When the mind floats to life past retirement, a number of activities come to mind – RV trips, shuffleboard games, golf outings, etc. Learning a new language isn’t exactly at the top of the list.
Interest in language learning has increased significantly over the last decade, with individuals around the globe embarking on personal endeavors to learn new languages through personalized study, group classes and immersion programs. This has come largely in response to the ever-changing global market that requires more and more job-seekers to speak more than one language. However, if the piqued interest in the over-50 in language learning is any indication, it has something to do with personal development as well.
The Baby Boomer generation in the U.S. is reaching retirement age, and improved global health standards have increased lifespan significantly, meaning a growing senior population that is unprecedentedly healthy, active and looking for new outlets. The language education industry has reacted accordingly.
The recognition of the older population’s interest in language has translated into a mini-boom of language programs geared specifically towards seniors. Tailored to the learning styles, aptitudes and schedules of the demographic, these programs are popping up at an increasing rate.
Though learning a new language may prove increasingly difficult with age, it’s not impossible – the retirees doing so now are living proof.