“Each language penetrates us differently and reveals human nature in a different way, which is why we must complement the effect of the mother tongue with other languages”R. Steiner, Lecture 11, Ilkley 1923
Lower School German Language and Culture
The lower school offers German language and culture from class 1 (year 2) onwards with two spells per week. Students with German background get extension work from class 2 onwards. They work on specific materials out of the German school curriculum. The focus is on spelling, story telling and comprehension.
The Beauty of Language Learning
When Rudolf Steiner opened his first Waldorf School in Stuttgart in 1919 all students from class one onwards were taught two foreign languages. At that time only children who were privileged and belonged to middle or upper class families had a chance to learn a foreign language in common German schools.
Steiner’s educational views emphasized on anthropology, so that a “true understanding of the developing human being and his inherent talent should be at the heart of all teaching and education.” To learn another language should not only extend the individual’s horizon of a student in a formal manner, but should enrich and diversify the inner life of a student to nurture his own soul.
Steiner believed in teaching a foreign language to open up a door in a child’s mind to break free from the confines of his mother tongue. This kind of education would prevent children from turning into ignorant persons full of prejudices. Understanding between nations and cultures would be taught through foreign language learning. “The fact that the different languages in our world shape the inner life and viewpoints of their speakers in their own ways – revealing unique and totally varying aspects of human nature – had to be taken into account in education.”
It is scientifically proven that there are particularly sensitive times for learning foreign languages during a child’s mental development. So the chances of learning an almost native pronunciation is higher when the child starts to learn the language before puberty.
What is my Child Learning?
“Hinter Hermanns Hannes Haus, hängen hundert Hemden raus”
Class 1: In class 1 the child lives in the language, rhythm and intonation and absorbs everything in a mood of wonder and empathy.
They learn simple songs, finger games, movement songs, poems, dances and German games. The students learn to perform a German action dance called “Brüderchen komm tanz’ mit mir” (“Brother come dance with me”). They are acting out the fairy tale “Dornröschen” (“Sleeping Beauty”). They learn numbers up to 50, colours, body parts, farm and zoo animals and clothing. Class 1 students learn to greet and farewell each other and how to respond to simple questions about the colours, animals, their age and where they live.
Class 2: They consolidate and extend last year’s ground work and expand their knowledge of German folk songs, poems, dances and games. Most of the children have a grasp of numbers up to 100, the days of the week, months of the year, colours, clothing, farm animals, zoo animals and many daily activities. The students can talk about what they wear, and what they are having for lunch and they are able to hold short conversations. They practise and act out the fairy tale play “Hänsel und Gretel” by the brother Grimm.
Class 3: In class 3 we extend our vocabulary to include more of the world around us, such as lunchtime, the classroom, the house, time and farm and zoo animals. The children build up their communication skills by performing small introduction sketches, acting out poems and dialogues. Poems, songs, tongue twisters, speech exercises are part of the lesson. A wide range of language games further enrich the children’s feeling for the language and help develop their pronunciation skills. The class is making their own picture books about farm and zoo animals, time and a poem about the weekdays.
Class 4: In class 4 we start with reading and writing in German. We use a wide range of activities to build up the children’s phonemic awareness to provide them with an understanding of the letter-sound relationships in German. They also make their first grammatical discoveries. Tongue-twisters, songs, poems and acting are still part of the lessons. In order to maintain the strong oral work we practise small introduction dialogues about age, hobbies, likes and dislikes of the students, talk about animals at the farm and in the zoo. We make an outing to the zoo to deepen our knowledge about body parts of zoo animals in German language.
Class 5: The challenge for class 5 is to develop the student’s communication skills through role plays, short dialogues, question-answer games and many creative, hands-on activities relating to practical everyday life situations that are meaningful and interesting to the children. To achieve this, our learning units includes topics like hobbies, introducing oneself and describing their house and their room. The students are then encouraged to express their opinions about their likes and dislikes. We read small texts in German, widen the vocabulary and have our first experiences with German verbs, adjectives and prepositions.
Class 6: The emphasis in the German lessons in class 6 is on building an increased awareness of syntax and grammar. Reading texts lead us to questions like who, what and where and verbs brought the challenge of conjugation; to have and to be and the regular verbs. We focus on topics such as the German school-system and school subjects. The students can communicate their likes, dislikes and time attending school. “Deutschlandreise” (“German journey”) is a topic to learn the geographic about Germany and the tradition and culture of the the country. To developed the skills to talk about adjectives and their comparatives and superlatives we work on a geologic topic “Steine sind überall” (“Rocks are everywhere”).
