How Many Hours a Week Should You Study Languages? (2024)

The short answer to this question is quite obvious; the more the better. But unless you want to dedicate your entire life to learning a new language, you must have a manageable language-learning schedule. Sure, you can go all out and spend all your nights and weekends studying, but will you be able to keep it up? On the other hand, if you don’t dedicate enough time, it will be difficult to build upon what you learn. The key is to find a nice balance and integrate language learning in your life in a way that’s effective, enjoyable and sustainable. In this post, we’ll take a look at a few things to keep in mind when making your language-learning schedule.

Real Active Study Time.

Especially in the beginning, you’ll need to spend a lot of time actively learning the language; you can follow a language-learning book, take lessons with a private teacher, take language workshops or follow lessons in a program like Ouino. This time is dedicated to learning important new words, sentence structure, pronunciation, conjugation etc. For most people who lead busy lives, thirty minutes to an hour a day is a good starting point to get excellent results. Active study time is particularly important in the early stages of language learning.

Language Exposure Time.

One of the great things about learning a language is that there are tons of things you already do that can be adapted to help you learn. Language exposure is anything that reinforces the language, but it’s not necessarily focused on learning. You could watch movies, read simple short stories, listen to audiobooks etc. This is quite simple to implement in your daily routine and you can easily add a few hours of extra practice every week. Why not change the default language on your phone, video games and social media? All these things can make a huge difference. Try to find something you can change in your life to get a bit of extra practice every day. A few minutes here and there can really add up during the day and it all counts towards the amount of time you dedicate to learning. People often forget to add language exposure time to their schedule, but it’s a primordial part of language learning.

Your Level in the Language.

Your current level will greatly affect the amount of time you can spend learning the language. In the beginning, it will be more difficult to spend a long time learning without feeling drained mentally. Shorter (but focused) sessions tend to be more effective than long hours. For most people, 30 minutes a day is a lot more effective than cramming 3 hours once a week. Once you gain a solid foundation in your language though, it will become much easier to learn through content and exposure to the language. As you progress, you will tend to shift your time from active study to more language exposure. Eventually, watching a TV series in your new language can be as enjoyable as watching it in your native language, even if you don’t understand all the subtleties. Language learning becomes less demanding and more enjoyable. The downside is that it’s still time-consuming and the actual progress you make is less noticeable.

Be Consistent in the Long Run.

Remember to include language learning in a way that can be sustained in the long run. We believe that consistency is likely the most important part of language learning. There is no point of rushing for a few weeks, only to give up before it truly becomes enjoyable. The online language school Lingoda recently conducted a survey about speaking confidence after taking online classes. Of students who reported feeling more confident, around half said they felt comfortable speaking after fewer than 20 classes. For most people, around 30 minutes of active study and 1 hour of language exposure a day is a schedule that will give you great results. It’s a model that’s sustainable over a long period to help you reach fluency. But of course, it all depends on your goals and expectations. Simply give it a try and tweak your schedule to meet your needs.

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How Many Hours a Week Should You Study Languages? (2024)


How Many Hours a Week Should You Study Languages? ›

According to the research, the ideal amount of daily study time for rapid language learning is around 1 to 2 hours per day. This may seem like a small amount of time, but it's important to remember that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to language learning.

Can you study a language 10 hours a day? ›

According to the FSI, if we are able to put in 10 hours a day to learn a language, then basic fluency should take 48 days for easy languages, and 72 days for difficult languages. Based on this number, we can take some insight into course intensity and what's realistic.

Is 100 hours enough to learn a language? ›

Depending on the language you want to learn, becoming fluent can take 400 to 2,200 hours of studying plus real-world practice.

How many language lessons should I have a week? ›

Most students take language lessons once a week, but you'll also need to commit to practicing on your own — every day. Fortunately, it doesn't need to take up a ton of time, and you can even incorporate it into your daily life.

How long should language study sessions be? ›

If your circadian rhythm is roughly synchronized with the sun and you make it through each day without being overloaded with information, an effective way to learn vocabulary is probably with two 30-minute study sessions per day around 11:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

How do CIA agents learn languages? ›

Spies actively seek opportunities to immerse themselves in the target language, whether by traveling to a foreign country or engaging with native speakers in their own community. By exposing themselves to authentic conversational contexts, spies develop their comprehension, speaking, and listening skills rapidly.

What is the hardest language to learn? ›

1. Mandarin Chinese. Interestingly, the hardest language to learn is also the most widely spoken native language in the world. Mandarin Chinese is challenging for a number of reasons.

How fast can you realistically learn a language? ›

Group IV Languages:
Length of TrainingMinimal AptitudeSuperior Aptitude
16 weeks (480 hours)Novice HighIntermediate Low/Mid
24 weeks (720 hours)Intermediate Low/MidIntermediate High
44 weeks(1320 hours)Intermediate HighAdvanced Mid/High
80-92 weeks (2400-2760 hours)Advanced HighSuperior

Can you become fluent in 6 months? ›

To work through all the proficiency levels requires years of sustained practice—no matter the language and no matter the learning method. What people often mean by "fluent in 6 months" is being confident and conversational. And actually, that is possible!

Is 3 hours a week enough to learn a language? ›

If possible, spend an hour a day 6–7 days per week on the new language. This will benefit you more than spending 3 hours in a language class once a week.

How many hours a day should you study a language to become fluent? ›

According to the research, the ideal amount of daily study time for rapid language learning is around 1 to 2 hours per day. This may seem like a small amount of time, but it's important to remember that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to language learning.

Should I learn 3 languages at once? ›

If you're learning a foreign language for the first time, I advise against trying three languages at the same time. You probably still have some wrong beliefs about how you suck at learning languages or something like that. Start with one, add a second, and then a third.

What's the easiest language to learn? ›

10 Easiest Languages for English Speakers to Learn
  1. Afrikaans. Like English, Afrikaans is in the West Germanic language family, once thought of as a Dutch dialect. ...
  2. French. Ah, the language of love. ...
  3. Spanish. ...
  4. Dutch. ...
  5. Norwegian. ...
  6. Portuguese. ...
  7. Swedish. ...
  8. Italian.

Is it better to study a language at night or morning? ›

It has been proven that studying in the evening will help you consolidate your learning and improve your recall. Research shows that studying at night can also help you retain new skills like learning a new language. Studying before bedtime can ensure your memory consolidation process is at its peak.

Is Duolingo actually good? ›

Good for Practice, Not Always for Learning

Even with some of the well-developed courses, Duolingo may not be enough to completely teach a language to fluency. As mentioned earlier, Duolingo is great for getting a base in a language—but don't expect to get to advanced fluency on Duolingo alone.

Can you study 10 hours in a day? ›

The maximum number of hours you can spend studying every day is about 11 hours if you also devote time to your health. However, the recommendation is to spend just over five hours daily on a 12-credit hour course and 6 hours daily for a 14-credit hour course.

Can you learn a language in 12 hours? ›

How long does it take to learn a language? The research suggests it takes between 400 and 2200 hours of study plus a lot of practice to learn a foreign language.

How long should I practice a language per day? ›

With a busy work life, finding the time to commit to a new language can be a challenge in itself. But experts agree that it's more than possible to make meaningful progress in just one hour a day. Not only that, the skills gained from practicing a new language can feel like superpowers in the workplace and beyond.

Is it possible to learn 10 languages at once? ›

Yes, it is possible to learn many languages at once! I've been doing it for many years, and this year, I'm tackling 12 languages. There are many methods you can use to learn more than one language at once. Here are some of my best recommendations.

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