“Exploring the 100 Languages of Children”
One of the most diverse components of the Reggio Approach is the ‘100 Languages of Children’.The ‘languages’ themselves are the countless ways that children learn; and more specifically, how they express their thoughts and ideas.Actually, the term ‘language’ is very broad, because for our purposes it extends far beyond the concept of just the spoken or written word.
The Infant Program is a wonderful example of how children embody the 100 Languages.Even though they may have very little or no verbal skills when they initially start with us, they are constantly expressing themselves through how they explore materials in their learning environment.
Take a close look at the pictures and ask yourself:What materials are the children using?What are the children doing with their chosen materials?
It’s important to remember that these are all ways that children are expressing themselves.How they hold, carry and manipulate their chosen materials is a language.The materials themselves, whether it’s pen and paper, blocks, or loose parts such as boxes and tubes are a language. Even how they move their bodies to engage with the materials is a language as well.As educators, it’s our job to interpret that multitude of language presented to us by the children so we can provide activities, set up our learning environments, and document the learning that is taking place.In fact, in many ways we are acting as translators, since we are conveying the children’s languages to parents, colleagues, and to our community.
We continue to be amazed at the children’s curiosity, versatility and divergent ways of thinking and we are so excited to share these moments with you!
Don McMahon RECE
Jessica Chikoski RECE.