A Case Study in Senior Citizens’ Education

Liting Liu

During our preparation for last presentation about social class and time, we have read many papers talking about adult education and senior citizen education, some of which are about senior citizen’s learning motivation. Such articles stroke a chord with me. I could not help recalling the days when I was working in an adult education institute back in China.

Most of the students there are office workers or businessmen. There are some well-off elderly students too and most of them are well educated. Otherwise they would not have the sense of studying at all, let alone torture themselves to study a new language at such an age. Speaking of their motivation, it varies from person to person. Some signed up merely for killing time and protecting themselves against Alzheimer’s, which makes perfect sense according to the findings of psychologist Ellen Bialystok and her colleagues at York University in Toronto – those who were bilingual had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about four years later, on average, than those who spoke just one language. Some signed up out of the zeal for travelling. Since they regard English as a useful tool which makes their travelling experience easier, they decided to come to the school and give it a try.

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