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The 100 Languages of Children

No way. The hundred is there.

A poem by Loris Malaguzzi, Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach

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 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.

The 100 Languages

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.

Learn more about the Reggio Emilia Approach

Acknowledgement of Country:
We acknowledge the Kaurna people as traditional custodians of the land on which we meet and pay our respects to the Elders past, present and future, for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and hopes of Indigenous Australia.