Late-Life Second Language Acquisition: Cognitive and Psycholinguistic Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities

  • Steven L. ArxerEmail author
  • Maria del Puy Ciriza
  • Marco Shappeck
Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 17)


This chapter introduces current literature on language acquisition and emphasizes the key factors scholars have identified as critical for later life second language development. In this chapter, conventional approaches in linguistics are examined for their work on the relationship between aging and language learning. Of particular interest to these traditional approaches is the role of cognition in the development of language. We emphasize, however, the call by social linguists who study how “safe” encounters mediate pressures experienced during second-language socialization and empower older immigrants in their cross-cultural engagements.


Late-life second language acquisition Cognition Neurolinguistics Critical period hypothesis Late-life language learning Memory Deficit-model 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven L. Arxer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria del Puy Ciriza
    • 2
  • Marco Shappeck
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and PsychologyUniversity of North Texas at DallasDallasUSA
  2. 2.Department of Spanish and Hispanic StudiesTexas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA
  3. 3.Department of Teacher Education and AdministrationUniversity of North Texas at DallasDallasUSA

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