Voilá ! Language learning classes for the elderly

#Ideas & Stories
Read Time: 2 minutes

The learning of foreign languages has long been a part of curriculum in schools and is a vital part of today's global society. The art of learning a second or multiple languages is well known to have cognitive benefits and improve a person's confidence and ability to socially interact. So why not make language learning available to the elderly too? You're never too old to learn after all.

Well, it seems as though language learning amongst older people is catching. In Scotland, elderly care home residents are taking full advantage of the benefits. Not-for-profit organisation Lingo Flamingo provides tailored foreign language classes to older adults and the effect they are having is rather remarkable...

Lingo Flamingo: Interactive language classes for the elderly

Lingo Flamingo is a not-for-profit organisation and the world’s first to provide foreign language classes tailored to elderly people. Linguists from the organisation train tutors out in the community, providing specialised training about making language learning as easy and accessible as possible for older learners. They offer advice on conditions such as dementia and how to adapt lesson plans for various mental and physical conditions. It is believed that speaking multiple languages can delay the onset of dementia by up to five years!

Our aim is to bring people together and to provide dynamic, interactive language workshops to empower older adults and delay the effects of dementia and brain ageing.

Lingo Flamingo go out to care homes, supported living facilities and day centres to deliver highly tailored language classes. The organisation takes into consideration the medical, physical and mental health of their students.

The classes are structured to keep people’s brains active whilst being fun and engaging. They are highly visual, slow-paced and include memory techniques and confidence building exercises. Remember, a lot of the class recipients haven’t been in a learning environment for some time. Find out more...

Visit the Lingo Flamingo website

In action: Balhousie Ruthven Towers Care Home

Residents at the Balhousie Ruthven Towers Care Home in Auchterarder, Perthshire have been enjoying French classes from Lingo Flamingo. It is hoped the 10-week course will help to delay the symptoms of dementia in the care home's residents.

The classes help residents with early-onset dementia to improve their social interaction, cognitive capabilities and general communication. They also include a range of confidence-building activities such as music sessions, word matching and memory learning techniques.

We have residents that are counting in French and even singing the French national anthem! It is fantastic to see how they respond to the activities and the enjoyment they get out of every session.
Jozi Stables - Ruthven Towers Home Manager

Find out more on the Balhousie care website

Video (2:11) - STV News Report

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