Third Age Learners of Foreign Languages

Edited by: Danuta Gabryś-Barker

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People are increasingly reaching the so-called third age, a period when seniors search for a renewed purpose to life and spend time undertaking activities that they consider motivating, such as the learning of a foreign language. The study of language learning among aging populations has become a fast-growing area of research and this book is one of the first attempts to bring together what we know about this age group and their profiles as foreign language learners. Contributors to the volume discuss the issue from various psychological, neurological and pedagogical perspectives. Each of the chapters provides an updated theoretical background and offers some initial conclusions on the basis of original empirical studies carried out. Chapters challenge certain familiar preconceptions and assumptions about senior learners, offer the reader ideas for future research in this under-studied area and provide some practical advice for applying the proposals and solutions offered in real foreign language third-age classrooms.

Danuta Gabryś-Barker's edited anthology reinforces Mark Twain's claim that "age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." It inspires third age learners to take up the language learning gauntlet and reinforces the notion that one is never too old to learn something new!

Tammy Gregersen, University of Northern Iowa, USA

This is an excellent contribution to challenge the quality of foreign language (FL) learning/teaching approaches offered in a broad spectrum of educational programmes for senior citizens. Its rich, extremely useful and multidisciplinary content provides important insights into older learners' profiles, shows the added value of FL learning, and highlights the need for trained instructors. It is a mandatory book for senior FL education and a perfect guidebook to improve self-awareness of those experiencing ageing processes.

Maria da Graça Pinto, University of Porto, Portugal

Danuta Gabryś-Barker has made an important contribution to TESOL with her edited volume on language teaching and the third-age learner...this collection provides an excellent and timely overview of the current state of knowledge on issues related to the process of third-age language learning.

SSLLT 8 (4) 2018

Danuta Gabryś-Barker is Professor of English at the University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland, where she lectures and supervises MA and PhD theses in applied linguistics and psycholinguistics, with a particular focus on second language acquisition and multilingualism. She has published numerous articles and books including The Affective Dimension in Second Language Acquisition (co-edited with Joanna Bielska, 2013) and Morphosyntactic Issues in Second Language Acquisition (2008).

Danuta Gabryś-Barker: Introduction: The Background

Part 1. Foreign Language Learning in the Third Age

  1. Rebecca Oxford: A Developmental Perspective on Third-Age Learning
  2. David Singleton: Really Late Learners: Some Research Contexts and Some Practical Hints
  3. David Green: The Interactional Challenge: L2 Learning and Use in The Third Age
  4. Maria Kliesch, Nathalie Giroud, Simone E. Pfenninger, Martin Meyer: Research On Second Language Acquisition in Old Adulthood: What We Have and What We Need
  5. Mirosław Pawlak, Marek Derenowski, Anna Mystkowska-Wiertelak: The Use of Indirect Language Learning Strategies by Third Age Learners: Insights from a Questionnaire Study
  6. Monika Grotek , Agnieszka Ślęzak-Świat: Balance and Coordination Vs Reading Comprehension in L2 in Late Adulthood
  7. Ewa Piechurska - Kuciel , Magdalena Szyszka: Compensatory Strategies in Senior Foreign Language Students

Part 2. Foreign Language Pedagogy in The Third Age

  1. Monika Grotek: Student Needs and Expectations Concerning Foreign Language Teachers in the Universities of the Third Age
  2. Marek Derenowski: Identifying the Characteristics of Foreign Language Teachers Who Work With Senior Learners
  3. Anna Niżegorodcew: Teaching English to Senior Students in the Eyes of Teacher Trainees
  4. Anna Pot, Merel Keijzer,, Kees De Bot: Enhancing Language Awareness In Migrants' Third Age To Promote Wellbeing
  5. Danuta Gabryś-Barker: Concluding Comments and a Way Forward

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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