There is a common misconception that the older you get, the harder it is to learn a new language.
Whilst the idea of enrolling on a language course may raise concerns (such as “will I remember my muy from my mucho?”), it is often fear rather than age which stops us mature students from learning a new language. In fact, a mature student is equipped with many skills which a younger counterpart may not have…
As an adult we have already learned "how to learn"
As you've passed through adulthood, you've picked up an understanding of what works for you and how to use particular strategies for learning. Another benefit that you may have is the additional amount of free time you can devote to studying. In particular, if retirement is approaching and the children have flown the nest, it may now be possible to commit to a regular course.
Learning a language is like giving your brain a gym-workout
Did you know that learning can literally grow your brain? The Lund University in Sweden found that, when viewed over 3 months, MRI scans of students showed specific sections of the brain responsible for developing new knowledge and consolidating short-term into long-term memory had grown in size.
Learning a new language delays the onset of dementia
The Alzheimer’s Association states that today there are over 5 million people living with this untreatable disease - in the USA alone. It has been shown in several studies that learning another language can actually slow the brain's ageing. Studies in India found that, on average, signs of dementia appeared 4.5 years later in bilinguals as compared to those who spoke only one language.
Mature students benefit socially from learning a new language
Signing up for a course or joining an online community opens the door to meeting new people and making new friendships. Sharing the same passion for a language and culture is the perfect starting point for a conversation.
So the next time you hear someone say learning a language gets more difficult with age, it is worth remembering that individuals over the age of 50 are responsible for some great achievements! It’s never too late to try something new!
Click below to learn more about our next 5-week ‘Taster’ Course – one hour a week online, offering the chance to ‘dip a toe in the water’ and see if it’s for you without making a huge commitment in time - or money!