Is it good to study a language from the age of 65?

Dec 3, 2020

#Formación #tips #recommendations #Languages

Is it good to study a language from the age of 65?

People of certain ages, retirees, etc. They consider what to do and due to many circumstances and through different routes, they get the idea that it is good to study a language after 65 years of age.

Language learning , contrary to popular wisdom, is not a question of age, so everyone can learn a language in old age and it is even advisable. Studies show that older students even have an advantage over younger students in many areas. Because adults have a broader repertoire of language and world knowledge that they can draw on when learning and that makes them more efficient learners.

Read this article and you will see that it is good to study a language from 65 years of age by following our advice in this regard.

What language should you learn?

When learning a new language in old age, your learning progress may depend on your native language. If your learning language is related to your native language (like Spanish is related to French), you will find more parallels in terms of vocabulary and sentence structure so you don't have to study from scratch.

But if you want to learn a language that differs more from your native language, such as languages ​​with a different alphabet (such as Russian) or another grammar (such as Turkish), at first it will seem more difficult to learn because they present greater obstacles and learning may be slower in the beginning. However, later, once you have mastered the difficulties, the joy and the success are greater and the progress is faster! In addition, once you have entered the subject and as you make your way in the new language, you will see that the differences with the native language make a new language and its culture attracts you because they will seem really special and interesting.. And that, in turn, has a great motivating effect on learning. So don't let that put you off and use the differences to better remember the special features of your new language.

Use your knowledge as a resource

Of course, your maturity and knowledge, unlike young students, will make it easier for you to understand and apply the explanation and the rules. If you are aware of this, you will find that you will automatically work more oriented to tasks and solutions.   

By studying a language from the age of 60, you will understand the new language rule systems much faster and will be able to compare them with those of your native language or other foreign languages you know.

Use your language and knowledge of the world

You should know that you have already acquired knowledge , thanks to your native language and this will help you in relation to the rule systems of the language you want to study, because your experience makes you know more or less the context and you wait for the corresponding questions. For example, when you are in a supermarket, you know what questions they will ask you (if you need a bag, payment formula etc.). This area is called "pragmatics in linguistics."

Because of your age, your knowledge and experience of the world, it will also come in handy as it will help you cope with many linguistic situations, even if you are still at the beginning of your learning process. Because for successful communication you need more than vocabulary and grammar, the life experience that you have.

Set realistic learning goals

When you've finally decided to learn a language, set small achievable learning goals. Initially, you should be aware of what you want to achieve with the language: maybe you want to travel on your next vacation to France or watch your favorite series on Youtube in the original? Then you have to be patient enough to pick up the intonation. Keep in mind that if you want to learn a language in old age there are certain areas that are difficult to learn even at a young age, such as pronunciation without an accent.

According to the critical phase theory of language acquisition (first introduced by Penfield and Roberts in 1959), there is a biological time window that is optimal for reaching a native speaker level , that is, at the age of six. or nine years. After that, it is increasingly unlikely that you will sound like a native speaker. However, this is not an obstacle to successful communication when language learning and even a foreign language accent are greeted positively or sympathetically by most native speakers. But if you still want it, that is not impossible with practice.

¿ What is your motivation and how to maintain it ?

The motivation to learn a language should not be lacking, because it is the factor that determines your success in learning.

Why are you learning this language? For personal or family reasons? Because of your passion for a country and its culture? Or to keep yourself in mental shape? Whatever the reason, you should be aware of it and stick with it to the end.

It is true that in all lives there are ups and downs, that is why it is important that your studies, your learning language integrate it into your daily life and know how to combine it with other activities that you like that make you enjoy, such as reading, watching movies, cooking, traveling, having family and friendly gatherings.

You can also try a wide variety of methods and media , such as training videos, podcasts, and everything related to your chosen language. There are many offers on the internet and it doesn't always have to be traditional language lessons in class. The main thing is that you do not saturate yourself so as not to overwhelm you that they will end up hating what you started with so much zeal and pleasure.