Moomin Language School Blog

How to combine Moomin Language School with Reggio Emilia

Posted by Saga Arola on Sep 12, 2022 9:30:00 AM

Our goal here at Moomin Language School is to make foreign language learning possible to children everywhere. For this reason, it's important to us that the service is suitable for many kinds of learning organizations and pedagogical approaches. Today, let’s look at how Moomin Language School can be combined with the Reggio Emilia approach.


What is the Reggio Emilia approach?


Reggio Emilia is a pedagogical approach that was developed in the infant-toddler centers in the region of Reggio Emilia, Italy after World War II. The approach is based on the view of children as unique and active participants in the world who can direct their own learning process. It is a child-centered and child-directed approach where learning arises from the child’s interests and curiosity. Children learn by interacting with other children, their environment, and the materials provided to them.


In Reggio Emilia, project work is central in deepening children’s learning. The themes arise from what the children are drawn to at any given time and the projects last anywhere from one week to a whole year. Educators plan activities related to the theme, ask questions, and explore the topic together with the children through hands-on learning that engages all senses. In Reggio Emilia, children are believed to communicate – and learn – in multiple ways. That is why children are given the chance to learn and show what they know about the theme in many forms, such as art, movement, drama, and music.




Common Ground Between Moomin Language School And Reggio Emilia


The Reggio Emilia approach is based on the unique individuality of children, families, and teachers, which means that it looks a little different in different organizations. Although Moomin Language School wasn’t designed specifically with the Reggio Emilia approach in mind, the two have many features that go well together. The guiding principles and the view of children in the Reggio Emilia approach are very similar to those in Finnish pedagogy, which is the basis of Moomin Language School. Both see children as unique and competent individuals who are able to take active part in designing their own learning processes. Both value children’s opinions and focus on their strengths to create an encouraging environment in which every child can grow and learn.


Like Reggio Emilia, Moomin Language School supports learning through a variety of means. Our playful lessons include different kinds of games and activities ranging from songs, stories and art to drama, movement games and playing with picture cards. The learning application offers yet another way for children to engage with the new language and practice different skills.


The playful lessons help the children and the educator to explore themes together. Educators are guided to ask questions and keep each child's personality in mind. Shy or reluctant children are never forced to participate; instead, they are welcomed into the group at their comfort level. We believe strongly that educators can learn alongside children, as well as from them. This is why we encourage educators to have an open mind and to not be afraid if they don’t know everything – they can find out the answer together with the children!




Experiences From A Teacher


We already have experience with Moomin Language School in Reggio Emilia organizations. Here is what a teacher in a Reggio Emilia kindergarten has to say about Moomin Language School:

“Moomin Language School teaches the children things in a playful way. They join the activities gladly and see them above all as games. They always finish with big smiles on their faces. By offering this to the children, we challenge them to learn more and discover more, thereby stimulating their intrinsic motivation. I've noticed that the children want to do well, and because of this they also listen to instructions carefully and watch what they have to do. Because we do it in groups, sometimes the children collaborate and help each other. Learning together is important for us, and I think collaboration during a lesson sets a good example. Because the lessons are different every time, the children remain curious and always discover new things. The lessons are well explained, so our job as educators is mainly observing the activities and helping where it is needed. I personally think this is a good principle because most children learn better when they do a thing themselves rather than copy what someone else does.”




Key Advice For Your Reggio-Inspired Facility


Themes as projects. Moomin Language School’s curriculum is structured around themes which usually run for one week. Some learning organizations like to make the themes last longer, especially if the children are very young or do not use the learning application daily. This way, the themes can function as a basis for project work with the children.


Application for cooperation. The application can be used as one of the materials that children can choose to play with at the learning organization. Although children are directed to go through the themes in the application in order, educators can open all the themes and choose the theme which is the most interesting to the children at any given time. Then they can let the children play together in small groups to encourage cooperation between the children, which is important in Reggio Emilia.


Children’s active participation. In Moomin Language School, children are invited to take the lead in their learning, especially in the playful lessons. Educators are directed to ask questions, and they can pause and discuss children’s opinions and follow where their interests lead them. Throughout the lessons, we encourage educators to listen to the children actively; if a game or an activity doesn’t resonate with the children, it can be changed or skipped.


Flexibility in the activity plans. The plans for our playful lessons include detailed instructions for the activities so that we can support all educators regardless of their teaching experience. However, this doesn’t mean that there is no room for modification – quite the contrary. Picture cards can substituted with real-life objects, drawing activities can be changed into other arts and crafts and so on. To add to the flexibility, many learning organizations run the playful group activities as individual games at various points throughout the week rather than as one continuous session. The lessons are designed to work for you and not the other way around!



Moomin Language School offers a free 1-month trial to all new customers so that they can try it out for themselves before making any decisions. Would you like see how Moomin Language School fits your learning organization? Apply for a trial here:

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Topics: early language learning, young language learners, playful learning, reggio emilia, pedagogical approaches

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