Written with the help of my new VA Emily Behr
According to a study by the Universities of Munich and Mainz, outdoor learning is fundamental to boosting your motivation. Since moving and the fresh air supports the learning process, it is easier to think about complex problems and possible solutions. As we move, our brain is activated or energised and is much more receptive, hence giving learning a real boost. In my own evaluation the results are up to 73% better outdoors in the fresh air when it comes to remembering words and phrases than indoor training.
Almost Instant Learning Effectiveness
That is critical, because what good is language training if you don’t immediately notice improvements in your pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar? Fundamentally, it’s about actually “speaking” more fluently. If your brain is in a state of flow, you can remember more words and grammatical structures, speaking is a lot easier outdoors. That is partly due to the fact that as you walk, you have an eye on the path in front of you, so there is less eye contact, which can put people under pressure. It’s more relaxing outdoors in the woods or by the water than being stared at from across a meeting room table.
Through relaxation, your mind can focus
Walking is easier than talking at a desk or in a meeting room, and we know not only that learning is easier, but outdoors your motivation is higher and it is much easier to stay focused. After all, learning a language, especially business English, is primarily a professional advantage, but it also increases our self-confidence enormously and that in turn is really good for our career and personal life-work balance.
Multisensory Language Learning Effectiveness
Learning outdoors automatically involves more of our senses such as hearing or seeing in the learning process. We see more for example not only the things around us, like the trees, steps but of course my trusty laminated conversation cards, but we hear more, our sense of smell is activated. We’re in the learning zone. The more senses are used in the learning progress, the longer the knowledge stays in the memory, e.g. when memorizing vocabulary or grammatical structures. Long Term Memory jackpot!
Here in Kladow we use the steps a lot and I use poles to liternally ‘show you’ how the grammar works
Pronunciation exercises incorporating a gentle rhythm and grammar games make outdoor learning in the sunshine not only meaningful for children but for adults too who rarely see enough sun light between the commute, meetings and perhaps the supermarket. Getting out into the fresh air also exposes you to Vitamin D, something that most adults do not get enough of.
Whats The Word?
A bite sized tip when learning vocabulary is to record the vocabulary with your mobile phone or (if you prefer less distractions) a light MP3 player and then listen to it while jogging or walking with earplugs or headphones. This is also a useful way to learn a speech or prepare for a presentation or pitch, just record the perfect version, from reading from your script and keep listening until it feels natural and a part of your own language. Hearing phrases repeatedly makes these words an integral part of your own English, one step at a time. (Getting that perfect version is something I can help you with)
The Power of Podcasts
Podcasts are also an enjoyable way to learn more about your industry, your job or your personal interests. It’s something you can do easily outdoors and without any time pressure, in English of course. The advantage of podcasts is that the episodes can be repeated, either a few seconds to listen to missed sentences again or listening to the whole episode again for a deeper understanding or to repeat sections. Listening slower is also sometimes an advantage, and the Show notes often have interesting links for more information (in English). So you see English podcasts are a great way to improve your English outdoors.
My podcast is called ‘clever2gether’ why not check it out http://www.bytesizedenglish.com/podcast
The good thing about learning in the fresh air is that even short bursts of activity are enough to positively influence memory performance, as it starts working almost immediately as a unique blend of focus and relaxation kicks in.
So if you only have a short time after a stressful day at work, walk around the block, go to the shop or take a dog out for a walk, because it is still worth learning a little outside to make consistent progress.
Walking one bus stop or two every day for a little learning inspiration on the way home is easy once you make it a habit. Not only for your English, but also for your waist and mood.
Save your Eye Sight
Anyone who is often in front of a computer screen at work must be prepared to accept the consequences of straining your eyes, so to prevent yourself from becoming shortsighted sooner than you need to, take a break, find a nice coffee shop 10 to 15 minutes away and escape into the sunshine. Go on your own for some soul stroking me time, or take a friendly colleague to a nice café outdoors for lunch every now and again.
Watch Your Back
Posture is one of the main reasons why learning outdoors is so beneficial, because it automatically encourages you to have a healthier working posture and that gentle exercise that you get whilst walking, keeps back pain and headaches at bay, hence making you feel stronger and more in control.
Stress Relief & Breathe Deeply
Exercise is also one of the most effective stress busters going, it does not always have to be ‘full on sport’ either.
So get outdoors and feel the benefits for yourself. If you give it a try, you’ll quickly realize how much better you feel and you’ll almost certainly learn more.
Even if you don’t have much time on a long day, a little exercise in the evening will be very helpful for learning. Little and Often’ is my motto for outdoor exercise. I often walk with clients for 45 minutes during lunchtime, which is a popular balance. Don’t worry, you’ll come back to your desk presentable and in a good spirits, thinking in English and you’ll see: the afternoon low tends to disappear because instead of sitting and eating, we snacked and walked.
What is #Languagenergy anyway?
This unique combination of improving your English and walking, plus online language learning bytes is what I call #languagenergy, is currently only available as a one to one coaching solution, here in Berlin, Potsdam or on my VIP retreats.
Why not save #languagenergy on Instagram, for the latest photos.
People love being able to use their time effectively and enjoyably.
it increases your fluency and confidence in English, your fitness and your effectiveness.
Three benefits, one time investment.
What’s not to love? Let’s go!