Learning a new language we can reduce the risks of getting some of the most common age-related symptoms and diseases such as memory loss and Alzheimer’s. Even though individuals are living longer it does not mean that they are living with better health and having their needs met. The disease-state of age-related cognitive decline—Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias—hijacks our consciousness and intellectual autonomy. Learning a language does not mean learning its pronunciation or grammar only. An age-friendly language learning community is needed for the seniors.
There are language learning apps to teach you new words and grammar through fun and engaging games, which they claim helps you with your accent of the language, and they think the behavior of people can be trained as animals. Most of apps or language classes want their users and learners to practice so that they can feel their improvement. However, these routine practice do little on cognitive exercise. Why is that? They simplify the inputs so students can drill them. The inputs are too easy to fit the reality, so it is not age-friendly learning way for the aging people.
The inputs for aging people need to fit the reality but not too difficult to understand. Lots of comprehensible input is how to acquire a language effectively. Krashen argues that, sure, exposure to comprehensible input is important. Krashen further suggests that input should not only be comprehensible but also compelling. That means it should be interesting to the learner.
If you are a Chinese beginner trying healthy aging, aim for exposing yourself to lots of input. You can find easy listening activities in Magic Ship Mandarin Online. Every session last 50 minutes only, which is composed of short listening activities that are easy enough for you. The classes put a lower priority on speaking and conversation, and you will not feel stressed to be forced to speak and make awkward sentences in front of classmates. The classes also put a lower priority on focused grammar study because you can find the pattern of the language automatically based on the massive comprehensible and compelling inputs you have.