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5 questions for a language learner in later life

What do people say about learning a language when they’re older?

Don and his wife have recently retired and are planning a 3-month trip to Europe.

They’re especially looking forward to visiting the family of the German exchange student who lived with them 5 years ago and whose parents own a vineyard in the Moselle valley.

To prepare for their stay, Don wants to “excavate” his school-boy German.

  1. How do you feel about learning German?
    I’m actually excited because it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while. When Alexander was staying with us, some phrases from German at school started coming back, which surprised me. And then I remembered how much I’d enjoyed German but never really got to use it. Now I want to see how good I can get for our trip.

  2. What’s the hardest thing about learning German?
    Of course it’s remembering vocabulary. That’s definitely harder than it used to be and I wasn’t sure I could do it.

  3. How do you overcome this?
    In the coaching sessions, Christina showed me a better way of using flashcards plus some other useful techniques to help me remember things. She also showed me some fun online resources. These days there are so many more possibilities to learn and practise.

  4. What are your goals?
    We’re going to spend a month in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and I want to be comfortable dealing with people in shops, hotels and restaurants in their language. When we’re staying with Alexander’s parents, I want to be able to talk with them and find out all about how they make their wine.

  5. What’s your advice for older people who want to learn a language?
    Don’t let the age factor put you off. You can still learn and improve. But get some help to make it easier and faster so you’re not wasting your time.

Read about Maud’s experience learning French in retirement here.

And if you don’t know how to start brushing up or picking up a language, email me and I can help.

© Christina Wielgolawski