The Trilingua method

A child has 100 languages but they steal 99 (Loris Malaguzzi)

This famous poem is the Philosophy which Trilingua was built on and the atmosphere that we have created in our preschool. Languages that the children create themselves through their own creativity over the spoken language. Everyday we give the children the chance  to develop and find ways to keep their languages, the ones that are set in every child. We, as pedagogues are here to guide and support the children. Therefore it is very important that the children meet pedagogues who speak French or English fluently.

The priority for the families who choose Trilingua is to let their children learn these languages .They believe that their children should learn or continue learning a second or a third language.

We also co-operate with the home concerning the child’s upbringing and discuss with parents the rules and attitudes of the pre-school. Our aim is to work on  developping their languages.

There is a pedagogical thought behind. We live in a big world with so many different cultures and religions where it is so natural to be associated with languages since most of the children are raised in a multicultural environment. However,  there are also many parents who have chosen Trilingua  despite the fact  that both belong to the same cultural background.

We, at Trilingua believe that it is very important to let the child grow up in an environment surrounded by languages. A child can hear languages from the time they are not even born. They hear sounds when they are still in their mothers womb. The children can not speak with words in the beginning but they hear the languages. A child learns one word at a time. As an adult when we learn one language we want to build sentences at once. Children have a great capacity to see languages like boxes. They know  in which “box” they are supposed to put every word, and this happens when the children have the chance to experience different languages. Children can   pick  up  words from ”the right box” in the right situation, and they know which language to speak to which teacher.The most effective way of learning a language is “Learning by doing” John Dewey.

To be around different cultures, to know your world at an early stage in life can prevent mobbing. Tolerance, respect and equal value are something of great importance to us.

Creativity, freeplay, motricity and social skills are important bricks in the work of learning languages. This includes all the hundreds languages from the spoken languages to all the other 99 languages. That is why the activities are given a priority, for example music or creativity have much more effective when done together with conversation.

“Our inspiration from the view of Reggio Emilia pedagogic inspires us to see the mankinds possibilities . A deep respect for the child and a strong veiw that all are born intelligent and with a strong force to discover the world. We want to discover the world together with the children and we want to learn from each other. We observe each child individually and in the group. As we observe the child we document what we see. Therefore we want to be open towards different opinions and encourage that . Every child should be given a possibility and have their own opinion and be able to make choices from their own presumption. At Trilingua every day is different depending how the child react and we adapt the day for the best rhythm of the child. We document this and together with the children we do activities in harmony and joy.”

The Trilingua method has been developed in order to achieve three fundamental objectives which are the following:

Autonomy

“The pre-school’s work with children should thus take place in close and confidential co-operation with the home.” (Lpfö 98 rev)
Help the child to negotiate successfully the transition between  home and family to school and collectivity.

Socialization

“The pre-school should take into account and develop the children’s ability to take responsibility and manage their social life in society so that solidarity and tolerance are established at an early stage” Lpfö 98 rev.
To help develop a sense of security permitting the child to enter into relationships with others and thus prepare him/herself for the different challenges and stages of their future social life.

Indoors we avoid loud noise games as it can hurt the ears and can cause fatigue and lack of concentration ability.

Learning

“The activities strengthen the child’s interest in learning and mastering new experiences, knowledge and skills.(“Lpfö98 rev)
To stimulate the child through various activities in order to develop their abilities and to broaden their knowledge base while maintaining focus on language acquisition.

The uniqueness of Trilingua is its multilingual setting and multicultural approach. We are the first trilingual pre-school in Stockholm offering French, Swedish and English sections and proposing an educational project around these three languages.

All children have the opportunity to participate in activities in all three languages.

The Trilingua method is based on a long process of observation, listening to and respecting the children’s individual development. The pedagogues play the role of companion and coach stimulating the child to entice him /her  in his/ her own exploration which gives him/her confidence and a feeling of progress.

We can see how important structure is when we work with several languages. For example we have one department for English language . We have sports once a week for all the groups. Specialised pedagogues come once a week to some of the departments.Therefore it is so important to divide the children into small groups so they can assimilate the language. We always work according to the need of the children.

Learning a language is done through freeplay, art, motor skills, singing, music, dance and drama. We see that the structure gives confidence to the children and also to their parents. We have a responsibility towards the parents to make sure that their child gets the language they have chosen.

It is like a circle where the priorities are socialisation, autonomy and learning. The parents and the children are well informed about our aims and the children look forward to exploring a new language.

Trilingua´s mission is to give each child the opportunity to keep developing physical and intellectual capacities in a warm, quiet and harmonious environment where he/she feels respected, listened to and emotionally secure. We would like  all the children to get real influence on the way of working and the activities content.

Trilingua´s method enables each child to develop naturally while being surrounded by, and acquiring, values such as self-respect, tolerance and responsibility.

We propose activities which stimulate cognitive, psychomotor, emotional and creative spheres of the children’s development.

Trilingua is also a place of communication and exchange between the parents and the team. We aim to establish a strong relationship with all families by informing parents of the day’s events, presenting and commenting on their children’s work. Trilingua organizes regular “Fika’s” and occasionally invite external guests to participate in our multicultural and multilingual reflection on child care.

We think it is important to take due account of parent’s viewpoints when planning and carrying out activities . (“Lpfö98″)