Sunday, February 10, 2008

How long does it take to learn English or Other Foreign Language?


Most people believe that to learn to speak a foreign language like English well, they need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars and pass through years learning grammar, vocabulary and practicing before they can develop any fluency.

How long does it take to learn English or another foreign language?
People think they need to struggle with long vocabulary lists, grammar rules and irregularities and memorization of irregular verb lists and language forms that only tend to distort, twist and confuse you. You are sheepishly led to believe that only after all this can you hope to "speak" any English, French, Spanish or whatever other foreign language you may wish to learn.

THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE.

Unfortunately, in many societies, many "institutions" use English or foreign language teaching only as a vehicle to make more and more money. Their interest is NOT in you learning English or a foreign language as quickly, fluently and easily as possible. Their interest is primarily in getting more and more of your tuition money for English language classes. They may not have native language speaking teachers or their teachers (native English speakers or not) may not be trained as English or foreign language teaching professionals.

This may help to explain why many people can "study English" or Spanish, French or another foreign language for two, three, five or more YEARS without any substantial progress. Why? Because if you ever do "learn English" or the foreign language you’re studying you won't need to pay them any more money. They won't make another peso or cent off of you.

So what?

Well …

They have bills to pay.
They have teachers who need a weekly paycheck.
They have company expenses.
They need profits to stay in business.

So then, what's their incentive to have you quickly become fluent in English or whatever the foreign language you’re studying is?

Think about that. Then answer the question for yourself.

Integrating into an English or Foreign-Language-Speaking Society
NEVER in my nearly 20 years of English language teaching experience have I had a student more than 10 months to one year. After that they really don't need me any more! They have the skills to continue, grow and develop their English language speaking skills for the rest of their life - for whatever reason they might need.

Many of my students don’t even need ten months or a year. They’re off – integrated into American or Canadian society after a much shorter time. Not with “perfect” English mind you, but with solidly-based English language acquisition skills that will enable them to continue on their own at their own pace for as long as they need.

Consider This

In much of Europe, many parts of Asia and on the African continent, many “ordinary people” like you can fluently speak three, four or more languages quite easily. They don’t need or take years of “studying” each language to develop conversational fluency either. If they did, it could be years before they could even “chat with the neighbors”! Even children in many parts of Europe laugh, talk and play together in two or three different languages while still being as young as five, six or seven years old. Are they any smarter or better than you?

Most certainly not!

If you truly want to learn and effectively communicate in English or another foreign language in the shortest possible amount of effort and time, you must be selective in how you go about it.

For some of my greatest tips, tricks and techniques for quickly and easily learning virtually any of the world's 6912 living languages just go to:
http://www.escapeartist.com/e_Books/Learn_a_Foreign_Language/Learn_a_Foreign_Language.html

Larry M. Lynch is an English language teaching and learning expert author and university professor in Cali, Colombia. Now YOU too can live your dreams in paradise, find romance, high adventure and get paid while travelling for free. For more information on the lucrative, fascinating field of teaching English as a Foreign Language, get your copy of his no-cost, full multi-media, hypertext-linked pdf ebook, “If You Want to Teach English Abroad, Here’s What You Need to Know” by sending an e-mail to lynchlarrym@gmail.com with "free ELT Ebook" in the subject line. Need professional, original content and photos or images for your blog, newsletter, e-zine or website? Want more information, have a comment or special request? Contact the author by e-mail for a prompt response.

14 comments:

Alex Case said...

If you want to be taken seriously, you might want to write less like a script from a shopping channel

Anonymous said...

I studied in an English institute to increase my english level; but I didn`t fininsh the progarm because I couldn't see if I was really getting better or not, I think some institutes only want to have many students but they don't worry about if their students are in a good level.

PAULA said...

I studied in an English institute to increase my english level; but I didn`t fininsh the progarm because I couldn't see if I was really getting better or not, I think some institutes only want to have many students but they don't worry about if their students are in a good level.

February 15, 2008 3:30 PM

claudia arce said...

