ベトナムの首都ハノイで高齢者を対象にした無料の英語教室が週に１度開かれています。今年で４年目を迎え、受講者の総数は約200人に。仲間との交流を楽しみながら、認知症の予防にも役立つことから人気を博しています。（Asahi Weekly : Sunday, December 18, 2022)
HANOI (Reuters) — Every Tuesday, 79-year-old Nguyen Thi Loc joins a group of gray-haired students to study English at a house in Hanoi, with the aim of socializing and keeping her brain sharp.
The informal classes are free and are taught by Phung Thi Yen, who trained as an English teacher but currently works as an office worker.
It comes as a growing number of scientific studies show the benefits of learning a language to maintain and enhance cognitive abilities, including for senior citizens.
Loc has never studied a foreign language before, but recently in November, with her newly acquired skills she chanted a chorus with her classmates: "Never too old to learn English."
They read out loud, repeat after the teacher and sing songs to try to perfect their pronunciation — one of the hardest parts of their work.
Yen, 30, set up the classes four years ago with the aim of giving the elderly a place where they could meet, socialize and learn something new. The elderly in Vietnam typically live alone or with their children, rather than in retirement homes.
With her employer’s support, Yen takes time off her day job to teach Loc’s class and several others. She and her group of volunteers are teaching 200 elderly students.
English is Vietnam's most commonly taught foreign language after having become a mandatory subject at school in the 1990s.
"These grannies have been trying hard and made a lot of effort to get to where they are now. At the very least, they have built for themselves a sizable vocabulary that they can utilize in their daily lives," Yen says.
- granny(-ies) （見出しから）おばあちゃん
- socialize(-ing) （社交的に）交際する
- maintain...ability(-ies) 認知能力を維持し、さらに強化する
- newly acquired 新たに習得した
- chant(ed) a chorus 繰り返して声をあげた
- perfect ～に磨きをかける
- retirement home(s) 老人ホーム
- mandatory subject 必修科目
- At...least 少なくとも
- sizable かなりの
- utilize ～に役立たせる