Have you ever wondered how much time you’ll need to learn English? Or if you could possibly master it in a month or by your next trip abroad? Research and experience can give us some answers!
According to Cambridge
A 2018 report by Cambridge University Press estimates that motivated adult learners who already know the English alphabet and have decent teachers and learning materials:
... typically need between 100 and 200 hours of guided learning to get from one CEFR level to the next. As you go up the levels, you need more hours to get to the next one.
“Guided learning” is defined as the number of hours in class and doing homework. Here are their estimates of the number of hours of guided learning necessary to get from one level to the next:
So the answer to “Can I learn English in one month?” depends a lot on the level you’re aiming for. Assuming you’re currently A1:
- If you want to learn survival English (roughly A2) in a month, you’ll have to make it your full-time job to take courses and do homework.
- Now, if you want to become fluent in English (roughly B2) in a month, then that’s highly unlikely, since you would need to spend at least five full days every week taking classes and doing homework without rest.
Other Factors to Consider
However, the numbers above are not definitive. The Cambridge report actually specifies 11 more factors to consider. Here are a few we found most important.
1. Learning Context
Are you learning by yourself or studying at a school? Are you learning in your home country or in an English-speaking country? All of these factors can influence how quickly you pick up English.
2. Teaching Methodology
If you’re learning with a teacher, do they focus more on grammar and accuracy or communication and fluency? Do they give you feedback, help motivate you, and answer your questions?
3. The Intensity of Your Learning
Do you take classes once a week or five times a week? How often do you self-study? You don’t want to study too infrequently, but you also don’t want to cram.
4. Your Beliefs About English and the Learning Process
You’re more likely to be motivated to learn a language if you think it’s cool and not useless. You’re also more likely to be motivated if you know others who’ve mastered English rather than someone who does not have such role models and may have already failed to learn English before.
5. First Language
If all other factors are equal, speakers of languages which share fewer similarities with English (such as Russian and Turkish) will struggle more to learn English than say speakers of languages which are more similar (like Spanish, Portugese, and Italian). This is especially true at lower levels.
If you feel shy around native speakers or anxious speaking English in general, you will most likely need more time to become fluent than someone who is naturally confident speaking English. But don’t worry! You will discover your own path to mastery.
We hope this gives you a rough idea of how much time it’ll take you to reach your desired level of English. Just keep in mind that this amount of time also depends heavily on your goals, your level of motivation, and many other factors.
In other words, there’s no simple formula for determining the exact amount of time needed to learn English. And as many of us know through bitter experience, we don’t become fluent just by sitting through classes.
So instead of searching for a magic number, it’s more helpful to figure out better ways to learn English. One of those is to get help from experts.
At Engoo, our tutors have helped hundreds of thousands of learners worldwide become fluent in English. So whether you feel stuck or just want someone to practice English with at an affordable price, give us a try! Your first lesson is free, so you’ve got nothing to lose.