I think it's necessary try to find institutes that having name, because there are institutes where only think how much money they"ll get, but they don't know if the student learned so that sometimes is better find other strategies of learning like: listen to music, radio, video, internet or getting a good institute.

MARITZA said...

I believe that the comments you made in the article confirmed the feelings of indignation and failure suffered by many learners of English language after having graduated from a language school, in which they sold the idea of learning English as fast, effective, easy in a total communication, with great fluency.

These learners feel cheated, frustrated and even stolen in time and money, because the course that promised to be a success become a failure at their formation. This is a reality underlined in the policies of language schools (as the article mentions), since:
• The learners conceived the idea that they will learn English, but they don’t even really internalize the linguistic system.
• Learners are not clarified about the parameters under which they are going to receive their learning. Moreover, when a language is learned in a place where it is not used, the process is more limited, and the student’s level of intimacy is not very high and, therefore, their fluency will be lower too.

These situations can be proved when we travel abroad and interact with native speakers, to be in touch with real language, we realize that we can not communicate because we do not understand our interlocutor.

Gladys Arboleda said...

I guess your site offer us important information of advices for becoming a Better EFL Teacher. After having read your blog about how does it take to learn English or other foreign language, I think to learn to speak a foreign language well we need to spend many time in contact with an English society that let us to interact in real situations, unlike to spend a lot of money in any institutions that pretend to help us in this purpose. It is true that some of these institutions have good native language speaking teachers trained in teaching that provide us important tools to develop skills for communication, but it is necessary to complement these instructions with a real contact on an English environment for substantial progress, at least for one year. In addition to, we have to continue on our own improvement and solidity of skills, interacting in English as possible as we can for an effectively proficiency and communication

Gladys Arboleda said...

I guess your site offer us important information of advices for becoming a Better EFL Teacher. After having read your blog about how does it take to learn English or other foreign language, I think to learn to speak a foreign language well we need to spend many time in contact with an English society that let us to interact in real situations, unlike to spend a lot of money in any institutions that pretend to help us in this purpose. It is true that some of these institutions have good native language speaking teachers trained in teaching that provide us important tools to develop skills for communication, but it is necessary to complement these instructions with a real contact on an English environment for substantial progress, at least for one year. In addition to, we have to continue on our own improvement and solidity of skills, interacting in English as possible as we can for an effectively proficiency and communication

Gladys Arboleda said...

I guess your site offer us important information of advices for becoming a Better EFL Teacher. After having read your blog about how does it take to learn English or other foreign language, I think to learn to speak a foreign language well we need to spend many time in contact with an English society that let us to interact in real situations, unlike to spend a lot of money in any institutions that pretend to help us in this purpose. It is true that some of these institutions have good native language speaking teachers trained in teaching that provide us important tools to develop skills for communication, but it is necessary to complement these instructions with a real contact on an English environment for substantial progress, at least for one year. In addition to, we have to continue on our own improvement and solidity of skills, interacting in English as possible as we can for an effectively proficiency and communication

CLAUDIA MUĂ‘OZ said...

During my own experience I found tha ther´s no an specific time to learn a foreign language because I was studying in some institutes and also I made a carreer called modern languages and I know that everything depends on the time that you have for practicing every days.
You need to worry about your knowledge and It´s your responsability

Ari2525 said...

I like your Learn English Onlineblog. It is a good blog that we can Learn English Online... Please keep up good works.

melvin goldstein said...

We learn 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see and 95% of what we teach . Students and teachers of the sciences will relate from their experience that they learn by working problems. They must think to solve a problem. Learning requires thinking and the use of the computer can assist in the learning process. The computer is more than a super typewriter, a home based library or a super shopping mall. For science majors to use the power of the computer they must learn to program it. When one writes a computer program to do something one becomes the teacher (the 95% learner. There are “Physics Foibles” but thinking about the foibles Chaos, Entropy, Heisenberg Uncertainty and Godel Incompleteness has open our minds.

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vidhatanand said...

English is a very big language. It’s a language that’s spoken all across the world, and is taught in most countries as a second language. Its influence is seen practically everywhere, as a worldwide lingua franca that helps the world to communicate.

Junu Jinnie said...

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