Most people believe that if they have not acquired a second language by age 20, that there is no point in trying. This could not be farther from the truth. Learning a second language is a lifelong process which takes determination and perseverance, something that adults are quite good at. With technology today, most adult learners will be learning from the comforts of their own home and this provides ample opportunities to take the language leap of faith and start learning a new language.
Now I know what you’re thinking, surely adults can’t learn a language the same way children acquire their native language! Actually, they can. Yes, it can be more difficult to pick up another language at a later age but thanks to life experience and previous knowledge, an adult learner can obtain a second language similar to how a child does. Regardless of when you acquire an additional language, it gives your brain remarkable benefits. Not only does it make you more of a rational thinker but it also delays the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia by as much as five years. If that is not a good enough reason for you, feel free to read on to find out the many reasons why when it comes to learning a new language, older is better.
Motivation and Consistency
Language is a powerful tool that adults use to communicate with colleagues and clients at work. It helps people to think creatively and helps you to work on becoming a better problem solver. It also makes you a wonderful candidate for promotion in a globalized world. Adults make great language learners because they are focused on the end goal. As an online learner, you can control your schedule at a time convenient to you and maximize how much time you study each week. Easy access to online resources means that you can sit down for a one to one session right after work without having to embark on a long commute to a Language school. You will learn best through repetition and a variety of teaching methods which our private tutors use that you can find here.
Adults acquire another language by inferencing. They have the advantage of already knowing a language that they can use to apply it to when trying to understand a new one. Adults have already mastered their own language so they are used to sentence structure including grammar, syntax, pronunciation and intonation. Some studies have even shown that the sounds in your native language can help you pronounce new words in your second language.
Style of Learning
Everyone learns in different ways. There are many different language paths that can be taken. Adults are aware of how they learn best. This is something that can be communicated with your tutor. If you are a visual learner, you will need to see the words displayed while you speak, if you learn by listening then conversations and other interactions will work best for you. This level of self-awareness will help speed up the learning process of acquiring your second language.
Older and Wiser
The beauty of learning when you are older is knowing that it will be difficult and there will be times when you will mess up. Making mistakes is not daunting to an adult. How you learn is through practice. In order to speak a language well, you will have to speak it poorly first. Adults know that they are on the learning curve and are able to look at the bigger picture. The key is to be understood, not to sound like a native and know that small improvements will come with time, patience and consistent practice. When acquiring a new language, a growth mindset and a positive outlook will go a long way working towards a place where it becomes automatic when you speak.
Adults have a longer attention span which means you can focus on the Language as long as is needed in order to pick it up fast. You can dedicate as much time as is required to master the language. They are willing to learn in a formal setting and able to focus for long periods of time. Adults are great at retaining new vocabulary and memorizing sentences. When it comes to grammar and vocabulary, adults significantly outperform young children.
Learning by Reading
Adults are able to read. Reading is a skill that is transferable regardless of the language. If you are a good reader in your native language then you can use those skills and apply them to reading a second language. Having the ability to read the words will help with comprehension and how you pronounce the words.
Adults have a freedom of control that they can command over their life. This is a luxury that children do not have. You have the ability to dictate your future by the decisions in which you make.
You are never too old to embark on the journey of learning a new language. It will challenge you, encourage growth and make you a great communicator. It is never too late to do yourself a favor and make a linguistic leap from “Hello” to “Bonjour!”.
Now that you know the advantages of learning as an adult, you are equipped to conquer a new language, you are the only person stopping you. Let’s get started!