Language News

How Much Language Can you Learn in One Year?

adults learning a language in a classroom

The controversial article ‘6 harsh truths that will make you a better person’ asserts that gaining a skill will make you more useful, more valuable, more successful and generally happier.

“I want you to purely focus on giving yourself a skill that would make you ever so slightly more interesting and valuable to other people.”

So, why not give it a go this New Year in 2016 and learn a new language? Cactus offers more than 20 languages in 15 locations across the UK, so that part is covered.

The real questions is – how much language can you really learn in one year? Is it worth it? Will you actually be able to have a conversation with someone in a foreign language and be more useful than you are now?

So how much language can you expect to learn in one year?

This depends on factors such as:

• Your existing level
• Your learning style
• The amount of time you have to learn
• The amount of self-study you do
• The number of participants in your group
• How much time you spend practising with native speakers outside the classroom
• If you can take an immersion language course in the country the language is spoken

If we take the most extreme case of wanting to progress from beginner level (A1) in January to proficient (C2) by December, you will need 375 hours of 1:1 class time plus 255 hours of self-study.That’s a one-hour class every day of the year – but of course, realistically, you’re more likely to study for a couple of hours at a time, and may put it many more hours on a holiday or business trip.

Let’s say you know the basics in a language and want to gain a bit more confidence, but there’s no rush. Transiting from beginner (A1) to elementary (A2) will require 45 hours of 1:1 classes, plus another 30 hours of self-study. If you do two-hours a week you will reach your goal in under six months! This is the equivalent of three 10 – week group evening language courses with Cactus.

Break it down into days, weeks and months and it’s easy to design a course that complements your learning style, suits your lifestyle and reflects your end goals. However you want to learn a language, whether it be on a group evening courses, one-to-one classes, an immersion language holiday or a combination of all three, it is perfectly reasonable that by the end of 2016 you will be able to speak a foreign language a lot better than you do now, and you may even become a better person!

Bon nouvel an…feliz año nuevo…guten Rutsch…happy new year!

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