Our institute starting in 2002 was the first in Hungary to combine the Montessori education with bilingual education (Hungarian-English). Our experiences of the past 15 years prove that acquiring two languages simultaneously facilitates the development of the children in several areas such as problem solving, differentiating skills and their natural curiosity about foreign languages.
“Help me to do it myself!”
We opened our crèche in September, 2007 in order to promote the opportunity for toddlers to receive Montessori education combined with early second language development.
Beyond the primary socialization development and everyday care, we aimed at developing independence in our children, which represents a core element in Montessori philosophy. We constantly strive to provide a loving environment for our infants where they can acquire those basic self-serving tasks that are in accordance with their age and their level of maturity in a supportive bilingual environment that we ensure throughout the day in
Hungarian and English.
We are devoted to the Montessori philosophy in our activities as well. The day starts with the „circle” when we focus on the world that surrounds us by singing songs, learning rhymes, moving around and gentle rocking. Our Montessori approach appears not only in the atmosphere of the crèche and our individual treatment, but also in the toddlers’ room which reflects the principles of the prepared environment that helps children access toys on open shelves which
facilitates the self-development of the children.
Mixed age groups:
According to our experiences, speech production in the second language starts around age 5 as a result of the bilingual input of the previous years. Prior to that, the language development mostly concerns speech processing, and the utterances of the children are usually repetitive in nature. It seems that the development of the second language accelerates at this age; children realise the grammatical rules of the second language and operate with words spontaneously, creating individual expressions and sentences. Thanks to the mixed age groups of children in the kindergarten, the older children gain confidence while observing and helping the smaller children which also facilitates the speaking competence in the second language. This process is supported in the OGRE group. Besides the above described, our original aim remains to create a bridge between kindergarten and school.
Two teacher model
We apply the two teacher model in our school, having a Hungarian language speaking and an English language speaking teacher in the groups at the same time.
Role of the Hungarian speaking teacher involves:
- facilitating the acquisition of Hungarian phonemes properly
- developing verbal and acoustic attention span
- facilitating proper sentence formation and grammatical correctness
- vocabulary development, developing speaking, listening, understanding and expressive language skills
- teaching stories, poems and nursery rhymes
- Montessori mother tongue development educational area
- preparing and establishing the English speaking teacher’s work in the language acquisition area as well as in other Montessori areas such practical life development, sensory, math and cosmic areas
Role of the English speaking teacher involves:
- relying on the developed language sensitivity and curiosity of the children
- ensuring that the second language acquisition follow the developments of the mother tongue
- drawing attention to the different phonemes and morphemes of the mother tongue and the second language
- developing active and passive vocabulary through situational language use
- stories, poems, rhymes in English are picked from a massive collection so that we are able to make the festivals, celebrations and traditions more colourful. This collection is constantly extended
- developing expressive language using the Montessori tools and materials
- forming simple and compound sentences, reinforcing natural language processing and language use
We, teachers, support and complete each other. We believe that cooperation is a must while educating and helping children successfully.
Children’s dance theatre
In our children’s dance theatre, the children give a performance at a very high standard twice in a school year. Throughout the school year, we work with cosmic subjects of the Montessori pedagogy as well as doing a project work over a period of time. The children gain new knowledge, which they enlarge by doing arts and crafts, music, dance, poems, stories and drama play according to their and their teacher’s creativity.
By taking part in performances:
- children’s personality can blossom
- they practice acting out feelings, thoughts, their fantasy as well as empathy
- cooperation with peers, movements in costumes on stage
- spatial movements, development of rhythms, skills for self-expression
- they learn to be able to express themselves in front of an audience, which is an important skill in our life
- they are able to perform stories joyfully, their memories can develop, their vocabulary enriches.
- they become able to use Hungarian as well as English language in front of an audience
The music, the costumes, the decorations are the product of the children’s and the teacher’s creativity. The performances of the Montessori Bilingual Nursery and Creche are held in Hungarian and in English. These programs are open for everybody. The dates and times of the theatre play will be found on the homepage in December and in the beginning of June. Not at least, the participants get and give many everlasting experiences to each other and to the audience.
OGRE – Gifted Education? What’s that?
OGRE was opened in September, 2010, however, at first it was called a preschool group. We focused on establishing the psychic functions necessary to the development of the basic competences. Upon our institute winning the Support for Gifted Education in Pre-schools tender, our original plan was slightly altered, and we aimed at creating a workshop for the children where we could develop English language skills using selected games for this purpose. However, in reality, we were able to achieve much more than that.
Aims of OGRE:
- Advanced English language development for children older than 5 years.
- Personality development in the weaker areas of the children (inter and intrapersonal competencies)
- Facilitating school start during the last year of the nursery school.
Who can attend OGRE group?
Children who are older than 5 and attend one of our kindergarten groups. They leave their group every third week from Monday to Friday, from 8.30 am to 15.00 pm. They spend the rest of the day with their usual group
Children at our school:
- are happy and confident, not afraid of revealing what hurts their sense of justice, but also capable to accept when they are wrong,
- independent, for all support is provided within organised framework for not requiring adult help in self-service or getting dressed,
- creative and not afraid of exploring unfamiliar things,
- receive English language input throughout the day, which they also use in communication situations accordingly,
- get acquainted with letters and numbers as part of the Montessori environment,
- can grow in a stress-fee, loving environment,
- spend their early childhood with the Montessori skills development system which encourages them to develop and learn at their own pace,
- learn spontaneously and effortlessly using the specially designed Montessori learning materials
- are provided with talent development,
- receive speech development support,
- can select the work activity they want to get involved in, which promotes self-development
- accept, love and respect each other and any living being in the world, because they know that we are all tiny parts of our world.