News from the foreign language scene

August 2019

The trend in foreign languages in Waldorf schools is towards main lessons. An overview. [more]

Ways to vocabulary

By Peter Lutzker, August 2019

There is no dispute about the need to acquire a passive and an active vocabulary when learning a foreign language. In contrast to learning the rules of grammar, something about which there is a range of views among the theoreticians of foreign language teaching, no one questions that understanding and being able to use words is a primary concern in teaching a foreign language. Hence the focus is not on the “why” but rather on the “how”. Here we can use the threefold structure of the human being, which is of central importance in the whole of Waldorf education, as a productive foundation. [more]

What should pupils know in the foreign language at which point?

By Martyn Rawson, August 2019

We learn to speak a language in that we take part actively in social activities which take place in that language and are embedded in its societal and cultural framework. This is how all of us learnt our mother tongue(s). Learning a language in school is different from natural learning in that it takes place in an educational learning situation. This ideally contains regular and structures activities of the whole class community and is embedded in the target language. To this extent learning a foreign language in a Waldorf school follows the model of involvement in social activities. [more]

Why a second foreign language?

By Nicolai Petersen, August 2019

Our language environment is changing at breathtaking speed. Twenty years ago, people complained about the flood of “anglicisms” in German and many attempted to fight against it. Today we don’t really have any anglicisms any longer but our whole everyday language environment is suffused at every turn with words, sentences and syntagma that have their origin in English. [more]

Media in foreign language teaching

By Ulrike Sievers, August 2019

There is a wide range of media available for foreign language lessons. That is why we need criteria for deciding which of the many analogue and digital forms we want to use in lessons in which language, writing and images appear. Media allow us to immerse ourselves in a new language and gradually to understand languages better. At the same time the growing young people can become acquainted with the diversity and effect of various media through a constructive media concept from class 1 to class 12. [more]

Publisher's View

Learning from the freedom of children

By Henning Kullak-Ublick, August 2019

A recent scene at the baggage carousel: nothing has happened for an hour, then an announcement that there will, unfortunately, be a further delay. All the waiting passengers are irritated, tiredly check their smartphones, and feel the weight of lost time! All of them? ... [more]

Living Teachers

Karl Schubert – the first special needs teacher

By Tomás Zdrazil, August 2019

At the start of 1920, Emil Molt received an unusual application. The linguist Dr. Karl Schubert from Vienna was enquiring “whether I might find employment in the factory under your management, working with my hands or head …” [more]


Henry Barnes – a Waldorf aristocrat

By Nana Göbel, August 2019

Henry Barnes (1912–2008) joined the Rudolf Steiner School in New York as a class teacher in 1940. And with the exception of three years in the army he remained a teacher there until 1977. Like Ernst Weißert in Germany or Francis Edmunds in Britain, he shaped Waldorf education in the USA for decades, particularly on the east coast. [more]