About Reggio Emilia's Hundred Languages

In the Reggio Emilia educational approach, there is a coined expression, “A child has a hundred languages.” In Reggio Emilia, the multiple languages support the children to express their thoughts.

What is Reggio Emilia’s hundred languages?

The “languages” referred to in the Reggio Emilia approach are not literal verbal languages. Instead, they refer to the different mediums the children use to express their ideas and feelings, for example: clay, paint, graphics tools, loose parts, nature, etc. These are ways in which children learn about themselves, others, and the world they live in. They are also ways they can express their knowledge and explore concepts to build skills.

Reggio Emilia is based upon the development of the child using the hundred languages. It empowers a child to use the hundred languages to explore the world around them, communicate, and construct their own knowledge. The Reggio Emilia approach is child-centered, and supporting children in the hundred languages allows them to have a fuller learning experience in their most critical years.

Examples of the Reggio Emilia hundred languages

Some examples of the Reggio Emilia hundred languages include:

  • Forming a sculpture with clay
  • Imitating roles in the Dramatic play
  • Constructing a block tower
  • Painting a picture
  • Experimenting with light and shadows
  • Drawing a picture
  • Discussing some ways to solve a problem
  • Playing in the sand at the beach
  • Singing songs
  • Taking photos and videos
  • Creating compositions with loose parts
  • Creating stories
  • Creating songs with musical instruments