Mature 40+ and 50+ Spanish Language Courses in Spain

Let’s face it. If you enjoy watching BBC period dramas on a Friday night, reading the newspaper on Sunday mornings, and think that “real music” was only made in the 90’s and before (and Justin Bieber irritates the heck out of you), then you’re probably 40 years of age or above. Whilst you have nothing against younger people, your friends are probably around your own age and your hobbies and social life also reflect this.

Why then, should language learning be any different? The good news is, of course, that it doesn’t have to be. Spain offers several comprehensive language courses aimed specifically at the 40+ and 50+ crowds (also called Spanish courses for mature students), who want to improve their Spanish language skills in the company of peers.


Motivation to learn

Older language students are normally motivated by different factors. For someone who has already been to school or university and is working in a job, an opportunity to study Spanish may represent a ‘second chance’ – something the student never had an opportunity to do when he or she was younger, due to family responsibilities, and so on.

There are also those who have already attended language courses before, maybe speak some Spanish already, or even know another language, but now want to acquire further qualifications or build on their existing skills, in order to enhance their career scope.

Others simply want to learn or improve their Spanish for personal fulfilment.


Mature students have better learning experiences

After a study done at a Finnish university in 1999-2000, a comparative report was released at the 2001 European Conference on Educational Research about the main differences in learning, as experienced by older and younger students groups. The study found that:

  • Mature students are noticeably more goal-oriented in their learning than the traditional student age groups ranging from children to young adults
  • Younger learners have higher drop-out rates from courses than mature students – so mature students persevere more and reach their goals more successfully
  • Mature students report more satisfaction gained from studying, and say that they have better and more positive learning experiences, compared to the opinions expressed by younger students

For these reasons alone, it may sometimes be more beneficial to be in a learning environment where the other students are as focused as you.


Learning Spanish on “mature” Spanish courses in Spain

There are several advantages to 40+ and 50+ Spanish language courses in Spain. Language learning is highly interactive and it constantly requires group work and conversation to keep the language skills ‘alive’. Many students in their 40’s or above, may enjoy these types of skill-based exercises more, if they can carry them out with people they can relate to.

The social aspect is also important when you travel abroad to study a language. You may want to enrol on a course with additional activities included, or just meet new people and spend your free time with them. Mature courses are geared towards activities like dancing, cooking, history and culture and you may simply feel more relaxed and comfortable taking part in after-class pursuits, when everybody else is around your own age.

And the type of apartment or residence you’ll live in during your trip to Spain may also be a concern. UniSpain, for example, offers specific mature courses and therefore understands that older students tend to prefer single accommodation – they are therefore able to recommend suitable lodgings accordingly. And if you do decide to share with other students, then being placed with flat mates your own age will probably be preferable to sharing with a group of teenagers!


35-45 language courses

If you are around the 40-mark, UniSpain offers two excellent Spanish language schools serving this age group:

  • At the Instituto Ibiza, the school’s average student age is 40. This school with a high international profile is placed in beautiful surroundings and has modern facilities and friendly teaching staff.
  • Out of all the students choosing International House Mallorca language school, a third belong to the 40+ category. The school’s location is superb, in the historic city centre of Palma, with restaurants and cafes nearby, and the school also offers flexible accommodation choices.

Both of these schools attract younger students too, but since they largely choose course dates during school holidays, any courses from October to May are great for mature learners.


40+ and 50+ mature Spanish courses

UniSpain also offers courses for students whose average age is 50, as well as specific 50+ courses, at three different schools in Spain:

  • Malaca Instituto in the Mediterranean city of Malaga offers a truly excellent curriculum at any level, beginner to advanced, unique learning materials, as well as social and cultural activities. The school gets very high student ratings.
  • Sevilla CLIC School in the truly romantic and typical Andalusian city of Seville offers a Club 50 course that emphasises conversational fluidity and combines 20 lessons per week with a range of interesting activities like cuisine, concerts and other cultural experiences in historic surroundings.


Want to know more?

If you want to compare the above language schools, simply go to the School Comparison Tool on UniSpain’s website. You’ll be able to read student reviews and see different school features, like number of students per classroom, lesson duration, official accreditations and how long the schools have been around.

And if you have queries or questions about mature language learning in Spain, do not hesitate to contact UniSpain for more information.

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