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How does nature support early language learning?: A systematic literature review
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Sustainable Societies (SUS), Sustainability Education Research (SER). Department is Faculty of Health, Education and Society, University of Northampton, Northampton, UK.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3050-3720
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Sustainable Societies (SUS), Sustainability Education Research (SER). Department is Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2561-612x
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Sustainable Societies (SUS), Sustainability Education Research (SER).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0117-2974
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Sustainable Societies (SUS), Sustainability Education Research (SER).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3199-6755
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2023 (English)In: Early years, ISSN 0957-5146, E-ISSN 1472-4421Article, review/survey (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Sustainable development
Sustainable Development
Abstract [en]

The way a young child uses language has an impact on their future life. Early language acquisition is a determinant in adult employment, mental health and relationships with others. At the same time there is a broad evidence base that play and learning in the natural environment is beneficial for young children's physical, emotional, social and cognitive development. However, literature about how these two contributions to children's early development intersect and combine, in particular whether and how early language learning in children aged between 3 and 7 years might be enhanced in nature, is harder to find. For this paper, we undertook a systematic literature review to explore and report on research within this important area. Based on an in-depth study of 181 articles, we found that scant literature exists about how children's language is developed within natural environments. Although this appears to be a topic that is discussed in practice-oriented publications, it was found that very few researchers are focusing on and reporting within this area. Twelve papers were thoroughly analysed and three themes identified and discussed; desire to communicate, communication skills and literacy skills. This paper concludes by suggesting areas for future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2023.
Keywords [en]
nature, speech and language development, systematic literature review, forest school, natural environments, early childhood
National Category
Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-61605DOI: 10.1080/09575146.2023.2220978ISI: 001014728500001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85163222757Local ID: intsam;888022OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-61605DiVA, id: diva2:1775054
Available from: 2023-06-26 Created: 2023-06-26 Last updated: 2023-08-15

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Richardson, TanyaWaite, SueAskerlund, PerAlmers, EllenHvit Lindstrand, Sara

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