World Languages - German and Mandarin Chinese
The learning of world cultures and languages is woven through a child’s education at Shepherd Valley Waldorf School. Throughout the elementary and middle school curricula, students are introduced to the evolution of humanity through the study of ancient cultures around the world. Students also have the unique opportunity to develop flexibility of speech, an ear for contrasting languages, and an appreciation of diverse cultures through the learning of German and Mandarin Chinese from first through eighth grade. In the earlier elementary grades, students enjoy total immersion in each language twice a week through songs, games, dialogue, folk tales, puppetry, as well as arts and crafts. Reading and writing are gradually introduced as children progress through the elementary grades. In middle school, students continue their study of both languages, concentrating on one language for four lessons per week in 6-week block rotations. By graduation from eighth grade, students will have developed both important linguistic skills (through a focus on communication, grammar, reading comprehension, and writing) that will prepare them for advanced level language classes in high school as well as cultural competence (through a focus on developing a deeper connection to and familiarity with each culture) THAT will prepare them to be citizens of the world.