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Learning outdoors may significantly improve language skills of children

Posted February 8, 2017

Developing language abilities is an essential part of child‘s education. Parents and teachers are trying to help children to learn language skills effectively, but it is not always an easy task. Some say that children should be learning at their natural pace, but scientists say that there is a way to help them along – having classes outdoors.

Outdoors school: just by learning outside children improve their vocabulary, which can help them achieve more later in life. Image credit: USACE photo by Aurora Scott via Wikimedia, Public Domain

That sounds counterintuitive – outdoors there are so many distractions that it is hard imagining children behaving and focusing on their task. However, this is exactly what this new study from the University of Northampton found – learning outdoors helps children improve their language ability and boosts their future attainment. And it should not be overlooked, because vocabulary that a child has at the age of five is an important factor determining his later achievements. There is a number of studies that show how important language is when it comes to generating ideas as well as learning them. However, how come that learning outdoors helps?

It turns out, it is not so much an improvement, as it is a solution to a problem. Some time ago children were spending more time outside and, as some statistics show, were healthier. Now children are often closed inside. Not only their education is happening indoors, but they also play in their room more nowadays. Tanya Richardson, author of the study, said: “This research found that adjective, verb and exclamation usage was higher in a natural environment. This richness in language, over a time, will support children to develop their language skills”. Scientists think that all specialists involved in children education should remember these findings.

Scientists suggest that education specialists should include most important development aspects of children education into their curriculum. Meaning that some time has to be spent outdoors, because it improves their language skills, children should be taught about importance of diet and so on. In fact, there are some advices about their play time as well. Children play in school and it is a good think as it helps them socialize, improves their cognitive skills and allows them to move more. However, although it is important to let children do what they want, educators should make sure that they play different games that are teaching them different skills.

All people are enclosed indoors nowadays. It is not good for our health. But while adults may cope with consciously, children still need guidance.


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