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How Fast Can You Actually Learn A New Language?

For all of those out there wanting to learn a new language, there has been only one important question; how long will it take to actually reach a level of new language proficiency? The length and success of learning a new language have been a heavily debated and controversial topic for many years now, and even though there has been considerable research and numerous studies, no one has yet come to an exact conclusion. There are, of course, rough estimates and also claims that it is possible to speak a new language in a month. However, in the real world, such estimates mean nothing, because everyone learns and memorizes at a different pace and in different ways.

So, let's start with the sad truth; you won't learn a new language in a one- to three-month period. You may learn new words, phrases, and some grammatical rules, but your proficiency level will need years of hard work to commitment, which is something many people tend to avoid to mention. Because there are so many factors that play an essential role in the speed of learning a new language, let's take a look at some of them in hope of providing some honest insight. But before we continue with the article, make sure to visit an amazing research paper service in case you need essay or paper writing services.

Language Competence of The Learner
One of the most important things to know when learning a new language is the language competence of the student. The speed and pace at which they are going to learn the new language depends highly on their knowledge of their native language and their understanding of grammar, syntax, semantics and other important linguistic rules. Of course, one doesn't have to be a linguist in order to learn a new language, but one needs a certain awareness and knowledge in order to comprehend the grammatical rules of the new language.

One does not simply want to have conversational abilities when embarking on a new language journey; therefore, language competence is the first and primary step on the long road to becoming a fluent, expert speaker.

Age of The Learner
There have been numerous studies discussing the importance of age in relation to learning a new language. A study conducted by John Archibald at the University of Calgary has looked thoroughly into this particular matter. The study revolved around content-based language teaching and the learning of subjects like math, geography and other subjects in a foreign language. The results of the study showed that the age at which a person begins to learn a new language is immensely important in regards to pace and speed at which they'll learn. The second-language acquisition is, therefore, much more successful and faster between the ages of 5 and 25 than it is at a later age. One's ability to learn a new language simply follows different mental and cognitive patterns at different ages.

Focus and Time
If we want to establish a certain number of hours, days, month or even years that it will take one to excel in a new language, we need to take into consideration the motivation, immersion, focus and time the learner puts into the language learning process. This is never an easy task because after all, we are all individuals who function in our unique ways. However, one thing is for sure: those who are driven by an internal desire to learn a new language are generally more successful and faster than those who have more practical reasons for language learning. The relationship between a language and motivation is significant in regards to the outcome and the time it will take someone to actually become fluent.

So, the logical question is: how many hours, days or months should you be learning a new language? According to Actual Fluency, it is important to focus solely on the hours. Hours are the most realistic perspective on how long it will take to acquire knowledge. You don't have to necessarily spend 4 hours every day learning a new language, and to be honest, such a sacrifice is impossible for most people in the modern, busy world. However, one can, for example, set a certain number of hours per week for language learning; this way, one is more likely to pick up on new information in the mini-sessions rather than an exhausting, hours-long, unproductive session all at once.

Learning Time Estimate
So, by taking into consideration the factors mentioned above that are crucial for learning a new language, we should now be able to determine a rough estimate that is truthful to the actual factors. Given what has been discussed, we can always mention studies that have actually managed to provide legitimate answers to the age-old question. According to the US Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, there are four levels of difficulty for English native speakers when it comes to learning a foreign language. Each level requires a certain amount of time, from 26 weeks to even 88 weeks for level four. Each week, therefore, corresponds to approximately 30 hours of instruction, which on an annual basis adds up to approximately 1,000 to 2,000 hours. These hours are estimated for B2+ level on the CEFR.

There has also been a similar estimate provided by the National Center on Immigration Integration Policy, where researchers came up with a number of 110 annual hours of instruction over a six-year period to reach a certain level of proficiency. Moreover, according to the Council of Europe, beginners in language learning should undergo 375 learning hours yearly, including independent work. All of these numbers, of course, are valid only in cases of strong motivation, determination, and a regular learning schedule. In cases where someone is unwilling to commit themselves from the very start, these numbers will only become higher, and the estimated hours on an annual basis will grow significantly as well.

Becoming A Language Expert
The majority of people know that in order to become an expert in something, it will take you 10,000 hours of study, practice and hard work. Even Bruce Lee followed this philosophical notion to the point when he practiced only one kick 10,000 times. Of course, the kick became his most powerful move. So, instead of asking "How long will it take me to learn a new language?" one should ask "How do I get my 10,000 hours of study, practice and hard work to become fluent in a language?" The simple answer to this question lies in the non-formal classes, everyday commitment, self-study and practice in terms of traveling or living abroad. One acquires a language best when surrounded by people who don't speak a word of one's own language.