Montessori Language Approach by Muriel Dwyer
This is the essential guide to the Montessori approach to language education. Dr. Montessori originally developed her method for helping children to learn Italian, a completely phonetic language. But it was Muriel Dwyer who used that method to tackle the complexities of non-phonetic languages like English and Swahili. Muriel Dwyer was a brilliant AMI Teacher Trainer who worked extensively in both London and Africa (in the Swahili language).
This short booklet is a thorough and complete update to Ms. Dwyer's classic, "A Key to Writing and Reading for English." It emphasizes exploration and conversation as the foundation for literacy while also providing specific exercises adults can do with the children--the keys of the Dwyer/Montessori reading scheme. Maitri Learning follows this approach and provides many of the materials Ms. Dwyer specifies in detail in this book.
40 pages. Published by the North American Montessori Teacher's Association (NAMTA). Read a blog post about this booklet.
APA cite: Dwyer, M.I. (2004). A path for the exploration of any language leading to writing and reading: As part of the total Montessori approach to the development of language. NAMTA Journal, 29(3).
Read this testimonial from a Montessori educator about how valuable she found the book.
Here is a video of Maitri Learning's founder Julia Volkman giving a lesson on Ms. Dwyer's phonogram folders (described in detail in this booklet).
A few notes on the video. First, Julia is pretending she has a child working with her. Each time she says, "you can do" something, you would typically step back and let the child do the action. You want the child to put their hands on the materials as soon as they have had a clear example of how to handle them skillfully. The adult should become less and less necessary. Next, The materials themselves are not ideal. The books should not have a sideways version of the letters on the inside front cover, the covers should be red, and the word choice is not optimal. Maitri Learning is working on creating its own version of the Dwyer folders for release in 2021.