Great Books and Language

Great Books FoundationClassen is a Great Books school. Our students read high-quality literature that inspires curiosity, imagination, and love for reading and writing. We truly believe that children are great readers – that they respond to the nuances, complexity, beauty, and artful use of language that is found in great books. Classen Montessori School has always been a school where children have been exposed to great writing at all levels – in our Primary classes, the teachers read good books aloud, later the children read to themselves, for their own reflection, use in their academic work, and for group discussions.

We use age-appropriate materials, and as of Kindergarten, we include materials from the Great Books Foundation, in particular as the students start the Elementary program. The following is inserted from the Great Books Foundation’s website:



The vast majority of loan words in English come from the French and Latin languages – and many of those Latin words have French words that are similar.  Studying French, therefore, helps us build a large, complex, and useful vocabulary of English words. In terms of the structure of language, French provides a particularly exacting grammar that helps understand the function and importance of proper grammar. Finally, French is a language that exposes the children to many other sounds, further facilitating their study of other languages in the future. As the children advance in science, literature, and the arts throughout Elementary, they start recognizing the large number of words with French and Latin roots, which helps them not only with the understanding of scientific language and terms, but also with a richer, more precise English vocabulary.

In our Elementary program, children are exposed to the French language every day. Our Primary program is exposed twice per week to the french language through music.

For the avoidance of doubt: we use the foreign language as much more than a language that enables visiting one or a few other countries or speaking with first generation migrants. We use the foreign language as a tool for the acquisition of better English skills and the acquisition of specialized vocabularies that are heavily influenced by French and Latin, such as science, arts, law, etc. The French your child learns at Classen will eventually make university studies easier.

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