It has been found that body language is a visible method of communication, and that ideas and feelings expressed in words actually begin in the body before we write or speak. Knowing this, it seems rational to incorporate movement as a vital component of a child’s learning and education, and it is for this reason that A.R.R.O.W’s summer camps have always incorporated Yoga and ‘Music and Movement’ workshops, alongside children completing the 8 hour A.R.R.O.W. programme. But what exactly is the significance of this link between literacy and movement, and how can incorporating activities such as yoga, dance and exercise into your child’s routine support their learning abilities?
Therefore, through widening the use of these senses, whether dancing to music or flowing through a yoga sequence, we are effectively strengthening literacy, comprehension and the ability to problem solve.
Cognitive science - which involves the study of mental tasks such as processes of perception, memory, reasoning and judgement - has emerged with the ideas of embodied cognition, which acknowledges our bodies as an integral part of our cognitive resource. In an article entitled Linking Literacy and Movement (Pica, R. 2010) it states that “body movement and sensory input to the brain provide an essential element in problem solving, and that “promoting automatic skills in movement may also help to improve automatic skills in other regions, such as language and reading - where automaticity is also important to fluency.” This is much due to the cerebellum region of our brains, where some of its main involvements include the automaticity of language and cognitive skills together with language skills.
With the knowledge that motor skills and language are so closely influenced by each other, and the development of these skills take place in the same part of the brain, it seems logical to integrate exercise and movement into a child’s routine. The same article referenced above states that children need to physically participate in the learning process, using as many senses as possible to truly understand concepts. Therefore, through widening the use of these senses, whether dancing to music or flowing through a yoga sequence, we are effectively strengthening literacy, comprehension and the ability to problem solve.
Rhythm has been recognised as a component of both language and movement, whether dancing to music or putting together words and sentences, they both require an understanding of rhythm. It has been found that we also develop an internal rhythm when we read and write, and we tend to develop personal rhythms as individuals for thinking and moving. As children acquire motor skills through the movement of physical activity, they learn subconscious lessons about rhythm.
Pica, R.. “Linking Literacy and Movement.” Young Children 65 (2010): 72-73.