Of course, how to learn a language is your decision. You can limit yourself to learning the language at school or at the university, or you can add classes with a tutor. It all depends on your aims and capabilities. However, everything must be carefully weighed and calculated for the invested funds and time (and you will have to support them anyway) to bring the proper result.
That is why if you need a calculator to count how much time and effort you need to spend to learn a new language, you can always find it at Preply.
For Europeans, for example, the only possible way to learn a language is with a native speaker teacher. And the most economical is living in a family in the country where you need to know the language. And therefore, to master the language, economic Europeans go to courses abroad. Very often, wealthy families send their children for six months or a year to study at a school in another country: this is how the level of fluency in the language is achieved. Those who cannot afford such a luxury choose a cheaper way to send their children to a farm in another country during the summer holidays.
The higher the motivation in learning a language, the more influential the learning process, which means the less time and money you need to invest in it – this is a hypothesis that does not require proof. And above all, the motivation to learn a language is when there is a vital need for it, that is, abroad, surrounded by native speakers.
A month of living among native speakers can easily replace six months, or even a year, of studying with a tutor at home.
The effectiveness of courses abroad is justified because official international centers annually accredit all courses.
Course teachers undergo special training and are aware of all the latest changes in conducting exams and the criteria for evaluating their results. The classes themselves compete regarding the proportion of students who successfully passed the exam. A tutor will be able to provide you with such statistics.
Finally, the training program – the more intensive the course of study, the shorter its duration will be. However, we do not recommend this learning method because the more the language environment surrounds you, the better the language is acquired: after all, while abroad, learning a language is not limited to hours of study but continues during rest and entertainment. We advise you to choose intensive courses only if you want to pass the exam at the level that you already know, but you are limited in time. Six weeks of the standard method (20 hours per week) is more effective than four weeks of the intensive course of 30 hours per week.
And the last factor: the duration of training. The most expensive part is accommodation. If you didn’t have to pay for housing, learning a language even in England would be significantly cheaper than at home. Here we advise you to break the course of study into two components: classes at home with a tutor or via Skype + a trip to the period abroad, which depends on the goal you are pursuing.
The required minimum level of language proficiency:
• for studying in the programs Art and Music A2 + / B1
• to work in most cases B1+/B2
• for management positions B2+/C1
• for university studies B2+/C1
• for teaching German C1+/C2
The duration of training to achieve a certain level of language proficiency is an individual thing and depends on several factors:
• from the purpose for which the language is studied (passing an international exam, entering a university, or mastering the language at a level sufficient for a simple explanation)
• from the initial level of knowledge of the language
• on the degree of interest and motivation in achieving the goal
• from financial opportunities
However, based on experience and statistical data, when in a language environment, the average level of B1 is reached after six months, and B2 after another four months. It is for the standard course (15 – 22 hours per week).
If there is a need to compress these terms, then choose an intensive course (24 – 30 hours per week) or one-on-one classes or accommodation in the teacher’s family.
And now the most interesting question: where can we get these 450-600 hours of life that we need so much in order, for example, to get a job abroad (provided, of course, that only a foreign language is not enough to get a job)?
Let me remind you that 450–600 hours is the only pure, adequate time when all the material is learned well and words are understood. There is conversational practice; work is being done with errors, and vocabulary is constantly being built up; in a comment, when work is done conscientiously and without pauses, which, you see, looks more like a utopia than the truth.
Therefore, at least 2-3 hours should be allocated to the language per day for particular tasks and deadlines. It seems that this time does not exist. However, if you look for holes in your day through which our time flows and patch them up, 2-3 hours will be found without problems.
Plus, at this moment: it is not necessary to have these 2-3 hours in one piece at once. It is enough if, for example, you learn the theory in the morning. At lunchtime, you repeat it, talk about yourself, write down the most critical points, and do exercises on it in the evening. Thus, there is no feeling of overload. Nevertheless, we are engaged for the whole day.
To Wrap It Up
It is essential to understand that such a schedule is not for life but only for a couple of months. Therefore, it is not worth worrying that you have deprived yourself of something in life. Everything will return to normal as soon as the “foreign language” stage is over.
You can try the methods of learning a foreign language we described above and try something new. Change the practices that don’t suit you, and you will succeed very soon.