Jill Murray is a lecturer in Applied Linguistics at Macquarie University, in NSW Australia. Her research interests include context-appropriate language teaching methodology, the teaching and learning of pragmatics. heritage language maintenance, and lifelong language learning.
As the population ages, and more becomes known about the benefits of late-life language study, the number of senior language learners continues to increase. However, teacher education programs generally provide very little input on the opportunities and challenges of teaching languages to people aged over 60. This workshop explores the social and cultural construction of age, the stereotypes faced by older learners, and suggests ways teachers can tailor learning activities to maximise motivation and involvement.
People over the age of 60 are the fastest growing age-group world-wide, with age-related declines in cognitive abilities projected to have major social and economic implications. Bilingualism has been shown to protect against cognitive decline, and it has been argued that foreign language training late in life can also be beneficial to cognitive function. This workshop reviews the current evidence, exploring opportunities, and practical implications for the teachers of older learners.
This is for current research students to share their research as a “work-in-progress” with fellow participants and alumni. Participants can discuss their progress and problems, and receive constructive feedback and/or advice in an informal, relaxed setting. Please prepare a short summary for screen-sharing on Zoom. Macquarie students and alumni who would like to learn about what other students are researching or help with feedback are welcome to join.