Fundamentals or Reggio Series: The Hundred Languages

By February 7, 2018Parkland Players

This is the fifth post in a series of posts on the fundamentals of the Reggio Emilia approach to childcare. This series is based on a post of ours from a while back located here where we discussed these fundamentals as outlined by the website aneverydaystory. In this series we have expanded on the original concepts and added our own take to the fundamentals of Reggio Emilia.

The Hundred Languages of Children

This principle is one of the most important parts of the Reggio Emilia Approach as it emphasizes the individual differences in how children may express their intelligence and understanding of new concepts. There is no single right way; there are a hundred languages in which children communicate their development

The Hundred Languages of Children is a key concept in the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education. It emphasizes that children are capable and active learners that can express themselves in a multitude of ways. Below is a poem written by Loris Malaguzzi regarding the hundred languages of children and a video from Rye Nursery School explaining this concept even further.

The Hundred Languages by Loris Malaguzzi (translated by Lella Gandini)

No way. The hundred is there.

The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.

A hundred always a hundred
ways of listening
of marveling, of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds
to discover
a hundred worlds
to invent
a hundred worlds
to dream.

The child has
a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head from the body.
They tell the child:
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel
only at Easter and at Christmas.

They tell the child:
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:
No way. The hundred is there.

Poem Sourced from: http://www.innovativeteacherproject.org/reggio/poem.php