In recent years, there’s been much debate about the concept of “fun learning.” Do students learn better when their lessons are infused with humor and fun? Or does the old “no pain, no gain” rule still apply?

The scientific journals are still looking for a conclusive answer, but, I know if I decide I want to learn a new skill, I’d like it to be enjoyable. Don’t you?

Spanish Teacher, Warren Hardy, Agrees

Warren has been teaching Spanish to English-speaking students of all ages for years and he too thinks that learning should be fun.

I’ve sat in on some of the mini-classes he’s given to International Living readers and every one in those classes had a smile on their face while Warren taught them basic Spanish words and phrases.

Whether you plan to travel or live in a Spanish-speaking country, knowing some of the local language will greatly enrich your experience. 

Below, Warren explains three of the benefits that learning Spanish can provide.

I hope that you will take his words to heart. They have the potential to change your life, no matter your age!

After you read Warren’s explanation of the benefits of learning Spanish, below, you can sign up for International Living’s Postcards for FREE and get 4 free online Spanish lessons.

Victoria Harmer, Managing Editor, International Living Postcards

Three Reasons Learning Spanish is Good for You

By Warren Hardy

I’ve been teaching Spanish for English speakers for over 25 years and, in that time, many of my students have told me that they’d been afraid to try to learn Spanish—afraid that they wouldn’t be able to learn a new language at their age, or, that they’d offend someone by not speaking it properly.

If you’re contemplating moving to a Spanish-speaking country, then learning to speak Spanish really must be on your to-do list. 

When you learn the language of your new country, one of the biggest benefits is that you can communicate with your new neighbors and the locals.

That’s the obvious benefit…but there are other, equally important reasons why you should learn Spanish. Here are my top 3 ways that learning Spanish can help you to get more from life after 60.

Learning Spanish Boosts Your Self-Esteem and is Massively Respected by Locals When You Travel

I have a saying that I like to share with my students: “If you speak just one word in another person’s language, that word goes to his heart.”

No matter where in the world you are, we all know that a little kindness goes a long way. I have noticed that if you are courteous and respectful, your Spanish can be really lousy and people will still be happy to help you out. Respect is something that really matters in Spanish-speaking countries…and learning even some basic words and phrases will earn you respect…and maybe even some new friends. 

If you live in a Spanish-speaking country, it’s a good idea to have enough Spanish words to get along. It’s as simple has knowing enough Spanish to be able to get what you need at the local market, in the pharmacy, or in the bank.

Knowing a Little Spanish Opens Up New Experiences

When you learn enough Spanish to be able to get by, it can make life in your new country easier and fun. But if you really want to experience all that your home has to offer, it’s a good idea to keep learning the new language. This is true whether you are traveling to a Spanish-speaking country or retiring abroad.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that people that don’t speak enough Spanish to function get trapped.

They are afraid to go places and do things for fear they won’t understand what’s going on around them. And, they become frustrated and as a result they hunker down in the homes and never make themselves available to new experiences. 

If you want to thrive, if you want to grow, if you want new experiences in your overseas life, learning Spanish is a must. 

Ready to get started? Don’t forget that you can sign up for International Living’s Postcards for FREE and get 4 free online Spanish lessons.

Learning Spanish Boosts Your Brain Power at Any Age

Like any muscle, your brain is trained and developed into good health when you expand your knowledge.

Our minds need constant feeding to be kept healthy, and to be able to continuously grow. The best way to connect our emotional growth with our mental health is to expand our knowledge and our learning.

When we learn to speak Spanish, it makes us more intelligent; we are more creative, and more receptive to others’ emotions and personal experiences.

Everyone can learn Spanish, no matter what their age. This is a fundamental truth. If you believe you cannot learn Spanish or don’t want to put in the effort, then you are limiting yourself and the experiences you can have when you move overseas.

Whether you plan on traveling to a Spanish-speaking country, are planning on retiring overseas or just want to do something good for your brain, I highly encourage you to consider learning a little Spanish!

Editor’s note: Sign up for free to International Living’s Daily Postcards to discover the best places to travel and spend time overseas.

When you do, right here you’ll also receive 4 free online lesson from Warren.  He’s been teaching baby boomers to speak Spanish for over two decades and he’s created a simple, yet effective, program that will have you mastering just some of the basics of Spanish in no time.

Do you have any plans to learn a second language, such as Spanish, in the years leading up to (or in!) retirement? Which language would you most like to learn?

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