It is a known fact that the younger we are, the easier it is to learn a language. But can an old dog be taught new tricks? Do you consider yourself beyond the age where learning Spanish or another language has just been left too late in life?
Consider this: If you are over 50 now, there would not have been any social media, high-speed internet, and photo-editing and smartphone usage around during the adolescent years and well into young adulthood. But still you all seem to have grasped the basics and general day-to-day processes to look at Facebook, operate a Smart television set and send an SMS message with an attached picture easily enough. Learning Spanish, or even another language, is every bit as easy as those tasks – perhaps a lot easier.
The secret is to take initiative and boldly attempt to learn a new language. Confidence, determination and a disciplined work ethic will have to be applied, but those values are not absent from any of us – just because we might consider ourselves a little too old or long in the tooth.
The determination to learn a new language is within us. It does not simply die and wither away because we have aged. Although it may seem otherwise. Moreover, there are said to be real health benefits to learning a new language when over 40 or 50.
It is a medical fact that the neuroplasticity of the brain decreases as we age, but there are real benefits to learning a new language that might surprise you. The onset of dementia and other age-related diseases can be slowed down just by learning a new language in the twilight of our years.
Learning a language in the latter part of our lives can be more beneficial than achieving it when at school, simply because there is a much harder effort involved. One can easily compare learning Spanish or French with a physical workout. The harder you run, the stronger and fitter you become. The more intense and determined you are at learning a new language, the greater our cognitive skills and brain power improves.
If the benefits of learning a new language can actually show positive results in mental health, it should be the fillip for the baby boomer generation to get out those language books and begin a path into learning a new language.
See our list of articles about how to learn Spanish, including Education and Travel related topics.
Costandi, Mo. “Am I Too Old to Learn a New Language?” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 13 Sept. 2014, ww.theguardian.com/education/2014/sep/13/am-i-too-old-to-learn-a-language.