A Project of the Lower School German Department:
Class 6 Project: Creating a story in the German language “Die Waschbärendiebe”:
This is a made up story in the German language from Intra and Gina from Class 6. They have written, translated and corrected the story by themselves. It is amazing to see what they can write in a foreign language.
I would like to thank them for the patience and the effort they put into this great project. Well done! Enjoy the story.
Rascal und Villan, die beiden Waschbären, feierten die ganze Nacht und wollten eine ganz große Seifenschlacht mit ihren Freunden machen. Am nächsten Tag waren Rascal und Villan ganz hungrig, und die beste Bäckerei in der Stadt war zu. Rascal und Villan hatten ihr Einbruchswerkzeug zur Bäckerei mitgenommen, und Rascal war der Experte im Schlösser aufbrechen. Er stellte sicher, dass das Alarmsystem abgestellt war. In der Bäckerei gab es nur Leckereien wie Brezel, Schokoladencroissants und Kreppel. Die Brötchen, Weihnachtskuchen und belegte Brötchen mit Marmelade und Erdnussbutter waren im Regal bis zur Decke hochgestapelt. Sie nahmen sich von den Leckereien, und Rascal hatte dabei ausversehen die Überwachungskamera kaputt gemacht.
Als die Sonne aufging waren Rascal und Villan noch immer in der Bäckerei. Die beiden waren in einem großen Schokoladenei eingeschlafen. Plötzlich ging die Tür auf, und ein Dieb rannte in die Bäckerei. Die Waschbären bekamen einen Schreck und rannten aus der Bäckerei und liefen so schnell wie ihre kurzen Beine sie tragen konnten. In ihren Pfoten trugen sie eine Tüte Käsechips. Plötzlich merkte Rascal, dass seine Käsechips weg waren, und Villan sah eine ganz schöne, weibliche Waschbärin auf dem Dach der Bäckerei. In ihrer Pfote hielt sie die Tüte mit Käsechips und knabberte dabei an einem Käsechip. Sie wackelte elegant mit ihrem Waschbärenschwanz und zwinkerte mit ihren Augenwimpern. Von ihrem Aussehen waren Rascal und Villan hin und weg. Rascal und Villan waren erstaunt und konnten nur noch an sie denken. Drei Tage später sahen sie die schöne Waschbärin wieder, und sie trug glitzernde, schwarze Plateaustiefel, Strumpfhosen, einen Minirock, ein T-Shirt und eine schwarze Lederjacke. Sie kam gerade von einem Discobesuch zurück.
Plötzlich fiel ein Netz vom Himmel und sie war gefangen. Die Waschbärin geriet in eine Tiergefangenschaft. Der Chef der Tiergefangenschaft hieß Lukas. Lukas wollte ihr gerade eine Schlafspritze geben, als Lukas plötzlich anfing friedvoll zu schnarchen.
Rascal hatte Lukas während der Mittagspause in der Cafeteria heimlich eine Schlaftablette in seinen Kaffee gegeben. Nun trug Villan, den weiblichen Waschbaer aus dem Fenster. Sie rannten weg zu Rascal und Villans Haus zusammen mit der Waschbärin Zoe, um dort heisse Schokolade und Kekse zu essen. Sie entschieden sich, mit Zoe reinzugehen. Nach ein paar Tagen rief Zoe ihre beste Freundin Ella an und sagte, dass Ella über Nacht bleiben solle. Sie kam um 11.30 Uhr morgens an und hatte Brot mit Marmelade für ihr Mittagessen mitgebracht. Als Villan Ella die Tür reinkommen sah, riss er sofort seine Augen auf: ”Sie ist so schön”, dachte er. Es war Liebe auf den ersten Blick. Sie trug rosa Jeans und ein T-Shirt. Ella fragte Villan: “Willst du mich Heiraten? Sie wurde rot wie eine Tomate.” Er war gerührt: “Was?” “Natürlich möchte ich das!”, antwortete er.
Als Rascal, Villan, Zoe und Ella Spaghetti assen, sagte Rascal zu Zoe: “Willst du mich Heiraten?’.” Ja”, sagte Zoe mit einem Augen zwinkern. “Dann können wir eine Doppelhochzeit feiern”, sagte Ella. “Super!”, antwortete Zoe.
