Editor’s Letter: Language

By Nancy Walkup, posted on Sep 11, 2023

The theme of this month’s issue was suggested by an interesting group of coincidental article submissions that addressed the topic of language in multiple ways. In this issue, you will find articles that incorporate visual language, written language, spoken language, computer language, and sign language. What languages will you explore with your students?

SchoolArts magazine, The Language Issue, October 2023, Editor's Letter

The Reggio Emilia Approach
We couldn’t have an issue on language without including Reggio Emilia and the Hundred Languages of Children. Loris Malaguzzi began this approach after World War II in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Believing that the early years of development are crucial for children, Malaguzzi and local parents created a program based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment.

The Reggio Emilia approach is built on the concept that children have one hundred languages to work with through experiences and projects. These languages are symbolic and include drawing, sculpting, dramatic play, writing, painting, and more. They are used to express children’s thinking and theories on a topic or an encounter with a learning experience.

In part one of “One Hundred Languages of Children” (p. 12), Mary Geisser addresses the Reggio approach and how it can help us to best communicate with Deaf or other special needs students through listening, observation, and play. Initially designed for young children, the Reggio principles are beneficial for students of all ages. You can learn more about these principles at

In This Issue
In “Alphabet Art Room” (p. 36), Julia L. Hovanec’s students create the first letter of their first name using a cut-paper mosaic technique.

Jane B. Montero’s article “What’s in a Name?” (p. 20) explains how students combine typography with online design tools to create a graphic design using their names and other visuals.

In “3D-Printed Figures” (p. 22), Annemarie Baldauf’s students begin with drawing 2D figures, then use CAD program language to build their drawings into 3D models, creating STL language on their Chromebooks.

At the high-school level, Monique Dobbelaere explores the kinship of the arts and the visual language of ASL in “American Sign Language and the Arts” (p. 17).

What languages will you explore with your students?

View this article in the digital edition.