Advertisement

Developing a Foreign Language Geragogy: Teaching Innovations for Older Learners

  • Danya Ramírez-GómezEmail author
Chapter
Part of the New Language Learning and Teaching Environments book series (NLLTE)

Abstract

This chapter suggests modifying several teaching techniques in order to improve Japanese older adults’ foreign language learning. Such innovations include enhanced learner training, older learners’ reassessment of their abilities and their preconceptions regarding learning in old age, and the adjustment of content and content presentation. Although quantitatively inconclusive, qualitative data showed that these innovations enhance older adults’ learning experience and may improve performance in the long term. The study questions the common notion that older foreign language learners’ challenges result mainly from age-related cognitive decline and not from methodological issues. Also, this discussion promotes considering learner re-training as foundational to foreign language geragogical programs, and it argues that adjusting our views of how and why we teach foreign languages to older adults is crucial for a satisfactory learning process.

Keywords

Foreign language geragogy Older adults Teaching methods Learning experience Performance Learner re-training Critical geragogy Learner attitude 

References

  1. Alvarado Cantero, L. (2008). Enseñanza de español como segunda lengua a adultos mayores: Algunas consideraciones [Teaching Spanish as a second language to older adults: Some considerations]. Filología y Lingüística, 34, 89–105.Google Scholar
  2. Andrew, P. (2012). The social construction of age: Adult foreign language learners. Bristol: Multilingual Matters Ltd.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bialystok, E., & Craik, F. I. M. (2010). Cognitive and linguistic processing in the bilingual mind. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19, 19–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bialystok, E., Craik, F. I. M., Klein, R., & Viswanathan, M. (2004). Bilingualism, aging and cognitive control: Evidence from the Simon task. Psychology and Aging, 19(2), 290–303.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.19.2.290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Council of Europe. (2009). Common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (Council of Europe, Ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press [u.a.]. Retrieved from http://www.gbv.de/dms/bowker/toc/9780521803137.pdf.
  6. Davies, M. (2002). Corpus del Español: 100 million words, 1200s–1900s. Retrieved from http://www.corpusdelespanol.org.
  7. Gómez Bedoya, M. (2008, March). El aprendizaje en la tercera edad. Una aproximación en la clase de ELE: Los aprendientes mayores japoneses en el Instituto Cervantes de Tokio [Learning in the third age. An approach to the classroom of Spanish as a second language: Older learners at the Cervantes Institutes in Tokyo] (MA thesis). Universidad Antonio de Nebrija.Google Scholar
  8. Hino, N. (1988). Yakudoku: Japan’s dominant tradition in foreign language learning. JALT Journal, 10(1), 45–55. Google Scholar
  9. Laufer, B., & Nation, P. (1995). Vocabulary size and use: Lexical richness in L2 written production. Applied Linguistics, 16(3), 307–322.  https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/16.3.307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ramírez-Gómez, D. (2014). Older-adult foreign language learning: Instructors’ beliefs and some recommendations. In N. Sonda & A. Krause (Eds.), JALT2013 Conference Proceedings (pp. 229–239). Tokyo: JALT.Google Scholar
  11. Ramírez-Gómez, D. (2015). Self-regulation and experience in foreign language learning: A comprehensive analysis of the older-learner classroom (PhD thesis). Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Japan.Google Scholar
  12. Ramírez-Gómez, D. (2016a). Critical geragogy and foreign language learning: An exploratory application. Educational Gerontology, 42(2), 136–143.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03601277.2015.1083388.
  13. Ramírez-Gómez, D. (2016b). Language teaching and the older adult: The significance of experience. Bristol and Buffalo: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  14. Ramírez-Gómez, D., & Escandón, A. (2017). Validating learning profiles as an alternative approach to the study of the effects of learning experiences. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 14(1), 37–52. Retrieved from http://e-flt.nus.edu.sg/v14n12017/ramirez.pdf.
  15. Ramírez-Gómez, D., & Sanz, M. (2017). Corpus-based foreign-language textbooks for older adults: Using cognitive resources efficiently. Linguarum Arena, 8, 33–48.Google Scholar
  16. Sagarra, N., & Alba, M. (2006). The key is in the Keyword: L2 vocabulary learning methods with beginning learners of Spanish. The Modern Language Journal, 90(2), 228–243. Google Scholar
  17. Sanz Yagüe, M., Escandón Godoy, A., Romero Díaz, J., Ramírez-Gómez, D., & Civit i Contra, R. (2015). Enseñar español en Japón: Guía sobre algunos aspectos de la enseñanza a japoneses [Teaching Spanish in Japan: Some aspects of teaching to Japanese students] (Vol. 89). Kobe, Japan: Research Institute of Foreign Studies, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies.Google Scholar
  18. Sanz Yagüe, M., Ramírez-Gómez, D., & Romero Díaz, J. (2015). Allanando el camino de la adquisición: De la lingüística a la gramática [Smoothing the path to acquisition: From linguistics to grammar]. Cuadernos Canela, 26, 107–126.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Literacy Center of West MichiganGrand RapidsUSA

Personalised recommendations