Language Teaching and the Older Adult
The Significance of Experience
Danya Ramírez Gómez
The aging of the population and the increasing number of older adults pursuing foreign language courses call for a greater understanding of the ways in which these individuals learn foreign languages. This book offers a pioneering contribution to the literature on foreign language education for older adults (aged 60 and over), termed foreign language geragogy. It details an empirical, multidisciplinary study on Japanese older learners of Spanish and focuses on the influence of learning experiences on vocabulary learning strategy use. It discusses the constraints that preconceptions impose on learners, researchers, instructors and administrators, and it offers a set of practical recommendations for foreign language activities for elderly individuals. It also introduces the notion of ‘learner re-training’, an instructional mechanism that contributes to older learners' self-acknowledgment and autonomy development in foreign language learning. The book is directed at teachers and trainee teachers of foreign languages to older adults, and also at education professionals and researchers in the field of foreign language learning in general.