Waldorf pedagogical theory considers that during the first years of life children learn best by being immersed in an environment they can learn from through unselfconscious imitation of practical activities. The early childhood curriculum therefore centers on experiential education, allowing children to learn by example, and opportunities for imaginative play. Teaching of foreign languages plays an essential part in the Waldorf curriculum. Foreign language study raises one’s social conscience and cultivates an interest in and respect for others. In fact, the Waldorf School sees foreign language study as a window into the soul of another culture. The learning of a foreign language greatly depends on imitative musical abilities. Much will depend for the future mastery of the language whether in these early grades the children can be submerged in the living atmosphere of the spoken word.

Colorín Spanish Immersion program resembles the Waldorf philosophy in many aspects. As in the Waldorf classroom, songs, poems, games, drama, puppetry and storytelling are central to our lessons, as is the focus on rhythm. Each week we will introduce a new subject; it will consist of new songs and a hands-on independent project about the new material that had just been introduced. Not a word of the native language should be spoken in the classroom.

Learning a new language should not involve any stress. The Total physical response (TPR) method it is based on the coordination of language and physical movement. TPR instructors give commands to students in the target language, and students respond with whole-body actions. The listening and responding (with actions) serves two purposes: It is a means of quickly recognizing meaning in the language being learned, and a means of passively learning the structure of the language itself. TPR is a valuable way to learn vocabulary, especially idiomatic terms, e.g., phrasal verbs. Through the TPR method, the language is learned mostly by listening. Students become ready to talk sooner when they are learning by doing. Total physical response lessons typically use a wide variety of posters, props, furniture, books, word charts and pictures. By using this approach, communication can happen without the need for translation.