Teaching Foreign Languages

The Steiner-Waldorf School Approach

Erhard Dahl; Translated by Christian von Arnim

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Quick Look

  • A practical handbook on how Steiner-Waldorf schools teach foreign language, from an experienced language teacher
  • Elores how teaching different age groups requires different strategies and approaches
  • Discusses the merits of engaging with all aspects of the student to help them connect with the new language

A useful handbook for anyone interested in how Waldorf schools teach foreign languages.

216 x 138 mm
Floris Books
Steiner-Waldorf Education
96 pages
Publication date:
20 Nov 2014


At one level, the teaching and learning of foreign languages has its own set of skills and challenges for teacher and student. In Steiner-Waldorf schools, however, the guiding principle of language teaching is constant: to engage with all aspects of the student -- his or her experiences, personality and movement -- to help the student connect deeply with the foreign language.

Erhard Dahl, an experienced language teacher, here offers a wealth of insight into how Steiner-Waldorf schools approach 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 the foreign language. He explores the different approaches needed for Classes 1 to 4, where, for example, imitation can be used, to the older years, where speech becomes more individual and independent.

He addresses common issues, such as questions from parents about the speed of their child's language acquisition, what to do about exams, and whether to use a textbook.

This will be a useful handbook for anyone interested in how Waldorf schools undertake the teaching of foreign languages.


'...contains much to commend it to the general reader with an interest in this subject, whilst at the same time, being a very informative and instructive guide on the developing child and the methodology that underlies foreign language teaching in Waldorf schools, it would be of especial interest to language teachers.'
-- New View


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.

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