Spoken Language - Introduction

Introduction to Spoken Language

            The child enters the casa with a functional vocabulary of between 300-500 words, if all has gone well in his first years of life. Ideally, when a child leaves the casa, he will have a vocabulary of 10,000-15,000 words. Being in the sensitive period for language, we try to provide full experiences as well as many activities and opportunities for the child to not only increase his vocabulary, but to strengthen his understanding and clarity of expression.

            Some of the child’s first experiences in the casa will be in the area of language, with the orientation game, having a conversation, reading and telling stories, and the like. We provide cards without words that are specifically for learning the spoken names of familiar and increasingly unfamiliar objects. We play a question game leading the child to the idea that everything he does or uses has a source and a chain of events leading up to his personal experience with it.

            After the child has more experience in the casa in the areas of practical life and sensorial, we begin to provide the language for these activities, studying the parts of familiar objects, as well as exploring poetry, biological classifications and life cycles, further work with the sensorial apparatus for land and water forms, art and culture. We play lots of oral language games which will later be repeated in word study, using written and printed labels to extend the child’s previous knowledge into new realms.

            These activities lay the foundation for further language work. If other areas of language are not progressing as the directress hopes, the directress should return to the beginning of the language range to re-establish a stronger foundation – perhaps something was missed. Children will enter at various levels and the adult should respect each child for his individuality while still working to establish a strong language foundation with him. 


  1. Thank you for this wonderful explanation. This is really helpful. I have a question about oral language games. As I assume one of them is Sound game. What would be the others?

    1. Here is the table of contents for an AMI-style language albums: http://montessorinuggets.blogspot.com/2012/03/language-table-of-contents.html