Foreign Languages

Language Teaching in Steiner Waldorf Schools - 2nd Edition

Insights from Rudolf Steiner

Johannes Kiersch

Translated by Norman Skillen



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Language Teaching in Steiner Waldorf Schools details the pedagogical basis for the teaching of modern languages in a Steiner Waldorf School. It discusses Steiner's view of the nature of language in relation to child development and also addresses the practical classroom questions of curriculum and teaching method. In addition to those teaching modern languages, anyone interested in the ideas underlying Waldorf education will find it fascinating reading.

This edition replaces Language Teaching in Steiner Waldorf Schools – 1st Edition.

144 pages, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", 2014.

Andando Caminos

Teaching Spanish in Waldorf Schools - A Guidebook for all Foreign-Language Teachers

Elena Forrer



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This is  a much needed and long awaited book!  The warm heartedness of the author is equaled only by her enthusiasm for teaching and her deep and lively knowledge of Spanish language and culture.  It is a guidebook that paints the oft-daunting path of learning a second language with joy, laughter and beauty.  It is so rich and wonderful in its approach and guidance that I will go so far as to say that any teacher of any subject can learn a great deal from it.  Language teachers, especially those teaching Spanish will find their every hope exceeded.

Andando Caminos offers support in all aspects of Waldorf Spanish lessons, based on the developmental levels as the children move through the grades according to indications from Rudolf Steiner. For language teachers, it is just as important to understand the children in each stage of their development as it is to cultivate balanced and artistic lessons. Andando Caminos does not intend to bring a lesson plan to teachers, but to provide support for that task. It offers a practical perspective on planning the lessons, as well as encouragement for individual teachers to discover their own artistry and gifts.

Included are ample materials available from the Hispanic culture. Although countries in Latin America and Spain share many songs and customs, others are distinctive to each region or country. From the folk tale "El Gallo Kiriko" to "Nicolás Guillén’s Los Abuelos," and from the Mexican legend of "Los Volcanes" to the shadow play of the ballad "Conde Olinos," this text brings material suitable for all of the grades. Each piece is introduced with explanatory text for the teacher and is arranged according to the grades, first through eighth. Everything included in this book has been tested in the classroom.

Language teachers in Waldorf schools need more than strategies for delivering content. The work of teaching involves a human approach to learning—creativity and a path of self-discovery. In the words of the Spanish poet Antonio Machado, “Caminante no hay camino se hace camino al andar.”


Teaching Spanish in Waldorf Schools

Elena Forrer, Claudio Salussa, Enid Silvestry, Inés Camano, Barbara Flynn, Carmiña Luce, Diamela Wetzl



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At last! Some practical, experience-based insight into not only the "whys" of foreign language teaching within Waldorf education, but most especially the "hows" of teaching a particular language - in this case, Spanish. Senderos is a masterful compilation of long-experienced Spanish language teachers guidance. It is loaded with specific examples, and progressive, level-by-level suggestions for lessons (when to introduce this, how to introduce that). It details the oral approach used in grades one through three and explores the integration of writing, reading, and grammar in grades four through eight.

A tip that I haven't found covered in this book but deserves mentioning is that it was not Rudolf Steiner's intent that all students stay with their grades for foreign language classes. He had hoped to divide the students into ability-based groups and teach these groups at the level of language they were able to learn, regardless of which grade they were in. This plan never came to fruition because the school lacked the funds to implement it. Later, it was forgotten that anything other than keeping students within their grade was ever intended. See Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner for more information.

The Genius of Language

Observations for Teachers

Rudolf Steiner



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When the teachers of the original Waldorf School pleaded with Dr. Steiner to give a course on language, he agreed and produced these lectures on very short notice indeed. Steiner demonstrates how history and psychology combine to form different languages and how ideas, images, and vocabulary travel through time in different cultural streams. He speaks of how our language-forming power has dwindled, but says that the inmost kernel of language - the penetration of sense into sound - is still available today. He also speaks of the differentiation of language according to geographical conditions, as well as folk culture, and of the possibility of wordless thinking. Anyone who loves words will love these lectures.