Teaching Foreign Languages: The Steiner-Waldorf School Approach
At one level, teaching and learning foreign languages has its own set of skills and challenges for teachers and students. In Waldorf schools, however, the guiding principle of language teaching is constant: to engage with all aspects of the students—their experiences, personalities, and movements—to help them connect deeply with the foreign language.
Erhard Dahl, an experienced language teacher, offers a wealth of insights into the Steiner-Waldorf schools approach to foreign language teaching, including English as a Foreign Language in non-English speaking countries. He shows clearly how pupils develop vocabulary and grammar and learn to read in a foreign language. He explores the various approaches needed for classes 1 to 4, in which, for example, imitation can be used, through the older years, when speech becomes increasingly individualized and independent.
The author also addresses such common issues as questions from parents about how quickly their children are acquiring a language; what to do about exams; and whether to use a textbook or not.
Teaching Foreign Languages will be a useful handbook for anyone interested in how Waldorf schools teach foreign languages.
About the Author
Erhard Dahl was born in 1947. He was professor of English literature at the University of Paderborn, Germany, and since 1990 has taught at the Uhlandshöhe Waldorf School in Stuttgart.