5 Reasons You Need To Learn a Second Language Later In Life

An older woman looking out at the water while she is abroad studying another language.

One of the biggest myths, we believe, is that people over a certain age are unable to learn a new language.

People over the age of 50 are interested in participating in social study groups and attending overseas study classes. They’re open to the idea of growing their mind and keeping their brains healthy and they want to see the world while doing it.

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In this blog post, we’re cutting ties with this myth and sharing five compelling reasons why you should learn a second language later in life.

Delay Aging

An older woman seen looking into the camera not aging due to learning a second language.

First thing is first, speaking two languages helps delay dementia. A study conducted by researchers at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences took 648 seniors with varying forms of dementia and literacy. Participants who spoke a second language were able to delay Alzheimer’s Disease, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia by 4.5 years.

Speaking a second language requires a specific type of brain training and switching between two languages needs a certain type of attention. That part of the brain, if used and exercised, could be what delays certain types of dementia.

Keeping your Mind Sharp & Brain Healthy

Learning a second language can keep your mind sharp & brain healthy.

In addition to delaying dementia, learning a new language allows you to remind yourself what is possible to achieve if you put your mind to it.

Learning a new language involves memorizing grammar rules, different tones and all of the vocabulary. It’s a workout for your brain and once you start practicing the language, your recall will improve.

People who are bilingual or are learning another language are typically better at remembering lists, directions and sequences.

Getting More from Your Travel Adventures

An older man and woman are seen taking a picture while traveling abroad

One of the best perks of learning another language is that it gives you the possibility to travel abroad. Temporarily say goodbye to your house, get someone else to water your garden and begin to live your worldly travel dreams!

One way to reach at least one of your bucket list locations is to study that country’s language.

Once you begin learning your second language, it will help traveling become easier for you. Even learning a few words will lead to experiences that you wouldn’t experience if you stuck to the tourist streets.


A group of mature students socialize while learning a second language  later in life.

Signing up for a second language course is a great way for you to meet other people who share the same interests in language and culture as you. As a mature student, there is an increasing amount of interest in cultural meetups, community programs and extracurricular activities.

These are all great ways to socialize and meet new people while studying a second language abroad.

The friends you meet abroad could become some of your longest lasting friendships.

Enhancing Cultural Appreciation

A scenic photograph of Kunming China overlooking the water.

Learning a new language gives you a newfound appreciation for the movies, books and city streets of that country. It makes you want to become a local to able to live like they do without thinking “do I look out of place here?”

Once you start to understand the language, you will want to get outside of the classroom more and experience your surroundings. Say yes to travel days, group trips and volunteering experiences. These will deepen your connection with your new city and language.

Plus, once you get out and start reading and learn about the country and city’s culture, your family will see you as a professional. They’ll be able to ask you anything and you’ll probably know the answer.

That’s what having a love for learning, language and education do to a person!

The Time is Now

For the people who have been monolingual, the time to change that is now. Research shows that adults who decide to learn a foreign language are completely capable of becoming highly proficient.

There are so many reasons to learn a second language as an adult. Not only will it build your social circle but it builds your brain power too.

If you’re interested in learning Mandarin in Kunming, China, contact Keats School today. We offer a number of different courses that could be of interest for more mature students.

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