Hablas Espanol?: Learning a New Language as a SeniorOctober 17, 2016 | Chateau Brickyard
Hablas Espanol? If so, you're part of a growing group of senior language learners who have taken on the challenge of learning a second language. Recent research has shown that older adults canlearn a new language just as easily as a young child can, enabling seniors to broaden their horizons and learn new skills they may not have had time for in their younger years. Learning a new language later in life is important for the mind and heart, and can have positive impacts on the aging brain. Read on to learn more about learning a foreign language as a senior and the weekly Spanish class taught at Chateau Brickyard senior living community in Salt Lake City, UT.
Learning a Second Language
Learning a second language as a senior is a great way to stay active both socially and mentally. Seniors who live in independent living communities merely need to walk out their doorstep to attend class, and they can do so with their friends and fellow residents. They can easily practice new words and language skills while walking the grounds, eating meals, or participating in other activities; this typically increases the rate of language retention and makes the entire experience more fun and interactive.
Most experts believe that the idea of a language learning age limit is false because seniors possess skills and abilities that young children and teens don't have. For example, seniors typically have more time to learn a second language because they often aren't working, attending school, or raising families. Furthermore, because seniors are choosing to learn a language as opposed to being forced to for school or work-related travel, they are more inclined to practice and more likely to enjoy their studies and use their new skills in everyday life.
Many adults have the added benefit of knowing a second language, or at least remembering some parts of it from their days in school. Other adults may have grown up with parents and grandparents speaking a second language in the home. The exposure to foreign language throughout one's life makes learning a new language easier and is also culturally enriching.
Spanish Class at Chateau Brickyard
Our weekly Spanish class is taught by Activities Director Gigi Gazani and has become increasingly popular since its inception. Gigi now leads an average of 5 residents on a weekly educational adventure. Gigi noted, "As I was talking to our residents, I learned that some of their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren are married to an individual who speaks Spanish. They want to be able to understand and have a nice conversation with them in their language." Since Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States, our Spanish class allows our residents to have more opportunities for connection within their family and community.
David Solomon, a resident who participates in the class, said "I decided to attend Spanish class because I heard other residents speaking Spanish and I wasn't able to understand. It made me a little frustrated, but now I feel like I'm going in the right direction."
Learning a second language keeps the senior brain sharp and active and helps to unify those who live in senior living communities. Our Spanish class at Chateau Brickyard has an excellent retention rate and is loved by the students who attend. Whether you're learning in a group setting or by yourself, we hope you enjoy your studies and the confidence and empowerment they bring. Buena suerte!
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