French and German
The Waldorf curriculum includes the teaching of two foreign languages — presently French and German at Pine Hill. The young child is a natural imitator, and has an aptitude to take in language that does not recur in any other stage of development. The study of other languages develops an inner flexibility, as the student experiences the wide and varied palette of human expression.
In the early grades, children are immersed in verses, songs, stories and games. A school favorite is the French Marktplace play put on every year by the third grade, demonstrating the students' excellent understanding of many basic French words. This oral tradition becomes the basis for their introduction to the written word in fourth grade. Stories, puppetry, and drama provide the context to learn to read, while grammar is gradually woven into the lessons. In the middle school years, the language and the rules of grammar become more conscious.
The analytical aspect of language increases as the student progresses to eighth grade. At an age that is inwardly questioning boundaries, the student meets the inarguable authority imposed by the structure of the language. The emphasis is always on a living experience of the language. Pine Hill students are well prepared for further language study at the high school level.