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1339 results

Honors Thesis

The Seneca Language and Bilingual Road Signs: A Study in the Sociology of an Indigenous Language

Available from: Ohio State University - Knowledge Bank

Americas, Bilingualism, Indigenous communities, North America, North America, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: One of the fundamental types of human rights concerns collective-developmental rights which allow minorities to use heritage languages and practices without external interference (Vašák 1977). The protected status of minority language rights is a critical part of language revitalization in which speakers of heritage languages, faced with the encroachment of more socially, politically, and economically dominant languages, embark on vigorous programs to ensure the survival and continued usage of their language. The Five Nations Iroquoian language, Seneca, has just a few remaining speech communities and a variety of ongoing language revitalization initiatives (Mithun 2012). To revitalize their traditional language, community classes through the Seneca Language Department and the Faithkeepers Montessori School Seneca Language Nest for young speakers have concentrated their efforts on preserving Onöndowa'ga:' Gawë:nö' the indigenous name for the Seneca language (Bowen 2020, Murray 2015). In the public sphere, a push by the Seneca Nation of Indians Department of Transportation fulfilling the intent of the federal Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience (NATIVE) Act enacted in 2016, specifically included bilingual signs for state roads running through indigenous land in addition to other significant components (Figura 2016). In an area whose geographic names are strongly connected to Iroquoian languages including Seneca, these bilingual signs represent more public and visible Seneca language presence and stand as symbols of language revitalization. The place names and information that appear on the signs have considerable significance for community identity as well as linguistic and economic impacts, among others. Through oral histories collected from Seneca Nation members and language advocates in addition to a representative from the New York State Department of Transportation, this study pursues an analysis of the Seneca public usage of their heritage language and the various language revitalization efforts occurring among indigenous and minority communities internationally. As the COVID-19 pandemic threatens already vulnerable populations, heritage languages that have been historically oppressed face a global language crisis that disproportionately harms and disadvantages speakers of heritage and minority languages (Roche 2020). While the language of road signs may seem mundane, this study reveals how the Seneca bilingual signs play a significant role in awareness of indigenous territory and consequently stimulation of the local economy as well as supporting language learning, revitalization, and de-stigmatization. Primarily through the efforts of the Seneca community, the bilingual signs represent the expression of language rights in the public sphere and one part of the ongoing language revitalization.

Language: English

Published: Columbus, Ohio, 2021

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

The Effects of Sign Language on Second Language Acquisition

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: This action research project examined the effects of sign language on the ability of primary students to learn new Spanish vocabulary in a bilingual Montessori classroom. The research took place at a public charter Montessori school in Washington, District of Columbia. Twenty-seven primary school aged children were included in this seven-week study. Sources of data collection included a parent-teacher questionnaire, a baseline assessment, daily observation logs, a daily checklist, a weekly journal, and a summative assessment. Students were grouped by Spanish fluency and taught eight different vocabulary words in Spanish. Half of the words were taught alongside a sign in American Sign Language and the other half were taught without an accompanying sign. The summative assessment data showed that students of all ages displayed a significant increase in their ability to recall new Spanish vocabulary words that were introduced with an accompanying sign in American Sign Language. Future research could examine the roles of sign language and gesturing in helping children recall vocabulary in the long-term.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2016

Doctoral Dissertation

The Potentiality of Play: The Shifting Design Language of Play-Based Learning

Available from: Edinburgh Napier University

Montessori method of education - Criticism, interpretation, etc., Play, Student-centered learning

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Abstract/Notes: This thesis, underpinned by cross-cultural design ethnography (DE) and research through design (RtD), re-reads play-based learning constructs as design practice. In doing so, it charts the shifting relationship between design and theories of play-based learning. The work frames the design of play-based learning processes, from their emergence in historical learning environments such as the Montessori method to current pedagogies of STEAM learning. This evolutionary focus will be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders such as pedagogues, designers, and policy makers, each of whom contribute to where, what and how children are taught. This thesis presents the following arguments: Firstly, it frames and re-reads key historical play pedagogues as designers and design thinkers, whose work has shaped and influenced the evolution of play-based learning through the inception of play artefacts, spaces, and structures. This thesis further elucidates that design-thinking has been at the heart of play-based learning, demonstrated through the design of modular and standardised pedagogic objects and spaces of historic learning environments. The design evolution within this framework helps to enlighten the development of tinkering and iterative prototyping as twenty-first century affordances of learning through play. Secondly, this thesis uses observation-based design ethnography of the Montessori method, to argue that Montessori’s restrictive pedagogy can be counterproductive to learning through intuitive processes of exploration and iteration. Thirdly, by adapting the practice-based research method of research through design (RtD), the thesis demonstrates and proposes that twenty-first century design affordances of tinkering and iteration can be suitably integrated to enrich historic play-based learning environments such as the Montessori method. In each of these arguments, the ways in which pedagogic theories of play are interwoven with the language of design thinking are revealed. By bringing into focus the triad of play, pedagogy, and design, an additional educational landscape of twenty-first century cultural learning environments is explored. Cultural learning environments (CLEs) such as museums and public galleries extend the scope of play-based learning beyond formalised spaces of schools and bring into relief, the predominance of design while incepting platforms, ateliers, and activities to initiate learning through play.

