Am I too old to learn English?

Some older people who dare to learn English are opting for online courses.

While it is true that the ability to learn decreases with age, it is not a reason to discourage older students; they have some advantages despite decreased neuroplasticity.

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Overcoming the challenge of learning English

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You no longer miss the train to learn English

There is a saying that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. New research shows that this proverb is largely false. For many years, modern neuroscience said that the brain in adults was a fixed structure, once it is damaged it can no longer be repaired. But recent research has tried to show the opposite, in reality the gray mass is highly dynamic, it can change if there are new experiences and it adapts to injuries, this phenomenon is known as neuroplasticity. This research suggests that a person is never too old to learn a language or something new, but the older the age, the more difficult it becomes. What is this about? to neuroplasticity that decreases as a person ages, which means that the brain is less able to change itself in response to experiences.

Some aspects of learning English can get easier with age

Albert Costa Professor at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona says: "The vocabulary of older people is broader than that of younger people, so it is likely that their vocabulary is as wide as that of a native person." For adults learning the vocabulary of a new language is much easier compared to young people. This is because new words can easily be assigned to a student's pre-existing knowledge.

Learning English can be a bit tricky for adults, but there is research claiming that doing so can be beneficial for the brain. As people age, they experience a decrease in mental functions such as attention and memory, and in some the acceleration of the process leads to the development of diseases such as Alzheimer's or some other forms of dementia. Today we know that learning can delay the onset of dementia, but the researchers noted "A large part of Hyderabad's population is bilingual but illiterate, so educated bilinguals were compared to bilinguals who never went to school." says Professor Thomas Bak. The study showed that dementia was delayed an average of six years in uneducated bilinguals compared to four years in educated bilinguals. "Learning a language could be more beneficial later in life than learning it earlier, because it requires more effort." says Bak.

There are no more disadvantages of the time, only health advantages

For some adults it is difficult to return to a classroom, although they are very interested in learning English, they prefer to spend time with their family because they have worked for years, some still do. The great advantage you have is the internet with online courses, even if you talk about having little money to learn . There are many options that are very useful for learning a new language. Despite the difficulties, Dias finds learning other languages healthy and fun; I also do it in part to keep my brain active, when you achieve some success expressing yourself, it feels like you are using other parts of the brain that you did not use before. Research shows that children who speak other languages use the same brain regions for both languages if learned during infancy, while learning a second language later in life involves different regions than those involved in using the native language. . And learn a language like English, as well as learning to play a musical instrument , seems to be a good way to keep the brain healthy and exercised throughout life.

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