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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)

Encouraging a Love of Poetry

Edutopia – L.L. Barkat

“A poem is a lightweight thing, a beautiful construction that can, despite its lightness, carry remarkable burdens. Poet Mahmoud Darwish imagined this paradox as “the butterfly’s burden.” When you consider that meditation works similarly—that the tiniest of phrases, matched with the movement of our breath, can bring remarkable calmness and clarity to a burdened life—the power of poems begins to make sense. The best poems often work in the same way as these meditative phrases. They match speech. They match breath. They offer rhythms that are pleasing to the psyche. In this way, poems can function like little bits of magic or lullaby.”(more)

How to Get Your Mind to Read

The New York Times – Daniel T. Willingham

“Current education practices show that reading comprehension is misunderstood. It’s treated like a general skill that can be applied with equal success to all texts. Rather, comprehension is intimately intertwined with knowledge. That suggests three significant changes in schooling.”(more)

Bilingual children do find it easier to pick up other languages

Language Magazine – Staff Writer

“It is often claimed that bilinguals are better than monolinguals at learning languages. Now, this hypothesis has found support in a new study of brain activity, conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center and published in the journal Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. “The difference is readily seen in language learners’ brain patterns. When learning a new language, bilinguals rely more than monolinguals on the brain processes that people naturally use for their native language,” says the study’s senior researcher, Michael T. Ullman, PhD, professor of neuroscience at Georgetown.”(more)

4 Top Languages Global-Minded Entrepreneurs Should Know

The Huffington Post – Ryan McMunn

“Whether you’re a native, immigrant or expat, it is extremely challenging to become a global entrepreneur without having learned a relevant foreign language. Communicating with key stakeholders such as clients, business partners and your staff in their local tongue will give you a competitive edge in today’s global economy. As a bilingual entrepreneur, you are bound to increase your earning potential and lead your business and employees towards international expansion.”(more)