The length of time it takes to learn a foreign language really depends on the learner. There are numerous things to consider when talking about how long it would take to learn a language.
Firstly, each student is different. Some people have a natural ability to learn languages and find the task quite straightforward, whilst other people have a much more difficult time. If you are someone who finds it difficult to learn languages, naturally it will take you longer than a person who finds it quite easy.
It is also a matter of how much effort you make. Again, each student is different, and so some people make a very big effort to learn whereas others don’t. Some students attend all of their classes, pay attention to the teacher, do their homework and study at home. Others are the complete opposite and don’t do enough to improve their level.
There is no particular amount of time it takes to learn English. It really comes down to the amount of effort you make and your ability to learn. However, generally speaking, the average student can reach a high level of English within 18 months of beginning their studies, if they work hard.
Is there a method I can use?
The direct method can make it much quicker. This method focuses on speaking, which is direct communication. From the very first lesson you will speak the language with the guidance of your teacher, who will be there to correct any mistakes you make such as grammatical errors or mispronunciation.
The direct method trains you to think and speak directly in English without stopping to translate, which is something that a lot of students do. When you stop to translate you interrupt the flow of speech and therefore your fluency never improves. The direct method helps you to answer without thinking, like a native does.
Tips for learning English
a) Take lessons at a school.
b) Let’s practice in English:
- Watch television in English.
- Listen to the radio in English. This will help you understand English on the phone.
- Read in English.
- Use the internet in English.
- Find people to practise speaking with.
When choosing a book to read or television show to watch, it is a good idea to choose something that you have already read or watched. This means that you can follow the storyline more easily, even if you don’t understand everything.
With television programmes you can turn on the subtitles in English or your own language to help you. With books you can have a dictionary to check any words you don’t know the meaning of.
These are ways to help you learn English, but if you study and use these various additional activities, you can learn English more quickly.
. Rodríguez C. 2019. ‘¿Qué profesor es el ideal para enseñarnos a hablar inglés?’. Septiembre 2019. Callan School of English.
. Rodmo M. 2019. ‘La lectura como herramienta para aprender inglés’ Abril 2019. Callan School of English.
. Budden R. 2015. ‘Secrets of learning a language — quickly’ BBC News. Worklife — 3rd March 2015.
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