You’re never too old to learn a language

You’re never too old to learn a language

You’re never too old to learn a language!

As we’ve all heard on the news, people around the world are living longer with most people being able to expect to live well into their 60s. According to the World Health Organisation: “By 2030, 1 in 6 people in the world will be aged 60 years or over.” A longer life means more opportunities to explore a new career, a new hobby or go back to your roots and uncover a long-forgotten passion. Have you always wanted to learn a language but been held back by time or family duties? Read on to find out why learning a language means more than being able to speak the local lingo when you’re in your senior years.

Work your grey matter

There is no typical senior; some people’s cognitive skills decline quickly in later years whilst others have the mental capacities of someone over half their age. Neurologists say that learning new skills stimulates neurons in the brain to create more neural pathways, meaning impulses can travel even faster. A class of any kind engages your cognitive skills, short and long-term memory and focus to improve your brain health and potentially stave off dementia. Learning a language is extra special because it improves your brain’s neuroplasticity. As you learn new grammar, new vocabulary and an entirely new way of communicating, your brain is forced to adapt to new patterns and rules which, in turn, enhances your neuroplasticity to help you think and react fast. The sheer mental effort it takes to learn a new language helps you stay sharp in your senior years as it improves your problem solving and multi-tasking skills. A language course is basically a workout for your brain!

The feel-good factor

How good does it feel to learn something new? It can be something as simple as learning how to propagate a plant or as challenging as tiling a splashback. No matter how big or small, having a new skill under your belt is a great way to boost your self-confidence and show you another side to yourself. It releases dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone, which not only helps you cope with the stress of everyday life but also boosts your energy levels and immunity. Learning a language opens you up to new cultures and communities (we’ll come back to this later), opening our minds to the world around us and lifting our spirits. Stepping into a new environment and using a different language among strangers can be daunting, but it’s worth it for the sense of accomplishment you get as you navigate and thrive in unfamiliar terrain. Learning a language improves your wellbeing no matter your age, but when you’re in your senior years, the realisation that it’s never too late to learn, adapt and succeed in whatever you put your mind to is priceless.

The world is your oyster

The best way to learn a language is to go on a study abroad trip and get to grips with the lingo in the country where it’s spoken. Learning a language helps you explore foreign countries with confidence and, most importantly, independence. Being able to order your lunch, book tickets at the train station or ask your teacher for recommendations about where to visit in another language gives you an unbelievable sense of empowerment. Seniors who decide to learn a language abroad often feel more open to new adventures and exploring new places. Your newfound adventurous streak will see your energy levels soar and give you a fresh purpose. Where will your second language take you next?

Paris for seniors

The French capital is more than just the “City of Love”, it’s a cultural hotspot with much to offer travellers of all ages. Seniors visiting Paris will be delighted at the work the city has put into making its infrastructures more accessible. Many metro stations have lifts and ramps in place, many buses have low floors so you can board easily and many hotels have accessible rooms and facilities. Parisian landmarks including the Eiffel Tower and Versailles have ramps, lifts and convenient seating to suit senior visitors. Most museums and visitor attractions provide discounted entry for over 65s and you can even take a cruise on the Seine for less, just make sure you keep your ID with you in case you’re asked to provide proof of age. Paris is full of beautiful gardens and parks where you can relax and people watch after a tour of one of the capital’s iconic sites… take your time and live life like a local. ACCORD language school provides the perfect place for seniors to learn French in a warm and friendly environment within a stone’s throw of the leafy Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower. The French lessons focus on oral communication to boost your confidence, mentally prepare you for exploring Paris after class and encourage social connections among you and your classmates. Experience a new lease of life with a new skill and reap the rewards whether it be cognitive, mental or emotional.

Contact us for our range of study abroad options and any advice you need for your next adventure.

Contact Active Languages

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