Learner autonomy in foreign language acquisition: inside secondary Montessori classrooms

Camilla Miller, Anika Albrecht

The objective of this workshop is to share best practices and lessons learned from European Montessori secondary classrooms with examples from Berlin (Germany) and Drammen (Norway), focusing on foreign language acquisition practices in secondary education (ages 12-18). We will provide concrete examples of student work and assessments/documentation as well as practical tips for the organization of work cycles and guide impulses in mixed-age learning communities and material. This will include examples directly from students through video, art, posters, reflection notes and other written work as concrete examples for self-expression fostering self-construction of the adolescent’s personality through the means of language.

Camilla Miller has 16 years of experience as an educator and school administrator and has led educational workshops, professional forums and plenary sessions in both Europe and the USA. Since 2014 she has been a mentor and a teacher of English and Social Studies at Heltberg Private Gymnas Drammen in Norway which practices Montessori methods for ages 15-18. Her educational background includes undergraduate studies in Liberal Arts from Pacific Lutheran University, Applied Sciences from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, teaching credentials for adolescents and adults from the University of Oslo as well as graduate studies in mentoring and coaching within the teaching profession, also from the University of Oslo. Camilla Miller is a member of Montessori Europe’s working group on secondary education.

Anika Albrecht has 15 year of teaching experience in planes 1-3. She is a world languages material author for different publishing houses for young learners and adolescents. She holds one Montessori diploma for 3-12 year olds (IfgL, Kaul ), a German Montessori diploma for adolescents (Kegler and IfgL, Kaul) and partook in the  AMI/NAMATA Adolescent Orientation at the farmschool in Ohio. Her further educational background includes basic studies in Sociology and Social Psychology, she holds a German diploma for interpretation and translation and is mediator. Anika Albrecht is a member of Montessori Europe’s working group on Secondary education and of the IATFL Learner Autonomy Special Interest group.