Language: English

Published: Edinburgh, Scotland, 2021

Book Section

Language Games Children Play: Language Invention in a Montessori Primary School

Available from: Springer Link

Book Title: Handbook of the Changing World Language Map

Pages: 1-14

Child development, Imaginary languages, Language acquisition, Linguistics, Montessori method of education, Montessori schools

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Abstract/Notes: This chapter illustrates the main results of a language laboratory held in a Montessori primary school in Milan, Italy, during 7 years. Pupils (age: 9–11) are guided in the collective invention of a secret language, using all their linguistic repertoire present in class – including minority and home languages. The structure of the language is highly influenced by the language of instruction (in our case, Italian), but, at the same time, it differs from that because its aim is to be secret. In other words, the invented language is shared among the class members only, who know how to decipher its alphabet and grammar, unlike other schoolmates. Secrecy permits the inventor to insert elements from other languages, resulting in an a priori language contact. During the process of invention, participants increase their metalinguistic awareness and thus their understanding of the languages they are studying formally – in our case, Italian and English. The Montessori method fosters a “learning-by-doing” approach and an active interdisciplinary cross-fertilization (called Cosmic Education). In fact, pupils may use the secret language to create an imaginary country – usually an island – and conceive a utopian society, putting together notions of natural sciences (for instance, orography) and social sciences, in particular, to describe the ideal human society speaking their secret language. The chapter also includes reflection on how this language laboratory can be applied in other educational contexts, maintaining its original character of being a serious game for learning.

Language: English

Published: Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2019

ISBN: 978-3-319-73400-2

Article

CD-ROM Taal: taalbeschouwing, taaldozen, taalsymbolen en ontleden [CD-ROM Language: language reflection, language boxes, language symbols and parsing]

Publication: MM: Montessori mededelingen, vol. 24, no. 2

Pages: 32-33

Language acquisition, Language arts, Montessori method of education

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Language: Dutch

ISSN: 0166-588X

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

You Don’t Need to Speak to be Heard: The Effects of Using American Sign Language with Hearing Lower Elementary Montessori Children

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research, American Sign Language (ASL), Language acquisition, Montessori method of education

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Abstract/Notes: Our research introduced the use of ASL signs with hearing elementary children and examined if this intervention affected the noise level produced in the classroom. The project was performed in two Montessori lower elementary classrooms (1st-3rd grade); one at a Maine private Montessori school, with 28 hearing children, and one at a Wisconsin public Montessori school, with 34 hearing children. In Wisconsin the researcher was a teacher in the classroom, in Maine the researcher was not. Data was measured using four tools: a decibel measuring app, observation form, tally sheet, and a structured discussion. In both classrooms, the change in noise level was minimal, decreasing by 2% overall. Qualitative results, however, indicate the project was worthwhile. The children responded positively to instructions given using ASL and their enthusiasm of learning signs justified the intervention. The intervention granted the children opportunities to discuss exceptionalities. We recognized the importance in such conversations and encouraged this dialogue.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2019

Doctoral Dissertation

Barriers Contributing to the Minimal Participation of African American Parents in Their Children's Schools: A Qualitative Case Study of African American Parent Involvement in an Urban K–8 Elementary School in Minnesota

Available from: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

African American community, African Americans, Americas, North America, Early childhood education - Parent participation, Montessori method of education, Montessori schools, North America, Parent participation, Parent-teacher relationships, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: This research is a case study of African American parent involvement at a urban Montessori school in Minnesota. African American parents at this school have had limited involvement in conferences, PTSO meetings, school activities, and on the Site-Based Leadership Team. An examination of the literature was made to investigate the influences on African American parents when they make decisions about their parental involvement. This research covered the historical background, theoretical background, implications, racial barriers, and strategies that increased African American parent involvement. An ethnography was designed to gather data from 9 mothers of African American students. These parents provided information about their backgrounds and their experiences with the school. Staff at the school (6) were interviewed as to their experiences with African American parent involvement. The results of the study offer findings on attitudes, perceptions, needs and ideas for improving African American parent involvement at any school.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2000

