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Outdoor Education a Plus for Lessons in Science and Language Arts

The Santa Barbara Independent – Michelle Howard

“In schools challenged to overcome significant achievement and enrichment gaps, the outdoors offers a level playing field. Educational strategies are always evolving, working to respond to the times while balancing funding and testing trends. And in recent decades, evidence has piled up in support of outdoor education. Social ecologist Stephen Kellert of Yale University sums it up: “Children’s direct and regular experience of the natural world is an irreplaceable dimension of healthy maturation and development.” But we’re not offering regular doses of this essential developmental ingredient today ​— ​schoolchildren spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors.”(more)

How kids benefit from speaking different languages

Star 2 – Staff Writer

“Narly Golestani, a professor at the Brain And Language Lab in Geneva, Switzerland, says there are probably two time windows when language learning is easier. “One around the age of five (when learning to write often starts) and one around the age of 12. So learning these languages later than these periods will be much more difficult,” he says. But could learning a second, third and even fourth language do more than promote prospects post-education? Absolutely, insists the UK Subject Centre For Languages, which says it has identified as many as 700 reasons to study a foreign language.”(more)

Learning a new language changes the way you perceive reality

Quartz – Ivan Miguel

“Learning a new language is a humbling process, because it basically means accepting that every word you know is wrong. The elaborate lexicon you’ve developed over the years suddenly becomes useless: the movie quotes you know, your street slang, old-fashioned words you ironically use—everything disappears in a smoking poof, leaving you publicly naked.”(more)

Students gain more foreign-language learning in schools

USA Today – Claudia M. Caruana

“Similar immersion programs focusing on Spanish and other languages such as French, German and Chinese are increasing in the United States, as are more traditional programs in second-language learning in elementary schools. In fact, 25 percent of all U.S. public and private elementary schools offered foreign language instruction in 2010, according to the Center for Applied Linguistics. The Washington, D.C.-based organization tracks language study in the U.S. Many of the programs are immersion programs where children are taught in English for part of the day, and in another language at other times. French immersion programs have been popular in Canadian schools for many years, and in the U.S., many school districts offer them to encourage language learning.”(more)

Foglesong: Why You Should Learn A Foreign language

The Daily Utah Chronicle – Samuel Foglesong

“Learning a foreign language can seem like a daunting task, but the benefits of language acquisition make it well worth the struggle. The first few months of learning a new language are the most difficult because you begin to notice how intricate and complex languages are and how much work it will take to speak it fluently. Therefore, it is helpful to keep some of the benefits in your mind to keep you from becoming discouraged.”(more)

Billionaires and royals are rushing to teach their kids Mandarin

Business Insider – Abby Jackson

“Learning a second language has been proven to offer a swath of cognitive, health, and educational benefits. It improves brain development, can protect against dementia, and help with attention span. And Mandarin seems to be the hot language at the moment, with some high-profile wealthy families starting to push the language to their kids at a young age.”(more)