Learning a new language can be a tough as we age
Learning a new language can be a tough challenge at any age, however it seems to be exceptionally difficult to get the hang of a foreign tongue as we age.
This is because the human brain becomes less adept at soaking up new information straight away and takes a bit more processing and practice before it’s able to hit its stride.
To help us on this path, teacher, Esteban Touma shares his insight on getting to grips with learning another language as an adult and make language learning a fun part of your routine…
Open your mind
As humans age, unfortunately adults become a bit less adaptable than kids – and we don’t just mean physically!
We’ve spent years developing a mind system that’s great at organising information. This makes us really effective at learning new things, except for languages.
It’s hard to break with the rules of that system, and that’s exactly what you need to do, because you’re literally learning another system.
This is why it can seem easier for kids to learn a new language. Children are open-minded and their cognitive function is wide open, meaning it’s less work for them to pick up new things.
The good news is that learning a language isn’t really that hard if you’re open to opening your mind! But it does take dedication and motivation to achieve your goals.
It’s about connection
Firstly, it’s important to remember that learning a language is not really about learning a language.
What you’re actually learning is how to communicate in a new way with other human beings, so keeping that in mind throughout the language learning process can really help you achieve your goals.
Try to connect with people you may know, or listen to podcasts and music in your target language, or read about the country’s history.
Also remember that you have to be ready to share your own unique human experience with others in that language, so make sure what you’re learning is related to you.
If I’m learning, say, Italian, I would never remember how to say “dove è la biblioteca?” or “where is the library?” but I will always remember how to say “Dov’è la pizza e il vino? Subito!”. Priorities.