When you think of a language learner, what age do you think of? Maybe someone who is 3 years old, 6 years old, teenagers, people in their 20’s, and people in their 30’s? How many of you have someone who is over 70 years old in mind? Well, despite the common perception that older people “can’t” learn another language, one of our students at EZ Learning Club is contradicting that stereotype. Our student Rodika, who is from Romania, is over 70 years old, but she is enrolled in one of our English classes. She has demonstrated that she can learn how to read, write, speak, and listen to English.
Whenever we read a story in class, for example, she’s proven that she can not only understand the vocabulary, but also the events in the story. A story that comes to mind is “Fufu Returns.” This story is about a cat named Fufu that lives with a caretaker who treats her very well, but then the cat leaves because the caretaker’s dog Bruno eats from Fufu’s dish, sits on her sofa, and near her window. This causes Fufu to leave, but then comes back after Bruno dies. Rodika was able to recite the events in the story without looking at the book.
In addition, Rodika has shown that she can pick up knowledge of new grammar concepts, as well as remember older concepts that she learned before. Perhaps her ability to learn English stems from the fact that she not only speaks her native language Romanian, but also French. Usually when people learn a second language, it is easier for them to pick up a third language, and Rodika is proof of that. We are proud of her and believe that she can serve as a role model for others who are much older and want to learn a language. So the next time someone says “you are too old to learn a language,” tell them that age is only a number and anyone can learn a language, no matter how old she or he is.