Article

Task-based Language Learning in Bilingual Montessori Elementary Schools: Customizing Foreign Language Learning and Promoting L2 Speaking Skills

Available from: Universität Bern (Switzerland)

Publication: Linguistik Online, vol. 54, no. 4

Pages: 69-83

Bilingualism, Language acquisition

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Abstract/Notes: Foreign language learning has been a part of German elementary schools for several years now. Montessori schools focusing on individual learning, i.e. mostly independent from the teacher and based on auto-education, interest, and free choice, are also asked to teach an L2. The original lack of a concept of L2 learning for this environment has brought forth different approaches. Bilingual education seems to be feasible and applicable in Montessori education. The downside to this is that even in a bilingual classroom the Montessori way of learning may not allow for very much oral production of the foreign language. The role of L2 production (cf. Swain 1985, 1995, 2005) for language acquisition has been theoretically claimed and empirically investigated. Output can have a positive influence on L2 learning (cf. e.g. Izumi 2002, Keck et al. 2006). This also applies to interaction (cf. Long 1996), where negotiation of meaning and modified output are factors supporting L2 development (cf. e.g. de la Fuente 2002, McDonough 2005). Task-based Language Learning (TBLL) presents itself as one way to promote oral language production and to provide opportunities for meaning-negotiation. Especially tasks with required information exchange and a closed outcome have been shown to be beneficial for the elicitation of negotiation of meaning and modified output. This paper argues that TBLL is a promising approach for the facilitation of L2 production and thus the development of speaking skills in a Montessori context. It also hypothesizes that TBLL can be implemented in a bilingual Montessori environment while still making the Montessori way of learning possible. Different tasks on various topics, examples of which are presented in this article, can lay the foundation for this. Offering such tasks in a bilingual Montessori elementary classroom promises to foster language production and the use of communication strategies like negotiation of meaning, both being facilitative for L2 acquisition. This hypothesis remains to be tested in future research.

Language: German

DOI: 10.13092/lo.54.284

ISSN: 1615-3014

Doctoral Dissertation

Birth to Three Language Acquisition: Influences of Ambient Language in the Montessori Setting

Available from: Long Island University - Institutional Repository

Language development, Montessori method of education - Evaluation

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Abstract/Notes: There is an expanse of literature looking at various topics supporting Montessori education, especially in preschool; however, there is a lack of research in infant and toddler Montessori classrooms. Most of the empirical data regarding language acquisition has focused on the child’s acquisition of vocabulary through direct instruction, rather than the learning capability from overhearing a third party in a naturalistic setting. The purpose of this intervention study was to add to the limited empirical research on language acquisition in infant and toddler Montessori environments. More specifically, the intervention assessed if infants and toddlers could indirectly acquire new vocabulary through the Absorbent Mind from teachers and peers’ ambient dialogue during the Montessori three-period lesson. The research utilized a descriptive, correlational pre-and-post quasi-experimental design to assess and analyze vocabulary and ambient language. Data collection occurred in three Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and American Montessori Society (AMS) infant and toddler mixed-aged environments throughout New York State and Maryland. The Language Environmental Analysis (LENA) system was used to analyze audio recordings. Transcriptions of audio recordings quantified vocabulary acquisition and ambient language. Paired t-tests and ANCOVA were used to analyze children’s acquired vocabulary. A fidelity scale analyzed the extent to which Montessori trained teachers adhered to the three-period lesson intervention. The findings provide opportunities to improve infant and toddler teachers' classroom practice related to language acquisition. Suggestions were offered for early childhood teacher preparation programs.

Language: English

Published: Brookville, New York, 2021

Book Section

Inclusive Product Design: Applicating the Montessori Methodology into the Design Conception of Children’s Products

Available from: Springer Link

Book Title: Perspectives on Design II: Research, Education and Practice

Pages: 367-383

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Abstract/Notes: This article presents the results of an ongoing scientific initiation research, as well as the contributions attained from a Research Internships Abroad Program (BEPE/FAPESP) which sought to expand the theoretical framework on design processes regarding sensory products in the European Market. The study focuses on toys for children with blindness or low vision, including its design process, all the way though its physical prototyping. Here follows the adopted structure of analysis: (a) Theoretical review on the design of sensory products and the contribution of the Montessori method; (b) Application of synchronous analysis amid similar children’s toys from the European market, specifically those commercialized in Portugal; (c) Project development with generation and selection of alternatives; (d) Experimental execution of the physical prototype at the Prototype Laboratory. Thus, this research aims to contribute to the development of sensory products through the Montessori method, as well as stimulating further research in the areas of Product Design and Inclusive Design.

Language: English

Published: Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2022

ISBN: 978-3-030-79879-6

Series: Springer Series in Design and Innovation , 16

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