Friday, July 20, 2007

How long does it take to learn English?

Wow, a difficult question indeed. In fact, I am asked this question more often than any other question, but the answer isn't an easy one. There are so many factors than influence how fast and how well a student picks up a new language. One thing that I mentioned in an earlier post is natural ability. In other words, some people have a gift for learning languages; this isn't something they can buy. Rather, these students just seem to be able to learn quickly and with less effort than the rest of us (including myself). So, share your ideas. Besides natural ability, what other factors affect the speed at which a person picks up a second or third language?


  1. Basically, I’d say that the one factor besides natural ability is motivation. If we’re not one of these fortunate, gifted students, but we’ve got a personal motivation, then we can do well anyway. Motivation as I understand it, however, is not only related with having a practical necessity. As a student, you need the purpose, but you also need to get involved emotionally in the process of learning. You need to actually enjoy yourself while learning. Gisela, Argentina

  2. It is indeed a difficult question to answer, and I’m not sure whether there’s a definite and plausible answer to this question. However, there are some key factors which will definitely influence how fast and how well students pick up a new language such as motivation, (inborn) talent for learning languages, learning strategies and an environment where learners can test and experiment with the language so that they can consolidate what they have learned in class.


Thanks for posting a comment. I appreciate your interesting in sharing your ideas.



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