Performative teaching in the middle school. A report on practice

Interview with Silvia Albert-Jahn


  • Peter Lutzker Freie Hochschule Stuttgart
  • Martyn Rawson
  • Silvia Albert-Jahn Waldorfschule Mülheim-Ruhr



Steiner/Waldorf foreign language teaching in grades 4-8, Performative foreign language teaching in the middle school, Waldorf foreign language teaching methods, Performative foreign language teaching methods in grades 5-8, Interview


The focus of this interview is on teaching English as a foreign language in Waldorf schools from grades 4-8. After the first wholly oral and immersive phase in grades 1-3, the gradual progression to more conscious language learning begins in grade 4 with the introduction of writing and reading in the foreign language. Silvia Albert-Jahn describes the Waldorf approach to teaching pupils from this point on (roughly the age of 10-13). On hand the different developmental stages occurring during these years, she discusses both the contents and methodology which are used and elucidates the reasons for these choices. At the end of the interview, she considers the general goals of language teaching for this period and discusses the importance of the teacher’s relationship to her pupils.

Author Biographies

Peter Lutzker, Freie Hochschule Stuttgart

Prof. Dr. Peter Lutzker studied Music and Literature in the United States and Germany. After first working as an orchestra musician, he then studied Steiner/Waldorf Education and became a high school teacher for Music and English in Waldorf Schools in Germany from 1986-2011. From 1991 on, he has been active as a teacher educator in different European countries including Germany, Hungary, Russia and England. Since 2010, he has been a Professor at the Freie Hochschule Stuttgart (Waldorf Teachers College). In 2019 he was appointed an Honorary Professor at the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. He has written numerous articles and books in English and in German, including “Der Sprachsinn: Sprachwahrnehmung als Sinnesvorgang” 2nd ed. (2017), and the “The Art of Foreign Language Teaching: Improvisation and Drama in Language Learning and Teacher Education” 2nd ed. (2022).

Martyn Rawson

Dr. Martyn Rawson currently teaches on the International Master Programme of the Freie Hochschule Stuttgart and is Honorary Professor at the National Tsinghua University. He has been a teacher in Waldorf schools since 1979, and still teaches at a Waldorf school in Hamburg. He has been involved in teacher education for 30 years. He has published widely one Waldorf education, including editing the Waldorf Curriculum used internationally and recently published Steiner Waldorf Pedagogy in Schools for Routledge. He is also a co-founder of English Week.

Silvia Albert-Jahn, Waldorfschule Mülheim-Ruhr

Silvia Albert-Jahn has been one of the leading figures in teaching English as a foreign language in Germany for over 30 years. She has taught English in the Waldorf School in Mülheim/Ruhr since 1987. During this time, she has also been a regular instructor in foreign language teacher education at the Institut für Waldorfpädagogik in Witten-Annen and a guest instructor at other Waldorf seminars and colleges in Germany including the Alanus Hochschule in Alfter and the Freie Hochschule in Stuttgart. She is a co-founder and principal organizer of the English Week where she has taught Waldorf teachers from all over the world since 1998. A particular focus of her work has been on the middle grades 4-8. 






Window of Creative and Reflective Practice