I've heard over and over again the idea that only kids learn languages well and quickly. That may be true, but one thing adults have the advantage of is that they already understand concepts versus children aren't just learning sounds and translations but entire concepts.
For example, children on average listen to their native language for 2 to 2 1/2 years before two word phrases are even spoken! That means they take way longer than the average adult before the ability to speak. Consider that an encouragement and enticement to start your language journey!
Another defeating idea is that one can be too old to learn a language, if you are a senior citizen. However, I believe that is also an ego based idea preventing someone from trying because taking on learning a language confronts beliefs of one's value and inherent intelligence.
First of all, you already have learned a language when you were a child. What makes you think you can't do it again? Secondly, age does not prohibit one from learning. Learning a second language within retirement age can actually stimulate your brain and help decrease memory and cognitive loss over time.
Third, when in retirement you have more time than ever to jump into a new skill. Why not take advantage of the space and time one has earned after a lifetime of working and little time to spare?
These are all great reasons to learn regardless of age. I have worked with retired persons and they have told me they felt surprised with their ability and the fun of learning. They reflected that it was challenging yet possible and enlightening to see what they could do at their ages.
That being said, I believe it's important to question our limiting beliefs any time we want to start something new, and ask ourselves why we don't think we can do it. Our egos are magnificent at coming up with excuses for things that would take us out of our comfort zones and I see it time and time again with language learning.
Don't forget that you can BE, DO, or HAVE anything you want in this world, regardless of your age or limiting beliefs. Begin today taking risks and questioning what really matters to you. Life is too short to not go out on a limb, after all that's where the best fruit is!
Brittany is a bilingual Spanish teacher who has lived in Spain and Argentina. Through this blog, she hopes to relate her travels, insights, and Spanish speaking journey!