As soon as you start something new, you want to be good at it. If you don’t get there fast enough, you tell yourself you’re not good enough and you give up. Learning a language is a good example of this, because it takes time to progress. If you’re planning to learn a language or you’re already there, you’re probably wondering how long it will take you to master it. You want to become bilingual as quickly as possible. Here are the factors that can lengthen or shorten your learning of a new language.
WHAT LEVEL DO YOU WANT TO REACH?
When you say, “I want to become bilingual,” do you mean that you want to be able to order a beer while on vacation? Or is your goal to speak in English about a complex issue such as immigration or tax policy? Your goals will make a big difference, because becoming an advanced speaker of a language can take many years, whereas acquiring the basics of the language is something that can be done in a few months. The recommended level for most people is what you might call conversational level. When a person has a conversational level in English, it means that he or she has reached a level that allows him or her to talk about topics of daily life and deal with a variety of situations. If the language learned does not stray too far from your mother tongue, you can achieve a conversational level within a few months.
HOW LONG DO YOU NEED TO STUDY?
Another important aspect to consider is how much time you have available per day or per week to study the language. The more you study, the faster your level will improve. In three months of intensive study you can learn a lot and move from beginner to intermediate level. In any case, it must be said that the key is regularity. You will be surprised how much you can learn by studying every day, even if you only spend 10 minutes on it.
ARE YOU MOTIVATED?
Why do you want to become bilingual? Do you need it to work? Do you want to move to another country? Or, is it just for fun or personal interest? All motivations are good, but not all are equal. It is mostly a very personal matter. Because if you have a strong motivation to learn a language, you will study more regularly and perhaps even more intensively, which will lead to faster results. And that’s where the magic happens, when you start to see results, your motivation increases and you study even more. This activates a kind of virtuous circle with which you will undoubtedly learn faster.