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How long does it take to learn a language

How Long Does it Take to Learn a Language?

How long does it take to learn a language is a question most people will ask before joining a course! Learning a language can be fun and easy but can take time. We will be looking at how long it will take you to become fluent.

How Long Does it Take to Learn a Language?

Research shows that it takes between 480 hours and 2200 hours of language study and practice. To reach an advanced level in a foreign language you will need at least 480 hours. The majority of people are not able to learn a language ‘full-time’ so it can take a few years. If you dedicated 3 hours per week to language study this would equate to anywhere between 3 years and 14 years of language learning!

There are a huge number of variables that determine how fast you can learn a language. Your native tongue and which language you are learning will have a big impact. Others such as, if you already speak more than one language or if you are surrounded by the language you are learning will certainly make it easier.

It’s also important to define the level of proficiency when considering the length of time it takes to learn a language. Some people will feel they ‘know’ a language, or are able to communicate adequately with a B1 level (CEFR). Others may feel that they have not ‘learnt a language’ until they have reached C2 level (CEFR). They might demand native-level ability of themselves before considering themselves fluent. Thus the amount of time it takes to learn a language can often be relative to the level you wish to achieve.

The Typical Language Learning Journey of a Cactus Student

Cactus students often take an evening language course whilst working full-time. This usually means the time they have available to dedicate to language learning is limited. Besides, they are not learning in the country where the language is spoken (as a native language). A typical student will start with us in the Beginner 1 class (A1 on the CEFR) which is 20 hours with a native-speaking teacher, and 10 hours of self-study time. The self-study time can be at with homework or practice with other learners. These 30 hours of language study time are spread over a 10-week period. It takes the same amount of time to cover Beginner 2 and Beginner 3. Levels Beginner 1, 2 and 3 will take 9 months in total to complete.

Once all beginner level (3 levels) is complete you will be ready to move onto Elementary 1 (A2) level. On average it will take 18 months (6 courses of 10 weeks each) to reach B1 level. B1 is an intermediate level where you can converse comfortably on most everyday topics.

How Much Language Can be Learnt in 6 Months?

Travel and Language Author and Blogger, The Intrepid Guide, has been studying Norwegian with Cactus Language for the last 6 months. She started her first evening language course in October 2018 with the Beginner 1 Norwegian course. She then went onto Beginner 2 Norwegian in January and is coming to the end of her second 10 week evening language course with Cactus.

During this time she visited Norway in December and again in March 2019. In this video she explains her language learning experience. She also gives an insight into how much language you can learn in 6 months with Cactus.

Michele is a multilingual author and the founder of The Intrepid Guide. The Intrepid guide is a hub for travellers and language learners with over 100,000 monthly readers. Follow Cactus Language and The Intrepid Guide on Instagram.

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Next Steps to Learn a Language

Learning a language will take time but with the right commitment you can do it too. There are several ways to progress from language immersion to learn a language on your own. You can choose the best way that suits you. Are you ready to find out how long does it take to learn a language?

With Cactus you can start learning a language from scratch. A course will take you from beginners to advanced and classes are offered face-to-face and online. Pick what suits you and start learning a new language today!

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