Language Maintenance: A day In The Life Of An Aging Polyglot
Most conference participants are young, automatize verbal sequences quickly, and find languages easy to learn. But by our early 40s, aging affects processing speed and retention likelihood. By age 65, some of the cognitive prerequisites needed for multilingualism wane considerably. Our memory tracks contain too much info, making retrieval harder, and working memory dims. At the same time, other capacities improve with aging, including executive function. Is it possible to remain a polyglot in older ages? How to maintain old languages and learn new ones in your 60s, 70s, and beyond? Life goals change, creating dilemmas of study time vs. loss of long-held identities. The presentation will review the little-known implicit memory system that creates speaking and reading automaticity. It will discuss the rationale for various maintenance routines as well as the socioemotional issues that arise when performance falters with age.