This question is asked by absolutely all students. Such curiosity is understandable, because a student needs to evaluate how long his or her studying will last, what amount of money he or she will spend for classes. Let us try to find out the answer to the question that concerns you.
We admit, we (like, probably, you) also appealed to all-knowing Google with the question of how many years or months you will spend studying English. Different people have different search skills, but we were not very lucky: answers are blurred, views of philologists are diametrically opposed. And the most annoying thing is obsessive advertising like "Learn English in 16 hours/10 days/99 minutes".
We are adults with common sense and in full possession of our senses. Do you still believe such advertising? Then we go to you to dot all the i's.
Is It Possible to Learn English in a Month/Week/24 Hours?
Some authors of the "sprint" studying methods have audacity to say that you will fully master a foreign language in 9,99 hours if you pay $99,99/euro for a "new/unique/phenomenal/Hollywood" technique. Do you believe that you can learn about 1,000,000 words for such a period? Or to study all subtleties of the use of tenses, passive and active voice?
It was interesting to know the opinion of experienced philologists. Statistics is disappointing: 50% of them burst into angry tirades on the theme of "quackery and ignorance in teaching students", while the other 50% requested not to ask "strange" questions anymore. On the one hand, English is the earnings of teachers and it is advantageous for them to tighten the studying as long as possible. But let us think logically. How long did it take you to study mathematics, history, biology? English has its own formulas, rules and terminology too.
We want to say at once, the phrase "learn the language" should be forgotten forever. You cannot even learn your native language to the end. You do not know hundreds of little-used words that you do not need, but without which there will not be "full" knowledge of the language. With English, the situation is similar: words appear, they are borrowed from other languages, slang expressions are added, etc. But we do not beat our heads against the wall when we meet a word we do not know. On the contrary, we rejoice at the knowledge gained. How interesting it is to learn new words, and then to surprise acquaintances with our erudition! Do not be afraid to learn even in old age and do not torment yourself with the question "How much time will it take to learn English, and why did I not do it in my childhood?"
These techniques will be able to give a certain vocabulary and some understanding of what kind of beast is this foreign language. Although some newcomers who failed to learn English in 24 hours get frustrated and write themselves into the category of hopeless and incapable. The shortest path is not always right, choose the right road.
In addition, the knowledge gained in the accelerated mode is not kept in the long-term memory: what comes quickly, quickly leaves. No matter how school lessons passed, all the same, the method of slow mastering of information has its advantages.
There are other varieties of "very effective" methods of accelerated learning. For example, the advertised effect of the 25th frame and other techniques that operate on the subconscious. Such methods of studying are very interesting and tempting, but they not only did not justify themselves, but they also can be dangerous. At best, you will simply be shown flashing word cards that are supposedly remembered "by themselves, without effort on your part". Big secret: everything that we watch on TV is shown at a speed of 25 frames per second too (standard for the PAL system in Europe). We just do not notice this due to a smooth transition of images.
And what happens if 25 unfamiliar words per second will flash in front of your eyes? According to reviews (you can find them by yourself on the Internet), this information transfer rate causes irritation and headaches quite quickly. The most responsible manufacturers of these courses write on boxes with disks that the technique is intended for people with a stable psyche. Children up to 12-14 years are CATEGORALLY prohibited to use it. Quite frankly, it is difficult to find an adult with a sufficiently stable psyche.
We hope that we made you think about whether you should risk money, time and health.
You can, of course, enroll in accelerated courses, the so-called intensive ones. Just keep in mind that you will have to immerse yourself in the studying, work hard. What about the result? There will be the result, but it will be quite specific. For 10-20 lessons (average duration of accelerated English courses), you can fill a small gap in knowledge, master specific vocabulary (for example, from the field of medicine), prepare for an interview or business negotiations. Thoroughly weigh all pros and cons before you sign up for them.
How Long Does It Take to Learn English?
The answer to this question depends, first of all, on what level you want to master English. We recommend reaching at least an average level of knowledge. However, there is no limit to perfection, so we will detail how long the average person will study the language.
To begin with, let us cite the widespread view that once a person has mastered the native language in 3-4 years in childhood, studying a foreign language will take even less time. But scientists hold a different point of view. They insist that a child has an innate increased ability to perceive a language. At the age of 3 years, this ability is reduced several times.
The example of a child is interesting, but from a different angle. There are children who perfectly express their thoughts already in 4-5 years. And there are adults who cannot connect two words in 30 years, and even half the alphabet is not uttered! What do we say about such a person? Firstly, his or her parents did not deal with him or her. Secondly, such people do not make efforts to change anything, that is, they do not seek to develop and improve their conversational skills, even with respect to their native language. You already know what we want to say: the choice of a good teacher and purposefulness are important components of successful learning.
For confident communication abroad, you need to learn English for at least 2 years, if you master the language from scratch. You need to spend 6-9 months for each level. But this applies specifically to classes with a personal teacher, when the teacher deals with you tete-a-tete. If we are talking about courses, the term is slightly increased, because a teacher is guided by the weakest students in the group. About 80% of students learn the language with the speed indicated, 10% study English more slowly, another 10% – faster.
There Are No People Incapable of Mastering Languages
Yes, if you did not manage to master English according to the accelerated methodology, do not rush to write yourself on the list of hopeless students. You just have not found your approach and your "own" teacher, who will be able to present knowledge and help believe in yourself yet.
Please note that the studying period depends not only on a teacher or your classmates, but also on you. Independent work outside classes will help you quickly and easily learn the material, and practice it. With the help of various applications, video and audio lessons, you can increase your vocabulary size, improve your listening comprehension and learn interesting facts about native speakers.
There is the concept of the magic thousand in the learning of foreign languages. It is believed that 1000 hours are needed to learn a new language. So, calculate how many hours per month you are engaged in learning, find out how many years you need to learn English. When calculating, take into account hours of independent work and subtract your absenteeism. This technique is applicable to any language. Only when calculating the period of study of Russian, Chinese, Arabic, add another 200-300 hours.
After passing 1000 hours of studying, you will be able to freely speak on general topics, watch movies and read books in the original language. To master specific vocabulary, write scientific works, it will take additional time.
In addition to all of the above, we want to note that the knowledge of 2500-3000 words and three simple tenses will allow you to understand 60-70% of English speech. It is just perfect! And how long will it take to master this vocabulary? According to linguists, the optimal number of words you can learn in a week is 70-100 ones. That is, the well-known method of studying 10 words a day justifies itself.
Now you know how much time will it take for you to learn English. Well, we hope you were not scared? Yes, it will be a long way, but we will help make it smooth and pleasant.