EUROSLA-supported workshop, University of Essex 23 June 2022

Language learning in older adults: Interdisciplinary perspectives 

Thursday, 23 June 2022 

Centre for Research in Language Development throughout the Lifespan
University of Essex, UK 

This workshop focuses on additional language learning in older adults (ages 60+). It aims to bring together researchers from different disciplines to enhance our understanding of the processes of language learning and use in later life as well as the various factors influencing these processes. We are seeing a welcome increase in research involving older adults, but it is still the case that the vast majority of studies to date has worked with younger participants, and accordingly theories are primarily based on data from younger samples. It is as yet unknown whether language learning processes function in exactly the same way in younger and older individuals, and it is likewise of interest to investigate whether additional language learning and use in older adults is influenced by the same combination and weighting of factors as younger adults’ learning.  


We are inviting abstracts for posters on language learning and use in older adults (ages 60+). We welcome contributions from all and any disciplines that can inform, and be informed by, linguistics research (applied, psycho- and sociolinguistic) into additional language learning and use, including (but not limited to) cognitive, social and educational psychology, health and social work, speech and language therapy, and sports and exercise science. We would like to specifically encourage submissions from early-career researchers including doctoral students.  

Confirmed invited speakers:  

Thomas Bak (University of Edinburgh)
Merel Keijzer (University of Groningen)
Simone Pfenninger (University of Salzburg)
Outi Tuomanen (University of Potsdam) 

The workshop will comprise four plenary-length talks by the invited speakers and a poster session with a poster slam where presenters give a one-minute, one-slide overview to showcase their posters prior to the poster display itself. The day will conclude with themed group discussions to facilitate an exchange of expertise among different disciplines, so we can learn from each other about the strengths and weaknesses of the main methodologies and predominant theoretical models in our respective fields. The event will thus enable the forging of collaborations for future research that offer all the benefits of multidisciplinary breadth and impact. 

Please submit your abstract (350 words max., excluding references) together with your full name and institutional affiliation via email to . 

Deadline for abstract submissions: 4 April 2022. 

Organising committee: Karen Roehr-Brackin, Faith Chiu, Eva Gutiérrez-Sigut, Ramya Maitreyee