The aging of the population and the increasing number of older adults pursuing foreign language courses call for a greater understanding of the ways in which these individuals learn foreign languages. This book offers a pioneering contribution to the literature on foreign language education for older adults (aged 60 and over), termed foreign language geragogy. It details an empirical, multidisciplinary study on Japanese older learners of Spanish and focuses on the influence of learning experiences on vocabulary learning strategy use. It discusses the constraints that preconceptions impose on learners, researchers, instructors and administrators, and it offers a set of practical recommendations for foreign language activities for elderly individuals. It also introduces the notion of ‘learner re-training’, an instructional mechanism that contributes to older learners' self-acknowledgment and autonomy development in foreign language learning. The book is directed at teachers and trainee teachers of foreign languages to older adults, and also at education professionals and researchers in the field of foreign language learning in general.
Language Teaching and the Older Adult is a watershed moment in the field of adult education. Ramírez Gómez successfully interweaves that theoretical interface between the study of foreign languages and geragogy, whilst also engaging a practitioner’s lens that culminates in practical recommendations for programme facilitators. This book is a necessary read for facilitators and academics working in adult education.
- Marvin Formosa, University of Malta, Malta
This is an excellent introduction to foreign language (FL) teaching for older adults. It provides a thorough overview of the issues facing older FL students and explicit techniques for addressing these issues. It explains why FL teaching for older adults is something we should all be interested in. This book will be of interest to not only teachers, but FL and TESL program coordinators, researchers and even therapists working with older adults as we all prepare to cater to an aging world population.
- Loran Edwards, Ritsumeikan University, Japan
In recent years the teaching of second languages has focused more and more on younger learners, while virtually ignoring the growing demographic of much older learners, particularly in developed countries like Japan or Western Europe. Ramírez Gómez's timely book not only redresses this imbalance but proposes a pedagogy – not based on a deficit model of the older learner – that both respects and enlists the older learner’s experience and learning dispositions.
- Scott Thornbury, The New School, USA
Danya Ramírez Gómez has a PhD in Linguistics and Language Sciences and has over 10 years of experience working with older adults. She is a member of the Kobe Project on Language Science and L2 Acquisition at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, and her areas of research include foreign language geragogy and the introduction of notions of theoretical linguistics in the foreign language classroom.