A recent article in the Medical Daily, Bilingual Benefits: How Learning Another Language Keeps Your Mind Sharp, No Matter Your Age, highlights the importance of even minimal language learning in keeping the brain healthy, even for older adults.
For language educators, this research helps to break down the myths of language learning that adults often carry – that adults can’t learn languages after a certain age. Confidence and a sense of affirmation in learning is important for motivation and for success. Adults need this as much as younger learners, if not more because of their past experiences of failure or difficulties in language learning.
This affirmation is important from a peace perspective as well, as it creates a more positive learning atmosphere and helps learners to experience language learning as peacebuilding, regardless of their age or proficiency level.