quinta-feira, 23 de maio de 2013

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.


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:

Larry M. Lynch is an English language teaching and learning expert author and university professor in Cali, Colombia. 

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