Mainstream ELT and Steiner Education: Exclusivity or complementarity?


  • Alan Maley The C group



Mainstream English language teaching, History, Compatibility, Creativity


The article discusses MELT (Mainstream English Language Teaching) in relation to the author’s perception of Waldorf education. It first attempts a definition of performance. It goes on to describe the recent history of MELT with particular regard to performative and creative elements. It then considers those teacher qualities needed for successful in-depth learning and relates this to performance. The major differences between Steiner and MELT are then set out, in particular the encroachment of regulation on MELT. It argues that, while MELT may be imperfect in many ways, not least in the current preference for control, it has nonetheless produced a rich variety of creative work much of which is compatible with Waldorf philosophy and practice. Waldorf likewise has much to offer MELT in helping to restore physical, emotional and spiritual aspects which it currently neglects. It suggests there would be mutual benefit in a better knowledge and understanding between MELT and Waldorf systems.

Author Biography

Alan Maley, The C group

Prof. Dr. Alan Maley is now retired.  In a long career, he has lived and worked in the field of TESOL in 10 countries worldwide, including China and India.  He has published over 50 books and numerous articles.  He is co-founder of the Extensive Reading Foundation and of The C Group: Creativity for Change in Language Education.  His main interests are in creative approaches to teaching foreign languages, in particular drama and creative writing. He is also a published poet.


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