Foreign Language Instruction Begins in Grade One

Foreign language instruction in Waldorf schools strives to impart a deeper connection with others. Rudolf Steiner's view of education was not one of human beings who are restricted by their sense of nationality, but of human beings who think—and therefore feel—in an international, multilingual way. Learning another language can also give us a deeper understanding of, and sympathy with, another people or nation.

From 1st grade through 3rd grade, all foreign language instruction is based on the conversation between teacher and pupils. Grammar is not taught explicitly in these first three years. Learning to speak, to listen, and to understand is the only goal. The children learn to speak the foreign language in the same way they learned to speak their mother tongue, through listening and imitation. From 4th through 8th grade, French lessons increase in depth through the addition of grammar, writing, reading, conversation, history and geography, and even a class trip to Quebec City to experience a French culture first-hand.