The Hundred Languages

The following poem, The Hundred Languages is written by Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio Emilia philosophy. It expresses beautifully the foundational beliefs about children on which the Reggio Emilia learning approach is grounded.

No way. The hundred is there.

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, always 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 the world steals 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.


-Loris Malaguzzi (translated by Lella Gandini)

Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach


"The Hundred Languages", read by the Woodlands students.