Immersion and Repetition are Essential for Language Learning

Carolina Martino

Carolina Martino

Having students in a classroom is very much like planting seeds.

To have a good harvest you must plant in the right season. In Whitby’s Children’s House program, we create an environment where a Montessori education is paired with the fundamental tenets of an IB programme. Maria Montessori describes the early years between zero and six as the time of the absorbent mind. 

"The 'absorbent mind' welcomes everything, puts its hope in everything, accepts poverty equally with wealth, adopts any religion and the prejudices and habits of its countrymen, incarnating all in itself. This is the child!" 

-Maria Montessori 

We all know that young children have an enormous capacity for learning. Their ability to absorb allows children to acquire language, learn how to move and begin their journey toward independence. Around age three, children begin to become more conscious and begin to make sense of the information they are receiving. At this time, they start to become more intentional learners. Being mindful about this developmental stage gives us an amazing window of opportunity for additional language learning. 

The concept of immersion into a language classroom is—in the Montessori framework—built on an environment that develops and exercises "mental muscle." Including the target language in everyday routine activities builds inclusion, comfort, self-esteem, and confidence. These everyday activities can include sorting and labeling images, arranging flowers, preparing food, and echoing colors, senses, and counting. Uninterrupted periods of time, and being mindful of the lessons, projects and activities we design for each transdisciplinary unit will certainly help children make connections hand and hand, in both languages.


It is essential to have ownership of our learning environment and language acquisition to have passion for the language. Time for repetition and understanding in an immersion setting is nothing less than remarkable. In our classrooms, we have units of inquiry that help us connect, and repeat words and concepts throughout the year across the curriculum.

Ultimately, exercises of practical life in the target language will most definitely transfer to constructing meaning and intellect way beyond grade school, creating a bountiful harvest of students not only in one language, but in two.

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Carolina Martino

Carolina Martino

Carolina Martino is a teacher who believes in education for peace, kindness and good character, but most importantly that everyone has a voice and the potential to become their best selves. Her passions are family, cooking, traveling, writing, and art…and of course teaching Spanish!