So haben die beiden Paare geheiratet und Rascal hat vier Kinder bekommen. Sie hießen Tigs, Nyx, Kuri und Thief. Villan hat auch vier Kinder bekommen und sie hießen Tyx, Ricky, Sprogs und Lilo. Sie sind alle sehr glücklich geworden. Jedoch hatte Lukas Verdauungsprobleme seit dem Kaffee Unfall. Das ist das Ende der Waschbärendiebe.
Von Intra und Gina aus der 6. Klasse
The Raccoon Thieves
One night two raccoons, Rascal and Villan, partied till dawn and had a huge soap fight with their friends. They were really hungry and the bakery around the corner was closed. They grabbed their thief kits and scampered to the bakery. Rascal, whose speciality was picking locks and making sure security gadgets were off, picked the lock and they slipped inside.
There were pretzels and croissants with chocolate inside them. Sugar buns were piled high against the wall and Christmas cakes and club sandwiches with peanut butter and jelly in them. They snatched all of the sugary, sweet things because Rascal had smashed the security cameras and turned off all the alarms. As the sun went up – Rascal and Villan were asleep in a huge chocolate egg – the door of the bakery opened and a criminal snuck inside. Rascal and Villan ran away from the bakery as fast as their short little legs could run with a massive packet of Cheezles.
Suddenly, Rascal realized that the Cheezles were gone. Villan saw with start a very beautiful, pretty girl raccoon with their package of Cheezles. She gently nibbled on a Cheezles and battered her long, black eye lashes. She swished her elegant, silky tail and winked her blue lidded eyes. And in a flurry of fur and whiskers she was gone. Villan and Rascal were gobsmacked and couldn’t stop thinking about her.
Three days later they saw the beautiful raccoon again and she was wearing sparkly platform boots, fishnet tights, a mini jeans skirt, a strapless crop top and a black leather jacket. They followed her into the disco club. Suddenly, a net fell from the sky and she was caught in a cage. She was caught by the animal pest control. Mr Lucas the butcher was almost ready to give her a fatal injection when he fell to the ground and started snoring to his hearts content. Rascal had put a sleeping pill in Lukas afternoon coffee. Villan dragged the girl racoon to safety and together they ran to Rascal’s and Villan’s house to have a hot Milo and cookies with Zoe (the girl racoon). She decided to stay with them for the next few weeks to recover from her daring escape. She called her best friend Ella to come over and stay a few nights. She came at 11.30 am and they had bread with jam for lunch. When Villan saw Ella his eyes almost popped out of his head. She is beautiful, he thought. She is like an angel. She was wearing pink skinny jeans and a spaghetti strap top. It was love at the first sight.
As soon as Ella saw Villan she said “Will you marry me?” She clamped her hand over her mouth. ‘Oops” she mumbled and turned as red as a tomato. “Sure”, said Villan.
Two hours later they were eating spaghetti. Rascal said to Zoe “You wanna get married?” Zoe happily answered: “Yeeeeeah!” “Finally, I have been waiting for this moment all my life”. Her energetic blue eyes twinkled with excitement and delight. So Rascal and Zoe and Villan and Ella had a double wedding and Rascal had four children called Tigs, Nyx, Kuri and Thief. Villan also had four Kids called Tyx, Ricky, Sprogs and Lilo. And so they lived happily ever after. Apart from Mr Lukas who had digestion problems from then on (after the coffee incident).
By Gina and Intra from Class 6
International Language Week
Ni Hao! – Bonjour! – Guten Tag! – Konnichiwa! – Buenos dias!
In 2008 Raphael House started to celebrate the International Language Week.
In 2012 we had a lovely celebration in August in the Lower School. During assembly classes one to six presented songs and poems from all over the world. It was a very special morning where each class contributed something to the opening of the International Language Week.
On Tuesday we had a dress-up day. Especially the lower school students and teachers dressed up in international costumes from all around the world.
In the International Language Exhibition many students came during lunch time to write greetings in different language on a poster. It gave the Eurythmy foyer the final touch.
The Origami workshop during lunch time was beautifully led by Junko, Claudia and Yuko. This time we had wonderful help and assistance from the students of classes two to five. A lot of students came together to have a little try with some paper folding. It was a great atmosphere and everybody was very keen to learn a new figure of Origami. The students made paper cranes, boxes, dog and cat faces, water lilies…and lots more.
This year we had our Internatinonal Lunch, which was a fundraiser for the “Solomon Islands Schools”. Class 6 students prepared wonderful finger food and helped out in the kitchen.