Learning a language is an incredible accomplishment that takes time, dedication, and hard work. It's a skill that can provide a lifetime of benefits, from better communication skills to personal growth, career opportunities, and cultural enrichment. But how much time per day is required to learn a language effectively? Many language learners wonder if 20 minutes per day is enough to make progress. In this blog post, we will explore this question using research and expert insights. We will also discuss the best modern foreign languages to learn and the educational levels of language learning.
The amount of time required to learn a language varies from person to person and depends on many factors such as the learner's motivation, learning style, and the complexity of the language. According to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), it takes an average of 600-750 hours of instruction to reach a general professional proficiency in group 1 languages (Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian). However, this can vary widely depending on the learner's level of immersion, the degree of exposure and practise in the target language, and the quality of instruction.
While 20 minutes per day may seem like a small amount of time, consistent practice can help you build a strong foundation in a language. According to some studies, shorter and more focused studying sessions can be more effective than longer, less frequent ones. This is because the brain can absorb information better when it's engaged and focused. Therefore, it's better to study 20 minutes per day than to do a 2-hour session once a week. However, keep in mind that 20 minutes per day may not be enough to maintain a high level of proficiency in your target language.
Learning a language with many speakers can be a smart choice, as it can open up more opportunities for communication and cultural understanding. According to Ethnologue, the top 10 languages spoken in the world are:
Language learning can be a part of formal education, from primary school to university level. In the UK, languages are taught at every education level, from key stage (KS) 2 to degree level. At KS2, children aged 7-11 learn basic vocabulary and grammar, while at GCSE (age 14-16), students can choose between various language subjects such as French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin, or Arabic. At A-level (age 16-18), students can continue their language studies in more depth, and at degree level, they can choose to study modern languages, linguistics or interdisciplinary programs.
If you're learning a language, here are some tips to make the most of your time:
In conclusion, 20 minutes per day can be an effective way to learn a language, especially if you focus on quality over quantity. However, it's important to remember that language learning is a lifelong process that requires consistent practise, patience, and dedication. By choosing a language with a practical purpose, setting clear goals, and using a variety of resources, you can make the most of your learning time and achieve your language learning objectives. Whether you're a student, parent, educator, or language enthusiast, learning a language can enrich your life and open up new horizons.