Promoting (Dis)ageism Through Redesigning Language Teaching Curriculum for Older Adults in Brazil

By: Gustavo Moura   Barbara Borges  

Within a predominant ageist culture, older adults are pivotal in the renegotiation of practices that seek to dismantle personal and cultural stereotypes regarding their aging process and values in society. This paper, rather than stigmatizing the aging population, aims at deconstructing preconceptions which refer to older adults as replaceable, useless, or old. Moreover, it shows older adults participating in activities through the learning of a foreign language to feel well with themselves and within society in a developing country. Promoting (dis)ageism, through language learning, is key for the development of the understanding that fighting ageism goes beyond sympathizing and recognizing its existence. (Dis)ageism, in this context, reflects the need to rethink ageism genealogically and offers older adults the chance to feel integrated in any spectrum of society. From an educational background, thinking of the healthy living and well-being of older adults, (dis)ageism may provide curriculum changes for those to happen. Under the scope of learning a foreign language, for example, older adults take over their own autonomy in learning a new language. Language institutions, therefore, need to reconsider their structural patterns and profitable purposes and work on the development of strategies to better support older adults – a range of group that is rapidly growing and assuming new roles in the language business. From a Brazilian perspective, this autoethnographic reflection on promoting and integrating older adults within society through language learning illustrates an important aspect of fighting for social justice and providing a better quality of life for older adults.

Disageism, Education, Brazil
Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Gustavo Moura

Researcher, Education - Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, University of Manitoba, Canada
MB, Canada

PhD student in the CTL Department for the Faculty of Education at University of Manitoba. Current research focuses on gender and sexuality for a SSHRC-funded study with PI Dr. Robert MIzzi and CI Dr. Clea Schmidt on the experience of LGBTQ educators teaching overseas, as well as the intercultural development of educators, ESL language teaching and learning.

Barbara Borges