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Intercultural Montessori Language School

301 South Ridgeland Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302

(708) 848-6626


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

From the Director:

Intercultural is a Dual-Language school that nurtures learning in an environment that celebrates cultural differences. As a school, we aim to educate children to become bilingual and bi-literate, allowing them to acquire skills that better equip them for citizenship within a global society. Respect for one's self, for others, and for the environment are the foundations upon which any Montessori community is built. We believe, as did Maria Montessori, that the world's future depends upon how children receive their education. This belief serves as the cornerstone of Intercultural focus, which is a commitment to impart a love of learning that will last a lifetime, transcend cultural differences, and extend to every corner of the globe. It is a Montessori environment which provides the setting for learning in all curriculum areas; through the careful guidance of the teachers, the students are given a sense of independence that produces dignity and joy. It is within our Montessori school that the Spanish, or Chinese Mandarin Dual Language programs take place and where the student acquires the ability to speak, read, and write in the target languages. Students then continue their work within all the Montessori curriculum areas in the English language.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught Dual Language programs in Chinese and Spanish.

From the Director:

The Dual Language approach is used as the method of teaching a second language, generally referred to as the target language. Each program uses the target language as a teaching tool, not the subject, surrounding the student in this second language. All class activities and curriculum subject areas, (Literacy, Math, Science, History, Art, Music, Practical Life and Sensorial) and other activities such as meals and play, are conducted in the target language.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The use of individual materials permits a varied pace that accommodates many levels of ability in the classroom. A younger or slower child may work for many days on the same material without retarding the other members of the class. Advanced children in the same room can move from one material to another very quickly, thus avoiding the boredom of waiting for other members of the class to catch up.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

To develop confident, multicultural, multilingual children who respect diversity and community and who are caring, capable, enthusiastic and committed to a lifetime of learning.

A Typical Day

Dual Language in the target languages takes place during the first part of the day. The English speaking program is conducted during the second part of the school day. Our aim is to prepare children for their future education in both languages. When the children enter our elementary program, they are fully capable of handling the full Montessori curriculum in two languages.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

New Parent Orientation Evenings are scheduled twice a year to explain the Montessori approach and their daily life within a Dual Language Immersion program.

Montessori Education nights are scheduled twice a year where the student gets to show their parents more detailed overview of their experiences in the classroom setting.

Parent / Teacher Conferences are scheduled twice a year where a progress report is presented to each parent.

Parents are encouraged to schedule observation sessions during regular class time. These activities can then be duplicated by parents outside of school to foster the student development at home.

In addition, the school has three major activities that open the doors to the entire Intercultural community: a Walk-A-Thon / Carnival festival during Halloween, a school wide picnic, and an impressive Spring Gala in Chicago. The school also participates in the Oak Park Ethnic Festival Parade.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school

Handling Separation: From the Director

Prior to starting his/her first day at Intercultural, the child is required to have an observation appointment at the school.

At age three, children will quickly feel happy and comfortable in a Montessori classroom setting, an evironment designed to cultivate his/her own natural desire to learn.

However, when a child is having difficulty, parents are contacted as soon as feasible so that the family can help the school facilitate the child's adjustment.