Adults are often said to be less capable of learning new languages, particularly if they only speak their mother tongue some even use this as an excuse not to learn. However, they need not be the case. This article explains why it is never too late to learn to speak another language.
A whole new world opens up to you
Learning a new language introduces you to a whole new culture. Even expats who have lived in a foreign country without speaking its language have said that they never fully understood the culture and its people before they learnt to speak it. You can learn so much about the people, their lifestyle, the history of the country and its culture just from learning a new tongue. And you will learn more about your own culture and language by seeing the differences that exist between the two languages. A great way to learn your chosen language is by completely immersing yourself in it in a country where it is spoken. However, this is obviously not always possible, so instead you can find lessons, books and programmes which help you to study more effectively. A new language enables you to travel with more confidence, meet interesting people and experience new things. And it is never too late to do that.
Learning is suited to you
It is always possible to find lessons suited to you and your ability. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you are too shy, too nervous or too incompetent to learn a new language. If you find learning in a group daunting, you can opt for one-to-one lessons with a tutor. This enables you to focus on what you need to learn and go at your own pace. Some people prefer learning in a group, as it pushes them to learn more and helps their conversational skills. There are plenty of group lessons out there which cater for every need, whether it is basic conversation practice or exam preparation. This is particularly true for more popular languages such as Spanish, French or Chinese.
You are better than you think you are
It has been scientifically proven that adults are actually better at learning languages than children. While children under the age of about eight might be better at picking up new languages unconsciously, adults are more apt at understanding the rules of language. From the age of around twelve, we become more able to work out and remember new rules, with this ability increasing until adulthood. The same study also found that adults were even better at pronouncing words in the new language, contrary to popular belief. So next time someone tries to tell you that adults cannot learn languages, you can prove to them that actually, they can: science says so.
Learning a new language could be the best thing you do this year or even for the next few years! All you need to do now is decide which one you want to learn.
Krystyna Brundell is an experienced language tutor who writes articles about education in her spare time. She speaks five different languages and recommends that for Spanish courses London is a good place to look as there are many Spanish speakers and tutors residing in the capital.