Spanish and German classes meet twice a week
beginning in the First Grade. The goal of foreign 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 foreign 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. An
annual Language Assembly showcases each Grade’s accomplishments.