Spanish and German classes begin in the first grade. The goal of world language teaching in Waldorf Schools is to encourage a positive attitude towards people of other cultures and languages. We strive to foster human understanding through language and culture. We help the students see the world in a
different way and broaden their own perspectives.
Through the inner flexibility of their speech organ, the children find their way to a flexibility of soul and an openness that has an effect on their entire later life, and especially on their social abilities. The foreign language lesson is suited like practically no other lesson to encourage openness and awaken interest for what is foreign to oneself―and in our time of widespread racism and social conflict on both a small and large scale, this is a pedagogical mission of the first order.
-Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf Education
Learning a new language strengthens the ability to listen to another person, to follow and grasp the other person’s spoken and unspoken intentions. Being competent in at least two other languages supports the capacity for flexible, mobile thinking, since different languages access different realms of experience, and this in turn stimulates
greater interest in the world and other people.
With this goal in mind, Spanish and German are taught orally in first through third grades through everyday conversation, traditional songs, poems, stories, and games, with the addition in fourth grade of writing, reading, and grammar lessons. Classes are conducted in the target language.