Date Published: 29 Nov '23

How long does it take to learn French ?

As a French teacher, “how long does it take to learn French?” is a frequently asked question by my students. In my opinion, it differs from one learner to another and it depends on a number of variables. However, let’s focus on the general scenario.

Here are the questions you need to ask yourself first:

1. What is your goal?

Are you going on a trip to France or a French-speaking country?

In this case, one or two intensive training sessions of French will allow you to introduce yourself, ask essential questions and order at the café!

If you visit France every summer and you’re a cheese lover, with 3 training sessions you can reach an A1 level! And you can certify your level with a DELF A1, international diploma, valid for life!

Would you rather study in France or pursue a professional career in a French-speaking environment?

In this case, it will take you – at least – a year of study to reach level B2!

2. How frequently do you learn?

The amount of time you have available each week for language study is undoubtedly the second aspect that will have a significant impact on how long it takes to learn a language.

Of course, not everyone has the same amount of spare time! Also, each person learns at their own pace, which varies depending on factors like age or the proximity of the source and target languages linguistically.

For example, when I was studying Arabic, I had 2-hour lessons twice per week while working full- time. This allowed me to progress quickly and acquire new concepts every week. However, when my schedule was hectic, I was far too exhausted to focus! I could only attend one hour per week and sometimes…none. We don’t always progress at the same pace!

3. What is your personal investment?

Along with the number of hours spent in class, everything depends on your motivation! Do you want to go the extra mile or just follow the class schedule? I advise you, for example, to dedicate 30 minutes or 1 hour of personal work (reading, writing, videos, conversation…) per day. As a learner, I was also trying to watch Arabic videos, or practice writing outside of class… it takes time, yes, but I promise you’ll be pleased with the outcome!

Another tip: look for native speakers and join conversation and language exchange clubs (they are usually available in every major city!).

Come on, shall we get started?

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