How much time does it take to learn English?
Without doubt, this is the number one question that we get from prospective English students. Many of you are an executive with a busy schedule needing English to advance your career, or you are thinking of getting a university degree abroad. Despite the fact that English is important for you to learn, it is hard for you to set aside time for it.
What do you think? Does it take an entire lifetime to learn English? Or is a month of intensive study enough? Is it simply impossible to determine how much time you will need?
There are many factors and variables that determine how much time you will need to learn English, including your aptitude and quality of your instruction. However, there are also some useful tools that can help you estimate how many hours you need to clear from your schedule and for how long.
Measure your language level
Bridge uses the CEFR, or Common European Framework of Reference, which is quickly becoming the world standard to measure language ability. The CEFRL is recognized by the top educational institutions around the world.
The CEFR measures your language ability in three categories: comprehension, speaking, and writing. Comprehension covers the ability to understand both written and oral material. Speaking includes both conversation and oral expression, and writing measures your ability to communicate with the written word.
The amount of hours you need to study to complete each level will vary depending on where you study. At Bridge, we estimate that you need about 200 hours per level (180 private hours or 216 group instruction hours).
So how much time do you need to learn English? Follow these steps:
- Take a certification test such as the iTEP, BULATS, or TOEIC and determine if you are at level A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, or C2. You can also take our free English test, which will deliver your results immediately using the CEFR.
- Once you certify your level, decide what level you want to achieve. Think about what you will use your new English skills such as for work, study or travel.
- Multiply the number of levels you would like to advance by 200 hours.
One more thing: consistency is important! Studying 200 hours in two years is very different from 200 hours in five years. Long periods of inactivity will stifle and slow down your learning process. If you truly want to learn English, dedicate a steady and consistent time to maintain your practice. This is the key to improving!