Is it Possible for Individuals to Successfully Learn Spanish Over the Age of 50? The answer is a resounding YES, and Aurora’s journey to the Costa del Maresme with Spanish Express exemplifies that age is merely a number when it comes to learning foreign languages.
A British national over 50, Aurora left her hometown in Hertfordshire, England to enrol in a customised Spanish course in Spain. Her goal was not just to speak Spanish, but also to immerse herself in the culture and connect with her Spanish heritage.
She opted for a learning experience that combined traditional Spanish lessons with cultural activities. From exploring Spanish words and phrases to reading Spanish newspapers, her focus was on becoming more fluent in one week.
This wasn’t a high school Spanish class but an intensive, tailor-made program designed for older adults who wish to expand their linguistic horizons.
So, if you’re looking to spend your week enriching your life, read on to find out how Aurora achieved her Spanish-speaking dreams.
Spain Diaries: Aurora travels from Hertfordshire, England, to Costa del Maresme, Dosrius, Barcelona, Spain
Destination: Costa del Maresme, Barcelona, Spain
Objective: To explore and learn a new language on a hidden coast of Spain: the Costa del Maresme while improving her Spanish.
Introduction to the student, her background, preferences, and goals
Although Aurora grew up in England, she has always longed to travel to Spain because of her distant relatives, who are Spanish.
She was keen to get to know her Spanish heritage now that her daughters had grown up and flown the nest. So she took the plunge to improve her Spanish, and took advantage of our program: Live and Study at your teacher’s home.
Can someone over 50 learn Spanish?
The answer is YES!
- Sometimes, it’s not easy to pick up a second language as we get older, even though learning a language is proven to stimulate the brain at any age, so go for it!
- Although we think we may be a little less sharp than we used to be, we also have strengths that we didn’t have when we were younger.
- It is much easier and more enjoyable to try to speak a language while you are in the part of the world where it is spoken.
- Never say never. It is not impossible to keep achieving as we get older, even if it initially seems challenging.
Why is it beneficial to learn languages after turning 50?
- The brain becomes flabby when it is not used, like any other part of the body, so use it!
- You studied grammar at school and probably didn’t get much out of it. When you learn Spanish, you discover a lot more about your own language.
- You will be able to communicate with people from other countries and make new friends as you travel around the world.
- By learning a foreign language, we also become more sociable: who doesn’t have a Spanish-speaking neighbour nearby?
- Learning a language keeps you young in spirit!
A tailor-made Spanish language and culture program for Aurora on the Costa del Maresme, Dosrius, Barcelona, Spain.
A special and valuable opportunity for linguistic practice and cultural immersion is offered by customising a plan in which you, the student, can choose the city, town, or island you wish to visit and be accompanied by your tutor.
One of the factors to consider is the level of language proficiency required to fully benefit from the program. Students may need a certain level of language learning and fluency to participate fully depending on the course, location, and activities planned.
By tailoring a class plan so that students can choose the city, town, or island they wish to visit and have a tutor accompany them, students are provided with a unique learning approach and an invaluable opportunity for linguistic and cultural immersion.
Overall, a program tailored in this way has the potential to offer students a truly rewarding experience and exceptional and immersive new language, linguistic and cultural experience, and could be a wonderful complement to the services provided by your organization.
Aurora has visited several destinations with our Spanish Homestay Immersion Programme (SHIP): Madrid and Menorca, and this year she asked us to create a tailor-made program for her, as she wanted to explore some of Spain’s most secluded coastlines: Costa del Maresme
Sandy beaches, great restaurants, and a train along the coast make it a perfect destination for anyone interested in learning not only Spanish but also Spain’s hidden treasures.
The Costa de Barcelona-Maresme is an ideal region to visit at any time of the year. It has an excellent climate and combines the richness of an internationally renowned tourist area with beaches of Mediterranean beauty, active marinas, culture, gastronomy, and the traditions of popular festivals with the greenery of three natural parks.
Close to Barcelona, the Maresme (made up of 30 municipalities, 16 on the coast and 14 inland) has become a cultural and leisure alternative to the big city. Natural areas with signposted trails, beaches with multiple services to enjoy the summer, villages with cultural and architectural routes, a wide range of museums to visit, and leisure companies with unique and original activities.
One of the first railway lines in Spain was created in Mataró, an industrial city and capital of the Maresme region, in 1848. This had the unforeseen benefit of making many inhabitants of the Maresme rich rather quickly!
The Maresme has been a tourist destination for Barcelonians for more than 50 years and has a wide range of cultural activities here, complementing the sun and attractive beaches for which this area became popular.
This is the Maresme, a great place to unwind for a few days after a city break or as a base for a mixed holiday with a quick trip to Barcelona… The locals won’t mind if you get to know their little-known treasure ;-)
And now let’s see what Aurora did during the visit…
A hiking route through the Montnegre I Corredor Natural Park, the first park of silence in Spain
Thanks to a campaign initiated by Quiet Parks International, this area has been designated as the first park of silence in the country. Its main objective is to ensure that natural areas are nothing but quiet and calm.
