Martin Howes is part of the team of Primaria 2. As a Montessori Trained Guide, he is more than just a Native English Instructor.

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Martin originally comes from South Africa and has already been teaching 17 years; 6 of that in a Montessori environment. He is developing further the bilingual concept of GaLeMo: “I´m thrilled to be part of the GaLeMo team. Working with the 4th class I have already realized that they have a good base from Primaria 1. You can see that they are motivated to work with somebody who is not able to speak German with them. Primaria 1, Erdkinder directress and I agree that we really benefit from each other and support the language development in each classroom.”

When asking Martin what makes the Montessori bilingual concept so special, he quoted a pupil who attended an English camp during the summer holidays. “This 11-year-old boy didn´t like the camp and I asked him why.” He said, “We didn´t do any mathematics or any other interesting topics!” This boy understood English not only as a second language but he was wholly absorbed.He wanted to live the language and not to learn vocabulary by heart.”

The Montessori prepared environment allows the child to use the material in their native tongue as well as in English at the same time. For example: In geometry, pupils learn angles in Austrian German and in English. Children love this way of using the material to learn a language. The benefit for pupils is obvious: “It builds their confidence to use the language as a communication tool and not only basic vocabulary”.

This school year Martin wants to push ‘The Project Days’ and build the community through these special days. He is already working on exciting learning resources for the pupils. “I am looking forward to developing English in GaLeMo. For myself, I am looking forward to working closely with the parents in the GaLeMo community.”

 

Text and Photograph: Monika Huemayer (with a little help from Martin Howes himself)


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