We have all read the label 50 plus. We have all heard that expression “the 50’s are the new 40’s”. Quite what this means, I‘m not sure. Perhaps we are now 10 years younger and fitter than the 50 pluses in the past. It used to be that reaching the 50’s was stereotypically, more about a comfy pair of slippers, occasional night out and taking care of the grandchildren!
In the UK, our previous 50 somethings were brought up during more austere or tragic times such as the war or the post war 1950’s. In contrast, my generation have been a pretty lucky bunch; born in the 60’s, growing up in the 70’s and 80’s with more opportunities, choice and freedom that far outreached that of those before us. As we grew up and headed for the 90s and the millennium, we could pursue a career, perhaps have a family, become tech savvy and generally be very much part of the modern world. We were busy though and many of us had very little time for ourselves during this period.
So, here we are in our 50’s. Kids, if we had them, are leaving or thinking of leaving home or we might be considering early retirement or going part time. This will bring change, perhaps a feeling of emptiness. Dare I say it but isn’t this the time for a bit of self-indulgence? At 50 plus we are still looking for new experiences. We are still open to learn. Not quite ready for the comfy slippers just yet!
So, to answer my original question, I think I would thoroughly enjoy practising my rusty Spanish for a week or two with a group of worldly, life experienced and sightly unruly fellow beings. I could think of nothing better than getting those “language neurons activated“ while sampling some great food, drinking some of the local fare and going on long walks and having lots of “interesting” chats with likewise people.
Myself and my colleagues, Jon and Csili, started discussing the 50 plus course. We needed to provide our students with a course that would help them reach their goals in English and a programme with activities and excursions that would be suitable and interesting with a 50 plus buzz! I was able to draw ideas from my own personal experience. Over the years, I have also spent many very happy hours in different situations with students of a similar age and our student feedback from these happy memories has been invaluable to us.
So, if you come on this course, you will have plenty of focused English practice in class every morning. During some of the afternoons (3 every week) the morning class will be extended with the teacher or activity guide accompanying the group on an activity specifically chosen. This might be a country walk in the Kent countryside – “picture postcard” and traditional pubs! It might be that the local area is hosting an event such as food or music festivals and we will arrange for our students to take part. Our area in the UK is not just for food lovers, keen to try out and sample the abundance of local produce but it is also steeped in a rich history. From Bronze age to Roman Britain to Medieval England to the 20th century, Kent and Canterbury is a land of castles, stately homes, ancient sites and museums. It really is a fabulous place to visit!
I can’t wait to welcome our first group of fellow 50 somethings!