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Play Hard, Live Free: Where Wild Play Still Rules

NPR – Eric Westervelt

“There are only a handful of these “wild playgrounds” in the country. They embrace the theory that free, unstructured play is vital for children and offer an antidote to the hurried lifestyles, digital distractions and overprotective parents that can leave children few opportunities to really cut loose. “It’s really central that kids are able to take their natural and intense play impulses and act on them,” says Stuart Brown, a psychologist and the founding director of the National Institute for Play. Children need an environment with “the opportunity to engage in open, free play where they’re allowed to self-organize,” he adds. “It’s really a central part of being human and developing into competent adulthood.” Brown says this kind of free-range fun is not just good; it’s essential. Wild play helps shape who we become, he says, and it should be embraced, not feared. Some educators advocate “dangerous play,” which they say helps kids become better problem solvers.”(more)

Plea to teach Mandarin and Russian in schools

John O’Groat Journal – Gordon Calder

“Mrs Mackay says pupils should be learning to speak the languages which will benefit them in an ever-changing world where countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China are playing a key role.”(more)

National language strategy is key to Canada’s future

The Star – Charles Weiss

“A Canadian national languages strategy for the new century should, therefore, have two central components: first, consolidation and improvement of national bilingualism as a baseline level of linguistic proficiency for all Canadians; and second, the launching of intense provincial curricular training in three or four of Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, Russian…”(more)

Learning foreign languages triggers brain growth

Pravda- Yana Filimonova

“The results were surprising: the structure of the brain of the control group remained unchanged, but the students, who studied a foreign language, had certain parts of their brain increased in size. In particular, the researchers found the “growth” of the hippocampus – the deep structure of the brain responsible for the development of new knowledge, orientation in space and the consolidation of short-term memory into long-term memory.”(more)