistic concepts more concretely by physically interacting with learning materials.

Lastly, integrating English learning with other subjects in a Montessori environment gives children a rich and diverse context to apply their language skills.

This enriches their vocabulary and improves their ability to use English in various contexts, enhancing their overall communicative competence.

Insights from Educators and Students

Educator Testimonials

  1. Ms. Amelia Davies, Montessori English Teacher, London
    “Teaching Montessori English has been an enlightening journey. Seeing each child learn at their rhythm and style exemplifies this method’s individual focus. It’s a joy to witness their confidence flourish as they chart their personal learning path.”
  2. Mr. Thomas Williams, Headmaster, Montessori School, Birmingham
    “Montessori English goes beyond being a teaching methodology—a philosophy cultivates a child’s innate curiosity and passion for learning. As an educator, it’s deeply gratifying to see our students not merely learning but genuinely comprehending and valuing the English language.”
  3. Ms. Lucy Evans, Montessori English Teacher, Manchester
    “The use of tactile materials in Montessori English lessons truly brings the language alive for our pupils. The delight on their faces when they connect the physical letters with sounds and words is genuinely heartwarming.”

Student Stories

  1. Olivia, age 10, Montessori Student, Liverpool
    “I absolutely adore my English class! We engage in so many exciting activities like creating our own narratives, reading captivating books, and even performing in plays. I feel like I can truly express myself through English now.”
  2. Harry, age 12, Montessori Student, Leeds
    “Studying English in a Montessori school is unique. We don’t just memorise things; we understand them. And the best part is that I can learn at my own pace, so I never feel pressured or uninterested.”
  3. Emily, age 9, Montessori Student, Sheffield
    “In my English class, we learn collectively as a group. I enjoy assisting my younger classmates, and I gain a lot from the older ones too. It’s as if we’re one big English-learning family!”


Montessori English is more than just a teaching methodology; it’s an approach that respects the individual learner, promotes creativity and collaboration, and enhances language skills.

With these strengths, it carries immense potential to transform English learning for children around the globe, setting them up not just for academic success but for lifelong learning and personal growth.

The value of Montessori English lies in its ability to cultivate a deep and lasting understanding of the language, and it’s this depth of understanding genuinely sets Montessori learners apart.


What is the Montessori English curriculum?

The Montessori English curriculum integrates language learning with other subjects like history, science, and art. It includes phonics, grammar, creative writing, reading comprehension, and vocabulary, all designed to enhance students’ language skills while promoting a love for learning.

What is the Montessori method in the UK?

In the UK, the Montessori method is recognized for its individualized, child-centered approach to education. British Montessori schools follow the core Montessori principles of self-directed learning, respect for each child’s individual pace, and a strong emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning.

How does the Montessori method differ from traditional teaching methods?

Unlike traditional teaching methods that often involve rote learning and a one-size-fits-all approach, the Montessori method respects each child’s unique learning style and pace. It encourages children to take charge of their own learning, fostering independence, creativity, and critical thinking skills.

Is the Montessori method effective for all children?

While every child is different, the Montessori method’s focus on individualized, self-paced learning can benefit many children. It respects each child’s unique learning style and encourages them to explore and learn at their own pace, making it a flexible and adaptable teaching method.

What age groups is the Montessori method suitable for?

The Montessori method can be applied to a wide range of age groups, from toddlers to adolescents. Its principles of self-directed learning and respect for each child’s individual pace make it adaptable to the varying developmental stages of children.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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