Why Learning Spanish Is Actually EASIER for Adults
You might not know this, but learning Spanish for adults is actually easier than for younger people.
Although children’s brains are like sponges that absorb all kinds of new information, adults have a series of advantages that make learning a second language quite a bit easier!
Keep reading to learn the top 5 reasons for why learning Spanish for adults is actually easier.
You’ll discover that there are some myths about how our brain works that have been dispelled by new research, plus a couple of logical considerations that are usually overlooked when talking about learning Spanish at an older age.
5 Reasons Why Learning Spanish is Easier for Adults
Learning Spanish for adults seems to have a stigma as a difficult task or something that children are better prepared to do. However, new research has shown that this idea isn’t necessarily true.
Here you have five key reasons why learning Spanish is actually easier for adults.
1. The Brain Remains Flexible Well Into Adulthood
One of the main arguments used to explain why learning a second language was supposedly easier for children than for adults is that as people get older the brain’s plasticity (that is, its capacity to adapt itself to learn a new skill) diminishes.
However, a new study conducted at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain, and Language shows that “the brain remains flexible enough to learn new languages well into adulthood.” This could mean that for adults, it might be “easier to learn a language that has sounds similar to one’s native language.”
If the brain remains flexible enough and keeps its plasticity well into adulthood, then adults are better prepared to deal with the challenges that a new language brings up, as you’ll see in a moment.
2. Adults Have a Cognitive Advantage
Research findings have shown that adults outperform children in the acquisition of specific language skills such as morphology and syntax. The study suggests that this might be possible due to “adults’ cognitive advantage.”
But, what does having a cognitive advantage actually mean? Well, this refers to adults’ array of cognitive tools such as abstract thinking, logic, and a previous knowledge of grammar (even if from a different language).
All these tools add to the brain’s longer-than-expected plasticity, making learning Spanish for seniors an easier task than researchers previously thought. And that is without even mentioning all the other brain benefits that learning a second language provides.
3. Adults Have Larger Vocabularies Than Children
One of the most overlooked arguments when discussing the idea of enrolling in Spanish courses for adults is that “older people have larger vocabularies than younger ones.”
According to Albert Costa, a professor of neuroscience studying bilingualism at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, adults pick up a second language’s vocabulary much easier than kids.
Apparently, this occurs because of adults’ pre-existing knowledge. For adults, it’s easier to relate a word in a new language to a word in their own native language.
In contrast, for kids, many times they’re learning a new word in a second language that’s also new in their native language. Obviously, this situation makes it harder for them to learn the second language vocabulary.
Nonetheless, it’s also helpful to consider the different learning styles and try to identify which one is your primary type of learning style.
4. Adults Can Focus on One Project at a Time
I know what you’re thinking right now: “Adults are way busier than children!”.
But stay with me here, because although it’s true that children have more free time than adults, it’s also true that their little brains are bombarded with way more things to learn at their age.
Just think about how many subjects students have to learn at school, starting with their own native language’s grammar and spelling rules, and continuing with math, geography, science, social studies, literature, arts, and music—not to mention all the extracurricular activities and sports that kids engage in these days.
Seeing the issue from this perspective, it’s easier to understand why some say that adults are more focused on learning Spanish as a second language than children. Usually, when an adult decides to learn a new language, it’s because that’s a project they plan for and want to focus on.
5. Adults Are More Motivated
When you get older, you realize how precious your time really is, and you only embark on projects that are really important to you. If an adult decides to look for the best Spanish immersion programs for seniors, odds are that’s because learning Spanish is truly important for them.
Kids, on the other hand, tend to learn a second language as just one more thing they have to learn. Their whole life gravitates around learning, so much so that it’s so common for them to question why they have to study all that. If a child doesn’t find a satisfying answer for that question, they’re likely to lose their learning motivation.
In other words, adults study Spanish because they want to, while children do so because they have to. This “motivation gap” plays a major role in each group’s age-ability to learn Spanish as a second language.
Start Learning Spanish for Adults Today
As you can see, learning Spanish at an older age is totally doable. There are plenty of advantages that adults have on their side when learning a new language. Once you grasp this reality, the next step is to identify the best way to learn Spanish. As you’ll soon see, there are lots of Spanish books and workbooks, PDF worksheets, and even free apps online, but the question is how to make the most of all these available resources.
Learning Spanish improves your cognition and decision-making abilities, which is an excellent reason to look for courses offering Spanish immersion for adults. This highly effective method enables you to learn the language at your own pace.
To try it out today, sign up for a free trial class with one of our certified, native Spanish-speaking teachers from Guatemala! At Homeschool Spanish Academy, we teach over 24,000 actively enrolled students every month and offer flexible scheduling and tailored Spanish programs at affordable rates.
Join one of the 40,000 classes that we teach each month and you can experience results like these
“This is the best way for your kid to learn Spanish. It’s one-on-one, taught by native Spanish speakers, and uses a curriculum.”
– Sharon K, Parent of 3
“It’s a great way to learn Spanish, from native Spanish speakers in a 1-on-1 environment. It’s been fairly easy to schedule classes around my daughter’s other classes. The best value for us has been ordering multiple classes at a time. All the instructors have been great!”
– Cindy D, Parent of 3
“HSA offers very affordable, quality, one on one classes with a native speaker. My son has greatly benefited from taking classes. We have seen his confidence increase as well as his pronunciation improve, because he learns from a native Spanish speaker. HSA has quick, personal customer service. Our family has been very pleased with our experience so far!”
– Erica P. Parent of 1
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