Am I Too Old To Learn A Language?

There are some studies out there that say that if you are over 50, you are too old to learn a new language. It simply isn’t true. On the contrary in fact, reliable studies have shown that adults actually learn better and faster than children. They have the ability to grasp a new language just as if they were younger. One study done by Hakuta, Bialystok and Wiley compared language learning ability in adults of different ages. They put them all in the same learning environment and they were all taught the same words. The result? 20 and 30 year olds learnt just as well as people over 50.

Think for example about immigrants. Many of them are older people who are looking to improve their lives by starting over in other countries. To have any chance of getting a job, they have to be able to communicate. Many of them join night language classes and within weeks, they are able to communicate. Of course it takes them a while to become proficient, but they are able to learn hundreds, even thousands of words within just a short time.

One thing you should do if you want to learn a new language when you are over 50 is keep your brain active and used to learning new things. An active brain learns a lot better than an inactive one. It isn’t very hard to keep your brain active. You only need to constantly find new things to do. Get outdoors and see what you can find out there that interests you. You can start to learn the names of trees, flowers and birds. You can join a class where you learn something new, like pottery or cookery. Indoors, keep your mind alive by reading and doing crosswords. If you do different things constantly, you will find that you learn a new language much more easily. Your diet also matters. There are certain foods that will help you remember things better. Check online for what these are and have more of them in your day to day meals.

There is a reverse effect to keeping your mind active so that you can learn a new language. As you learn, your mind becomes active. Each new word you learn causes different connections. You strain to remember what you have learnt and this also helps your brain to stay healthy and active.

Don’t despair on learning a new language just because you are over 50. You can start a new life abroad quite easily. You can get an international job as well. As a matter of fact, many retirees go ahead and volunteer their services helping people abroad because they have learnt to speak their language. It keeps them healthy and happy and they also have some kind of income coming in. Compare this to waiting around for the years to roll by. You will definitely be missing out on a lot. Learn a new language and join the world out there.