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Language Learning Later in Life

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Language Learning Later in Life delves into the burgeoning field of learning a new language at an older age and its multifaceted impact on healthy ageing. Authored by leading researchers in the domain, this comprehensive volume explores the pivotal role of language learning in promoting cognitive vitality and enhancing psychosocial well-being among ageing populations.

Against the backdrop of a global demographic shift towards an older society, the book addresses pressing challenges associated with an ageing population, including neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and the psychosocial ramifications of loneliness and depression. It underscores the significance of proactive measures for healthy ageing, with a particular focus on the transformative potential of lifelong language learning.

The book examines how later-life language learning can stimulate cognitive functions and contribute to mitigating memory loss. It synthesizes findings from empirical studies highlighting the cognitive benefits of language courses for older adults while emphasizing the intrinsic social rewards of language acquisition in later years.

Moreover, the book provides insights into the evolving landscape of later-life language learning research, showcasing initiatives like the Third Age Language Learning (TALL) network that foster collaboration among scholars. It showcases ongoing investigations into individual learning trajectories, effective teaching methodologies, and the intersection of language learning with overall well-being.

With contributions spanning experimental studies, qualitative analyses, and innovative case studies, this book serves as a definitive resource for researchers and practitioners interested in harnessing the potential of language learning to promote healthy ageing and enrich the lives of older adults worldwide.

Published: Mar 1, 2026