How long does it take to learn Spanish?

There is not one answer for this question, nor magical numbers. To begin, there are many factors that influence your learning of any language, among which we can find your proficiency goals, the type of language you are learning, your motivation to learn it and the number of hours you invest on studying, the modality. Fortunately, all of them can convey in your favor to make you learn in a (relatively) fast and proficient way. Let´s describe these factors separately.

Your goals. How proficient do you want to be?

First of all, you need to know your goals when learning the language. Most learners want to reach an intermediate conversational level; that is, understanding most of what they hear or read and being understood in a conversation with a native speaker. But, how are levels divided here? According to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), language proficiency is divided on a six-point scale, from A1 to C2 (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2), where A1 is for beginner and C2 is for native-like proficiency. So, many people would be fine with a B2 level, which refers to the description above, being an independent language user. So, how long will reaching these levels take you?

Spanish. What experts say

There are some numbers already calculated for this. For example, the US Foreign Service Language Institute established that Spanish is in the group of languages that is “easier” to learn (for native English speakers) than other languages (See our article: 5 good reasons to learn Spanish online). Thus, they estimated a number of 480 classroom hours for Spanish. This means that if you study one hour a day, it will take you around 16 months to achieve an advanced level. Obviously, if you study around 3 hours a day, the number of hours will be reduced to almost half a year, and you can continue play around with time calculations. This takes us to the next factor, the time you invest studying.

Your motivation and time invested

These factors are key to language learning. If you are a motivated student, whichever the reasons are, you will find the time daily to study—or practice—Spanish.   Thus you choose the number of hours at your convenience and can advance as fast as your pace dictates. There have been cases where learners take four to five weeks to reach a conversational level of Spanish, but these people dedicated at least four hours a day and also had some tutoring. So, again, it all depends on you. So, how to do it?

Your modality of studying. What do you need to reach a C level?

We all know that nowadays, foreign language learning is not limited to a classroom (Check our article: How to learn Spanish at home). The number of hours above was thought of in a regular classroom setting. Don´t you think that with the current resources on the web it could take shorter to be close to a native speaker? Probably yes. In an idealistic online learning setting—or self-study material—you need a tutor. With the correct tutoring that provides one-on-one attention, you can advance quickly through levels and be able to achieve your goal of using real language.

So let´s say that with intensive practice, meaning this that you are highly motivated, have the right tutor and invest a number of hours daily, you can be fluent at an advanced level in around a year, maybe a little less. All in all, this is only speculation, based on the information above, this is a very individual situation. You should always consider good tutoring and that is what we provide at CLI. Not only are our instructors native speakers of Spanish, but they are also well prepared; they are trained to teach the language and make it easier and more accessible to you in a relaxed and comfortable online environment.

Posted by mikebastin

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