How long does it take to learn Spanish?

Many people wonder if Spanish is a language that takes long to learn.

The time that it take to learn a language vary from person to person and language to language as well. Other factors might influence as well, such as your mother tongue and natural learning ability.

Nonetheless, according to the US Foreign Service Institute, it might take you around 24 weeks (600 class hours) to become “professionally proficient” in Spanish, providing you are native in English.

Professionally proficient, in their description, would make your able to “speak accurately and with enough vocabulary to handle social representation and professional discussions within special fields of knowledge” and “able to read most materials found in daily newspapers”.

In this study, the FSI classifies Spanish as a language closely cognate with English, alongside others such as Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Swedish, and Norwegian.

Reaching fluency in six months would require 3 hours per day of studying, while dedicating one hour per day to the desired language would make you fluent in around 1.5 years.

Source: own elaboration, with data from the Foreign Service Institute (2022)

What I find more useful about this FSI study is that they mention various factors that will influence the language learning experience.

For example, they mention how learning aptitudes varies from person to person and that will affect the way we learn a language, and also the amount of languages we can already speak (or general language knowledge we already hace) will positively influence our experience.

The article is also based on traditional classroom learning, but they do clarify that further independent practice is needed from the student.

Just bear in mind that not all methods of learning (including traditional learning) are adequate for everyone, so take a look at our posts to check different resources we recommend.

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