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Learning another language (or two!) can be as easy for toddlers as learning their first language. They are still in the sensitive period and are starting to learn to speak. We leverage this amazing ability in our Infant Community program by immersing them in a dual-language, Chinese and Japanese environment.


The earlier the child starts in this immersion environment, the better it is. In fact,18-month-olds will learn the new language much faster than 3-year-olds!​ Each Infant Community classroom has two teachers, and at least one teacher speaks Mandarin, and the other in Japanese. Each teacher is a native speaker, and she speaks only in her native language with all children on campus. ​​​​By the time our 3-year-olds graduate from 1 ½ years in the Infant Community program, they are able to understand and speak at an age-appropriate level, in both Japanese and Chinese. They are ready for the next level of language development in our preschool/Children’s House program. Our teachers are masters in making language come alive to your child. Here are some examples of the systems they follow:



During the sensitive period, using the child's 5 senses to learn is most important. When we want children to take off their shoes, we point to the shoes and make the motion of taking them off while saying, slowly (in Japanese or Chinese), "Take off your shoes. Shoes need to come off before we go inside." In addition, teachers emphasize the different emotions a child can have and make sure to acknowledge the feelings to make a child feel safe and heard. If the child doesn't understand the teacher verbally, the teacher will then use their body language to convey their message. The aim is to create a safe community for each child to be accepted and acknowledged. 


We say the same things, in slightly different ways, over and over again. This gives the children the opportunity to parse apart sentences and "absorb" the keywords, which the teacher also emphasizes and connects with body language ("SHOES", pointing to the child’s shoes). Same with emotions, teachers consistently use their body language to help the students express their emotions. Repetition will allow the child to understand their feelings and also understand that they can ask for help.



Our Montessori teachers offer words in direct response to the child’s own activities, providing them at the moment when it matters. ("Oh, the water spilled. Now the floor is wet. Let’s get a sponge and wipe it dry. Feel how wet it is: there’s a puddle of water here. Now, touch the floor, it’s dry again.") We also ask the children to restate their questions in the teacher's language. We encourage children to speak in the target languages, not just listen and understand!


In a three period lesson, we share nomenclature objects (animals, plants, or food) that are related to the world around the child. First, we name the items. Then, we repeat the name for repetition from teacher to child. Lastly, if the child is ready, we ask them for the name of the object.  

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