Learning English for older people

Older people are curious and that is what I love about them. They know what they want and they know exactly how to get it. They speak their mind and are unafraid to make any necessary changes if there is something they are not happy with.


If you are an older person and you have decided to learn English, the most important thing you have to determine is what you want to learn. What are your objectives? From experience, I know, that older people are very practical so I would analyze thoroughly what you need English for? Do you want to brush up on the basics? Do you wish to travel more now that you have more time and so you want to be able to communicate better with foreigners? Do you want to feel confident using English in some day-to-day situations, such as a visit to a museum or a check-in at the hotel? Be specific!


Once you know, choose the right option for you. Do you prefer to attend group classes in a language school (very often available online these days) or maybe you would like to have one-to-one classes with a private tutor? Not every language academy and private tutor will cater to the needs of students who are 60 and over. So you may need to look scrupulously for an academy/teacher/tutor who will meet your needs and requirements.


Because learning new things might be a problem for older people, especially memorizing vocabulary as well as some advanced grammar rules and structures, I would advise you to ask your teacher to communicate clearly and focus on the most useful things for you. You don’t want to memorize something you will barely use in the future!


Ask also for as much stimulation as possible. It means using a wide range of films, recordings, YouTube videos, newspapers, magazines, radio and TV programs, etc. If I were you, I would make speaking my number one priority (unless you have some other specific goal in mind).


I think that a fabulous way to learn English when you are older is attending the University Of The Third Age, also known as U3A. These educational organizations offer a wide variety of courses to the retired and language classes are included in them. It is a very affordable option and you can meet a lot of like-minded individuals there.


All in all, I would encourage older people to try learning English. I know that some of you may feel that your level is not good enough and you are afraid to speak in public or speak at all. However, learning should be fun and it doesn’t matter if you mispronounce a word or make some other mistake. I firmly believe that using a language has one primary function – communication. As long as other speakers understand what you say in English and you understand them you are winning!


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