How long does it take to improve in a language?

How long does it take to improve at LingQ? We have 6 levels here, more or less loosely based on the Common European Framework. How many months, or hours of activity are necessary to improve a level, based on your own experience?

I would be interested to hear from learners. Please tell me which language you are learning, what kinds of learning activities you are engaged in at LingQ, or elsewhere, and how long it takes to go up a level, or three for that matter.

I mostly learn English. German from time to time. I put imported lessons into LingQ and read them. In my experience, significant progress of mine takes for about 8 months. I mean listening and reading. I don’t speak in target language because I have almost no oportunity.

When I first joined, I was doing quite an intensive month of Spanish. I had background knowledge, but I would consider that to be the most amount of serious work I’ve done in Spanish.

It took me something like 3 weeks to go from beginner 1 to intermediate 2. I did the usual listening and reading and did some writing. Whenever I had no points I got my writing corrected elsewhere. I finished the Paul Noble Spanish course (10 hours) in that month and did quite a bit of grammar study (I find it helps to gain a greater understanding of the text).

Can you estimate the number of hours spent, on LingQ related activities, listening, reading, LingQing interacting with LingQ tutors, and on other activities?

Of course, most people do a variety to things and do not just use one resource for language learning, so any improvement cannot just be attributed to LingQ or Rosetta Stone or whatever.

Hmm… Perhaps an hour and a half on LingQ, stretched throughout the day (either doing a few lessons, reviewing words or writing) and then 15-30 minutes of other resources. It’s hard to say though as I didn’t do it as just two hours in the evening studying. My study, as I’ve said, was just broken into little pieces.

Here my rough statistics to achieve upper intermediate in English (as a Catalan and Spanish native speaker):

  • 800 hours listening
  • 300 reading
  • 70-80 speaking
  • 20 hours using flashcards
  • 5 hours reviewing grammar

Oscar, what was your starting point?

Thanks for this. I would like at some point be able to say that at LingQ, in xxx hours you can expect to improve from 1-3 levels in your language, or something like this.

How would you go about doing this? Will it be an average of how quickly others improved?

Quando eu começei estudar inglês eu não tinha nenhum conhecimento, eu estudava 3 horas todos os dias somente pelo LingQ, Eu achava um assunto interessante e ficava lendo e ouvindo pelomenos 5 vezes ao dia.
Em 3 meses eu já estava lendo muito bem e utilizando os materiais do nivel intermediário. Vai fazer 6 meses que estudo com o LingQ e não tenho dificuldade com os materiais mais avançados , o segredo é nos 5 primeiros meses apenas ouvir e ler muito.

  • 300 hours listening
  • 250 reading
  • 5-10 speaking
  • 200 reviewing

I’m on advanced1 on French here , i don’t know what exactly that means, I guess it’s equivalent to c1. I spend 2-3 hours a day , almost 6 days a week. It would be great if you could upgrade this site to be able to keep track how much do you spend with reading , an listening , then have a graph to see exactly how you evolve. I see this on wich is an amazing e-learnig platoform. it’s really stimulating for me to see in detail how I progress. here is what i’m talkin about Khan Academy Exercise Software - YouTube

My starting point was, let’s say beginner 2. At the start point I wasn’t even able to maintain very basic conversations. Before learning seriously, I hadn’t barely listened to English though I had read a little bit of tecnhical English (with very specialized vocabulary) and I had some basic grammar background from high school.

6 months from Beginner 2 to Intermediate 1 in English with 1 hour listening a day (5 days a week) and 1 hour studying on LingQ studying lesson (50 min) and reviewing flashcards (10 min) on 6 days a week. Speaking 15 minutes a week, than 30 minutes a week with a tutor.

Another 8 or 9 months to Intermediate 2. Everything the same, but I spoke than 3 times for 30 minutes a week with a tutor to become fluent.

@Alexpatru: I would like those statistics too. Most people aren’t careful enough to add the data for their extra-LingQ activities for their statistics to be truly meaningful, I suspect.

@Steve: I have gone from beginner 2 to advanced 1 in Russian in nearly 3 years here. That corresponds to maybe 7 hours a week. In that same period I have also got from scratch to intermediate 1 in Japanese, from intermediate 2 to advanced 1 in German and from intermediate 1 to intermediate 2 in French. Maybe 7 hours a week in total for those three languages.

Speaking 3 times for 30 minutes per week? - Seems unbelievable to me.

I ask myself how you find so many suitable topics to speak and to fill 90 minutes per week, because you don’t have so much specialized vocabulary at Intermediate.

@alexpatru - Khan Academy is a great resource and that learning tool in the video looks great. I’m not sure what you mean by tracking reading and listening but you are perfectly capable of doing that now on LingQ. Obviously we can’t track how much reading and listening you do away from the computer. You can control your reading and listening stats by using the counters in the Task pane or by entering these amounts into the stats widget manually. Graphing would be nice for the stats but is unfortunately, not a very high priority for the moment.

I knew that I can enter the time I spend listening and reading, but it’s manually like you said , and at this time I’m not that ordonate and precise and I prefer things to be done as automatic as possible, so I can keep my focus only on the process of learning. Is like… a football player to keep track of the amount of time was training, the correct passes ,the number if steps, the amount of goals …etc.
anyway…it was just a suggestion , hope it will materialize sometime.

@Hape: I’m a woman. And you know, women are more talkative than men :slight_smile:
For me it is very easy to find topics. I speak about my daily life. What happened in the past, my plans for the futures, movies I’ve seen, podcasts I’ve heard, news paper articles, books, new podcasts that I’ve created and so forth. Not a big deal for me at all.

I think that a intermediate learner can easily maintain three 30 minute conversations a week.

Yes, I also believe you can talk about almost anything as soon as you reach a more or less comfortable intermediate level - you can always share your thoughts on current events, tell how you spent your last week, what interesting did you find out, etc, it doesn’t always have to be an ambitious topic. I think I would be able to talk three times a week. I wouldn’t maintain it financially, though :wink: And my English is getting rusty…