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A Creative Approach to Foreign Languages for Waldorf Teachers

Originally published in Child and Man (UK), Easter 1982

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The teaching of foreign languages plays an essential part in the Waldorf curriculum. Rudolf Steiner intended children to be exposed to two contrasting foreign languages, three times a week, from the first through the twelfth grade. The learning of a foreign language greatly depends on imitative musical abilities. Although they are somewhat ebbing from the change of teeth onwards, the language teacher can still make use of them in a most creative way. Much will depend for the future mastery of the language whether in these early grades the children can be submerged in the living atmos­phere of the spoken word. The classroom ­whether French, Spanish or German is taught -should become for the 45 minutes of every language lesson a part of that particular country. Not a word of the native language should be spoken there.

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Keywords: poetry, grammar, lower school, middle school, high school, drama