Language Levels and Time Needed to Get There


I heard that it’s like 60 hours to get to A1 level and then like (another) 90 hours to A2. I know it’s more like a reference + these numbers vary depending on the source that’s presenting them and it also depends on the person who’s learning the language, and the language itself, probably… but I’m rather wondering what kind of hours are they talking about? Is it like x hours in a classroom doing some reading and exercises or what?
I’m wondering as my new teacher said she should be able to make people basically from 0 to basic conversational level in Italian in 60-90 hours and I find it quite impossible :slight_smile: Unless the goal is to memorize x common phrases and use them.


Generally the stats I’ve seen like that have been for classroom time, yes.

Really, it seems like you’re a bit nervous about Italian. Don’t be! It shouldn’t be that hard to get to a basic level if you already know English, which you clearly do. A lot of the words have some similarity.

I’d start on Lingq now. I mean right now: Go ahead! And then do it as much as possible with your course. You’ll be able to have basic convos in no time at all.

Yeah I intend to. But I"ve seen people learning English for 15 ears the school way and they still can’t utter a sentence so hearing that everyone in my group would be able to talk in 60-90 hours seems just a little bit unreal to me haha.

I plan on doing my best at school + do exercises and homework + lingq a lot :slight_smile: Then I guess it should be possible to be able to have a simple conversation in 6-12 months.

It says on your profile you are Polish. How did you learn English? Do that again. :slight_smile:

Really, a lot of people take classes for ages and don’t learn anything because they aren’t motivated. This goes for any subject. Most people learn tons of math in school for at least a decade, but retain almost none of it. However, the people who are really motivated end up doing great things with it.

View the class as the supplement to your learning outside of it, I would say.


Definitely, the class will be a supplement. I know for a fact that 90% or more of my learning will be done on my own, probably using lingq :slight_smile:

And how did I learn English? Playing games, reading texts, watching movies, shows, tv series, chatting with people, writing on forums… Now I sometimes feel like it’s even easier for me to capture my thoughts in English than it is in Polish huh. The one element that’s lagging behind is speaking. I haven’t had many opportunities to talk to people in English. I’ve had some experience while playing games with my British friends back in the days and some speaking we had to do while in classroom but I feel my speaking is extremely rusty right now :frowning:

I’d figure out what you personally want to get from those 60-90 hours. You may want to use it just as speaking practice, taking the opportunity to speak as much as you can with a native. Just be clear with yourself, and with your teacher, about how the classes fit into your overall learning process.

Outside of the classroom you’re probably looking at closer to 1000 than 100 hours of listening and reading to get to that level, but will depend on so many other factors.

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Sadly, the teacher isn’t a native speaker but she seems to be fluent. I think I’ll listen to your advice and just focus on benefiting as much as possible from this course. And yes, that probably will be the speaking part.

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I think that is the best approach. Everything else you can probably do more efficiently outside of the classroom, but it is an excellent opportunity to speak regularly with a fluent speaker. Good luck!

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I never learned Italian, but I think 90 hours is probably enough time to get a basic introduction into the language. You will still of course be just getting started.

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My statistics tells me about 300+ hours of listening Italian lessons. I am more or less comfortable now.
According to my observations I can survive in a language after about 100 hours of listening. It does not include the hours I spend on reading or learning grammar.

I wouldn’t bother fussing over length of time. “Basic conversational level” can mean lots of different things. Being able to ask someone about the time, the weather, how are you, and where is ___ can be considered basic conversation. I just think there is no good criteria for really measuring how long it will take.

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in 6 -12 months you can make lots of progress in any language, even chinese. Just stay the course, try to practice a little every day. The Big thing that the school method misses in my opinion, is listening, comprehending, and responding to the language spoken at full speed. I think supplementing a classroom lesson with linqg and other media is a fantastic idea! Also, just for extra motivation wanted to remind you that italians are very friendly and helpful! they will be thrilled to hear you learn their language when you visit!

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I hope that goes for Italian girls as well haha :))

It likely depends on which language(s) you know, and which one youre trying to learn. I saw this interesting diagram on how closely various languages are related:

In my naivety, I would assume there is a correlation between amount of study effort and the distance between ones known language(s) and target on such a diagram. I could very well be completely off track though.

From the context of English native speakers, I’ve seen many variations on this:

Which is based off “intensive/immersive” study environment with good instructor to pupil ratio.

So 60 - 90 hours sounds like a pipe dream. By the ACTFL ‘rankings’, Low Intermediate or Novice High sound like ‘basic conversational’ levels.

I have no idea what research, studies or other supporting material they have for their claims but what they say does seem in keeping with some of the more trustworthy accounts I have read from language learners.


Thank you!