5 Ways to Master Outdoor Learning this Summer

June 16, 2014 / by Mango Languages

Photo by: Alison Christine Photo by: Alison Christine


As you may know, mangos literally grow on trees. So, it’s only natural that we’re a pretty nature-oriented group, and summer is our jam. All year-round, we strive to use the strengths of the seasons to inspire unique approaches to language learning. In winter, we’re singing holiday songs in another language and swapping gifts from a new culture. Come fall, our Halloween costumes are obscure and can only be explained in another language (it’s obviously the vodyanoy!). And this summer, we’re taking our language-learning to the great outdoors: whether we’re hiking, swimming, boating, or at a late-night bonfire, there’s never been a better time to learn a new language. Have we said that before? We’re chronic language-learners, but this summer, we've got a pretty compelling case for taking your language-learning to where the green grass grows. As it turns out, nature is a pretty great teacher – and Mango™ isn’t half bad, either.

1. Plug in.

Although it may sound counter-intuitive, plugging in during certain outdoor excursions can fuel your language learning. Load up your phone with foreign language podcasts, music, and Mango On The Go™ MP3s for this summer’s bike rides, hikes, and long walks on the beach – unless of course you're with that special someone; in which case second-language sweet nothings will do just fine.

2. Learn outdoor vocab.

How do you say “sunshine” in Greek? How about “pine tree” in German? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but personally, we want to learn them all. Think back to your high school foreign language textbooks: half of the chapters were centered around nature. With entire units devoted to the beach, the forest, and plants and animals, it’s pretty clear that nature and language learning go hand in hand. Practice relevant outdoor vocab while you’re out and about this summer (cheat sheets are allowed!) and watch your vocabulary skills blossom.

3. Ban English (sometimes).

Once in awhile, you have to declare an English-free zone. It’s like chicken soup for the language-lover’s soul, and summer is the perfect time to spend some time immersing yourself in a new language. Make plans with a fellow language-lover (or find a new recruit!) and deem the day’s adventures totally “English-free.” Spend the day chatting and navigating in a second language, and not only will you learn faster and retain longer, you’re likely to encounter some hilarious language barriers along the way. It's really easy to misunderstand Siri in Japanese.

4. Bring your kids.

When it comes to discovery-based learning, kids are way ahead of us. The most popular curricula out there are designed for children to learn through exploring and interacting with the world around them. This summer, kids are the perfect partners for your outdoor language-learning adventures. Enhance your child’s summer learning and plan a season full of cultural events, outdoor expeditions, and exploring together – even if it’s just in your own backyard.

5. Create lasting memories (and knowledge).

When learning is an adventure, nature yields amazing results. Outdoor learning allows for the unique mingling of experience and knowledge, so that what you discover is much more likely to last. Studies show that discovery-based learning increases retention of concepts and knowledge – you’re much more likely to remember how to say “tree” in Spanish if you climbed it. Our Intuitive Language Construction™ methodology follows the same logic by using real-life conversations and scenarios to teach relevant grammar and vocabulary. We learned it from Mother Nature, and she can work her magic on you, too. Here's to a summer of culture, language-learning, and pockets full of mangos.

Mango Languages

Written by Mango Languages

Deliciously simple language and culture learning.

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