As a result, the Montnegre I Corredor Natural Park was included in the extensive list of parks around the world participating in this scheme.
Aurora wanted to experience the only park of its kind in Spain because she had read about it. It was a privilege to enjoy the beauty and the noisy animals in this area.
At the top of the mountain, we found El Santuario del Corredor, a gothic building from the end of the 16th century. It has two small side chapels in the nave, and its hull is of Latin Cross. The Virgen del Socorro is venerated in a small chapel behind the altar, which is elevated and easily accessible.
A cultural afternoon in Mataró
Mataró, located in the Maresme region of Barcelona, has a long history dating back to Roman times. Tourist attractions in this charming coastal town include the marina and beaches.
The old town is surrounded by walls dating back to the 16th century and is home to the Basilica of Santa María, whose medieval and neo-Romanesque exterior was added in the 19th century.
The main arteries of the city today are the Ramblas and the Riera. Some famous buildings have survived despite later architectural additions, such as the 17th-century town hall.
Aurora enjoyed walking around Mataró while having conversations in Spanish with me. Never underestimate the importance of having fun in Spanish classes. ;-)
Dancing to Spanish rhythms
It makes sense to listen to Spanish music. Learning Spanish through the lyrics of your favorite songs is much more fun than learning the words from a boring textbook.
By studying song lyrics you can learn dozens of new terms, idioms, colloquial phrases, new words, vocabulary, expressions, and accents, and you can also learn about the culture the song comes from.
By connecting with other Spanish music lovers, Spanish music also contributes to the development of friendships. You will meet people on the Internet, at concerts, or in clubs thanks to the mutual love of the music you discover. Being able to dance and sing along to the music you like is the best feeling.
Aurora loves to sing and dance, so a night out was a must. We shared the fun with some of my best friends who also love nights out.
Sunday family meal of seafood casserole with rice
As usual, my father prepared one of his specialties: seafood casserole with rice.
A common main dish in Spain, Colombia, and other Latin American countries is seafood casserole, a very nutritious dish as most seafood is low in fat and high in protein.
Saffron gives Catalan seafood its unique flavor. It is a very traditional fish casserole in various parts of Spain, made with a variety of fish and potatoes, as well as onions, peppers, tomatoes, and parsley.
Have you ever tried fideuá or seafood paella? During your visit with our host teachers, we encourage you to try most of the traditional Spanish dishes.
Relax on the beach
The beach is a great place to unwind. Life seems simpler when you’re lying on the warm sand, swaying in the air, and listening to the waves lapping against the shore.
Are you a beach bum or do you just love the beach so much that when it’s time to unwind, you picture palm trees and soothing Spanish music first? If so, we’ve got some relaxing beach days planned for you, accompanied by foreign languages, culture, gastronomy, and much more.
How was it possible for Aurora to improve her Spanish in 1 week?
Here are the main reasons Aurora made it possible to improve her Spanish in 1 week.
Aurora’s successful journey into improving her Spanish wasn’t just a stroke of luck. It was a tailored learning approach. She opted for our unique program that allows students to learn Spanish at their own pace.
With customized lessons and activities, Aurora found the learning process to be a truly rewarding experience, something often overlooked when one thinks of language courses.
Leisure Programs and Cultural Activities
While staying at Costa del Maresme, Aurora participated in various leisure programs to enrich her Spanish learning journey.
From cultural activities like attending local festivals to exploring the idyllic landscapes, she had an immersive experience that went beyond traditional classes.
This allowed her to pick up new words and idiomatic expressions that are often used in daily Spanish conversations.
Interaction in Small Groups
One unique aspect of our program is the formation of small groups for practice sessions. These smaller groups offer a more focused environment where Aurora was able to practice speaking Spanish with her peers. This is a great way to gain fluency and get used to the local language.
Apart from conventional Spanish classes, Aurora’s time in Costa del Maresme was filled with opportunities to practice her newfound skills in real-world settings.
A key part of language learning is the immersive experience, which is something textbooks can’t provide. Aurora found these hands-on experiences invaluable from shopping at local markets to engaging in conversation with native speakers.
Want to learn a New Language After 50?
Most people think that learning a new language over 50 may be a challenging task, but Aurora’s experience shows that age is just a number.
With a few tips and the right learning process, anyone, regardless of their age, can learn a new language. So, if you’re hesitating because you think you’re “too old,” remember, it’s never too late!
Visit Spain with us and live an experience like Aurora’s
If you want to live an exciting adventure like Aurora, join our SHIP! 😃
You can discover beautiful cities like Barcelona, Valencia, Burgos and Palma de Mallorca among other destinations while learning and practicing Spanish at our teachers’ homes or anywhere else in Spain, accompanied by our teachers and local guides. ✏️
Here you can read about our students’ experiences in the province of Barcelona. 📖
Join us and be the protagonist of our next diaries. 😁
Join Spanish Express!