Dr. Montessori always pointed out that the young child has a natural sensitivity for language development which follows closely on the years when he or she learns to speak his or her native language (Montessori, 1966). The child at three, four and five has a unique fascination for words, both printed and spoken.
This fascination often enables the child to begin reading and writing before the age at which it is traditionally taught. Reading instruction can begin on the day when the child wants to know what a word says or when she or he shows interest in using the Sandpaper Letters. Writing or the construction of words with movable letters, nearly always precedes reading in a Montessori environment.