How long does it take to learn A2?

How long does it take to learn another language? (Part 4)Peter2 years agoConclusion (with some numbers!)As can be seen from the previous posts, there is no easy answer to this ques

How long does it take to learn A2?

How long does it take to learn another language? (Part 4)Peter2 years ago

Conclusion (with some numbers!)

As can be seen from the previous posts, there is no easy answer to this question, but we can make some general predictions using information from this paper from Cambridge University Press (CUP) called How long does it take to learn a foreign language? and information from Cambridge Assessment.*

First of all, it is important to be aware of how hours are counted. Both the paper from CUP and the information from Cambridge Assessment use the term Guided Learning Hours, which means hours of class time and hours spent doing guided self-study (i.e. homework set by the teacher). It does not include time spent by the learner doing self-study that a teacher has not set for homework. Obviously, it also depends how this time is spent. In my opinion, time spent doing grammar exercises is probably not as useful as communicating in English with the help of a teacher.

One interesting thing to notice is that it is generally accepted that it is easier to make more progress at lower levels than at higher levels. Below is a table taken from the paper from CUP, which shows that for adult learners with high levels of motivation and share the same L1 script as English (e.g. French, Spanish, German, etc.), approximately 90-100 hours are required to move from A1 to A2 whilst around 300-400 are needed to move from C1 to C2. These hours are likely to be higher for Taiwanese students though as obviously English and Chinese have different writing systems. However, remember that at higher levels, the first language has a much smaller impact than at lower levels.

Table taken from: https://www.cambridge.org/elt/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/How-long-does-it-take-to-learn-a-foreign-language.pdf

It is also interesting to see that Cambridge Assessment makes slightly different predictions to Cambridge University Press (though Cambridge Assessment does not include a learning context).

Here is the table from Cambridge Assessment:

Taken from: https://support.cambridgeenglish.org/hc/en-gb/articles/202838506-Guided-learning-hours

In summary, it is difficult to give a precise figure, but for levels between A2 and C1, an average figure of about 200 hours to move up one level (e.g. B1 to B2) seems to be the most optimistic prediction.

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