In a previous blog I discussed some frequently asked questions I have come across when responding to enquiries. One question I did not cover is how long it takes to learn a new language. Prospective students often want to know what the correct amount of time would be to master English here at Oxford English Academy. While this is far from an exact science and will always depend on many different factors, I did some research and came up with the following.
According to The Linguist if you spend ten hours per day learning and practising a new language you will need more or less 48 days to reach fluency. Wait what!? TEN hours a day!? That sounds like an awful lot doesn’t it? Well consider the fact that if you have decided to study in a native English speaking country, you will most likely be forced to function in English for most of your day. Consider the fact that most human beings are awake for an average of 15 hours per day, this still leaves you another 5 hours to speak in your native tongue! Remember fun, relaxing activities such as watching a movie or having dinner with English speaking friends would be considered a part of learning.
Realistically, most people do not have that much time available and would take some days off as well. You would also need to take into consideration the level of proficiency you would like to achieve. Tim Ferris wrote in his blog that : “… 20% of the effort you spend on acquiring new vocab could ultimately give you 80% comprehension in a language—for instance, in English just 300 words make up 65% of all written material.” Now that does not sound too daunting does it?
Benny Lewis wrote is his blog ‘Fluent in 3 Months’ why he suggests 3 months being the best amount of time to learn a language:
“It’s because that’s typically the tourist visa limit for visiting a country, or the time I personally like to spend in a country. Yes, that’s where my three months comes from! It is lifestyle related, not language related.”
I personally agree with this sentiment, even though a lot of linguistic evidence supports the fact that 3 months is sufficient for someone to drastically improve their knowledge of a language. At the end it will be completely up to you, your needs and how much time you have on hands.
Add together all these facts, plus your super positive attitude, your fearless approach to life and acceptance of the fact that you will make many mistakes and I can assure you that success will come your way.