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The Basics of Bilingual Montessori

Aoife Ahern, Bilingual Specialist

Heidi Philippart, AMI 0-3 Trainer

Teng-Chien Yu, AMI 3-6 Trainer

Kyla Morenz, AMI 6-12 Trainer



6:00 - 8:00 PM CEST (GMT+2)


6:00 - 8:00 PM CEST (GMT+2)


6:00 - 8:00 PM CEST (GMT+2)

MAY 23

6:00 - 8:00 PM CEST (GMT+2)


15 EUR
per person
Recording of a discussion with Aoife Ahern
April 11, 2022
15 EUR
per person
Recording of a discussion with Heidi Philippart
April 25, 2022
15 EUR
per person
Recording of a discussion with Teng-Chien Yu
May 9, 2022
15 EUR
per person
Recording of a discussion with Kyla Morenz
May 23, 2022

Access to the recordings and handout materials granted until August 31, 2022

A unique opportunity to hear AMI trainers, researchers, school administrators, AMI guides and second language teachers talk with each other about core Montessori principles and second language acquisition!


Marikay McCabe, PhD

Founder and Director of Learning Ecologies, BM Partner Organization; Methodologist
Estonia / Spain

Aoife Ahern, PhD

Professor of Languages Education, Universidad Complutense of Madrid

Lucy Welsted

Founder and Director of Montessori Cordoba International School and The Education for Life Group, BM Partner Organization

Maria Smirnova

Founder and Director of Montessori @ Work, BM Partner Organization

Lucie Urbancikova, M.Ed.

ESL Teacher and Methodologist
Czech Republic

Miroslava Vlckova

Founder and Executive Director of Montessori Institute Prague; BM Project Main Coordinator
Czech Republic


To gain the best results during an upcoming project "Building Bilingual Programs in Elementary Schools" (2022-2025) the project team will start their work by holding FOUR ONLINE DISCUSSION SESSIONS with acknowledged specialists to lay the foundation of principles of bilingual education in each plane of development as understood by Montessori along with the current trends in bilingual education outside of the Montessori setting.

Join the fishbowl sessions to watch the discussions between the project team and the specialists and deepen your understanding of how to build and implement bilingual programs in Montessori schools!

3 AMI Trainers

A Bilingual Specialist

2 Bilingual School Administrators

An AMI 6-12 Trained Guide

2 ESL Teachers


During the first session Introduction to the Basics of Bilingual Education: Terminology and Basic Concepts the project team in the guidance of Language Specialist Aoife Ahern will explore knowledge about child second language development in connection with recent developments in bilingual education, and some of their practical consequences, in relation to the question of how schools can effectively establish and maintain evidence-based practices for contributing to pupils’ flourishing as multilingual individuals.

An overview will be provided of the stages of child first and second language learning, and some of the predominant views on the fundamental characteristics of these processes.

Different kinds of bilingual education programmes will be summed up and related to the principles that underly them, with a view to linking them to some critical considerations that have led to new perspectives on language education: these include the revision of the roles of the first and second languages in the classroom and the need for implementing functional approaches to bilingual literacy such as genre pedagogy.

Aoife Ahern

PhD, Spanish Linguistics
Aoife Ahern is professor at the School of Education, Complutense University of Madrid, where she has worked for 15 years as a teacher educator in the area of second language learning. Her teaching involves preparing teachers of ESL at kindergarten and bilingual elementary schools. She has published a range of research studies, articles and books related to pragmatics, language acquisition, second language teaching and learning, bilingual literacy instruction.


In the second session the project team will discuss the principles of bilingual education in the age group 0-3 with AMI Teacher Trainer Heidi Philippart. Together they will look at the child under 3, who is required to create language, the language of the environment and the language of the group/culture.

The discussion will be reflected upon the ability of the first plane child to learn any language, and as many languages as are spoken in the environment.

Heidi will guide the team to think about the Montessori approach, following the interests and abilities of the child. The child will do the rest, as he/she is driven to become a fully social being of his/her time and place.

Heidi Philippart

AMI 0-3 Trainer, Consultant and School Owner
Heidi Philippart M.A.(Edu), A.M.I.(Dip), lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She runs two Montessori Bilingual Preschools working with 80 - 90 families every year. Her speciality is helping parents in the application of Montessori principles and bilingualism in the home environment.


In the third session AMI Teacher Trainer Teng-Chien Yu will share his experience with the project team and the fishbowl discussions audience to reflect upon the principles of bilingual education in the age group 3-6.

Coming from Taiwan which is a multi-lingual society where most people growing up are exposed to at least two languages, Teng-Chien started teaching English as a foreign language since his early twenties and discovered that the acquisition of a foreign language is very much similar process as learning mother tongue.

Having applied several methodologies in his work as well as designing curriculums and training English teachers, he will share during this session with what he have experimented.

Teng-Chien Yu

AMI 3-6 Teacher Trainer
Teng-Chien Yu is an AMI Primary Teacher Trainer born and raised in Taiwan. Teaching English in Montessori schools in Taipei opened his eyes to an entirely new perspective. He obtained his Primary Diploma with Joen Bettmann in Cleveland, Ohio. Teng-Chien has worked mostly in Asia, primarily Taiwan and China. He has served as an observer and consultant in Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore. After becoming an AMI Primary Teacher Trainer in 2019, he started his first position as the Director of Training at Train Montessori by Great Work, Inc. Currently he lives in Denver, Colorado, USA.
50 EUR
per person


In the last session the project team will discuss the principles of bilingual education in the age group 6-12 with AMI Teacher Trainer Kyla Morenz.

Kyla will guide the team to address not only "what", "how" and "why" when developing a method for supporting the acquisition of additional language(s), but also the "who", "when" and "where". Together with the team she will look more closely at the "who" and "where" questions within the context of the Montessori approach to education as "a preparation for life" and examine the characteristics of children from 6 to 12 years of age.

The team will also be encouraged to look at the prepared environment which Dr. Montessori has suggested responds appropriately to these characteristics.

Kyla Morenz

AMI 6-12 Teacher Trainer
Kyla Morenz is an AMI Elementary Trainer from Toronto, Canada. She is the Director of Elementary Training at the Montessori Training Centre of BC, in Vancouver, Canada and a Co-trainer at Montessori Institute Prague. Kyla regularly mentors Montessori elementary teachers and schools in Canada, Morocco, and the Czech Republic. In addition to her 3-6 and 6-12 AMI diplomas, Kyla obtained her TESOL certificate in 2011. She has assisted with the development of French as an additional language in Montessori elementary classrooms in Canada and the development of an approach to teaching Arabic as an additional language in both 3-6 and 6-12 Montessori classrooms in Morocco.
50 EUR
per person



The series of online fishbowl discussions between Montessori education and language experts is a pilot event to a project funded by the Erasmus program called "Building Bilingual Programs in Elementary Schools" (2022-2025). The main outcomes of the project will be three online courses and corresponding methodologies on how to build and implement bilingual Montessori programs. These courses and methodologies will be designed for school administrators, trained Montessori guides and second language teachers.

To learn more about the project visit the project website.


If you have more questions, please use this form to contact us.