It’s never too late to learn … with Pueblo Espanol
The benefits of learning a language later in life.
An article in The Guardian a couple of years ago tackled the question, “Am I too old to learn a language?” Early on, the writer bemoaned the fact that, “I don't retain stuff as well as I used to. It just doesn't all click as easily.” Sound familiar?
Many non-Spaniards living in Spain came here later in life and arrived with little or no Spanish communication skills and learning a new language is a challenge. Especially for adults, who often point out that children find it so much easier. But that’s just a belief; one that gets in the way of learning and besides, it’s not the whole truth…
The learning process is the same no matter how old you are
Even if it feels slow sometimes, the actual way in which you learn Spanish is the same for everyone. It’s all about exposure, repetition, and learning in context.
The usual order is first you learn the easy grammar structures (just like when you learned your native tongue), then you take little steps, one after the other, building on your knowledge, repeating, listening, testing, learning from the inevitable mistakes and over time, your fluency and confidence increases.
Whatever age you are, the goal is always being able to communicate effectively and not have a perfect accent or an encyclopedic knowledge. The most important thing to remember is not to be so hard on yourself! If you were learning golf or padel, you wouldn’t expect to win a tournament, right?
Like wine, language learning can be better with age
And adult Spanish learners do have some advantages:
We find it easier to build up our vocabulary. After all, by now we have a large vocabulary in our first language and that makes it easier to map across the new words (we have a hook to hang them on).
When you learn (and use!) a new language it makes our brains more agile, better able to think quickly and switch between tasks.
Maturity brings better control over emotions, meaning frustration and other negative feelings don’t get in the way of your learning.
Learning a new language keeps the brain working and can slow down age-related decline and dementia.
How Pueblo Español helps adult learners
On a Pueblo Español full immersion course, you get over 100 hours of conversation in just 8 days. That’s a huge amount of exposure to Spanish and plenty of opportunity to practice. You’ll get more Spanish (and more learning) in a single Pueblo Español course than you will in a year of classes! This gives you lots of essential repetition. When you’re constantly hearing the language from native Spanish speakers, you naturally begin to correct your own mistakes. Also, we all have our own worries that get in the way of learning – anxiety, lack of confidence, stress, etc. – but Pueblo Español is specifically focused on helping you push past these barriers so you can relax and learn.
A great side benefit
There’s also a social side to Pueblo Español. As well as meeting dozens of your fellow students (aged 24-85), from all over the world, you become friends with the native Spaniards, all of whom are chosen for their breadth of life experience as well as their teaching skills.
So, if you’re one of those people who thinks you can’t do it, that Spanish is ‘impossible’, don’t be so hard on yourself. If you feel like an old dog who can’t learn a new trick, rest assured, you can. It just depends on how the trick is taught…
Pueblo Español courses are run by Diverbo (a name that includes diversity, fun and language), a Spanish company with over 15 years’ experience in full immersion language courses. The courses in Jaen and Salamanca combine a wide variety of learning exercises with and equally deep immersion in Spanish culture, making for a fully-rounded and life-changing experience. The next courses will be: March 17-24 and April 21-28, both in Úbeda, Jaen (declared a World Heritage site since 2013). In the summer, there are also programmes scheduled for students between 14 and 18 and for university students aged 19 to 23. For details of these and other Pueblo Español courses in 2017, contact Maria Goyanes on +34 913 913 400 or email@example.com, or visit the website at puebloespanol.com