For the last couple of decades, English has emerged as a global language. Multinational companies and business organizations nowadays require multilingual employees to broaden their reach across boundaries. This, in turn, has made people around the globe want to learn to speak and write in English.
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Naturally, the most frequent question heard among people around the world is “How long does it take to learn English?” or “speak English fluently” and many more questions like that due to their busy work schedule or shortage of time for learning a new language.
Well, let me tell you the way out isn’t as easy as it seems. We all have other responsibilities like our jobs, families that are difficult or in some cases impossible to avoid. A number of different factors play significant roles in practicing English skills as a full-timer and one needs to be fluent enough in English in order to build a career in the multinational corporate houses and the international business world.
Identify Your Language Goal
But before starting your language practices it’s also equally important to identify and set your goals as to why you want to learn English as a language. Different language objectives may take different approaches to meet the needs of the learners.
Some people need to learn English for their professional purposes such as business, entertainment, tourism and even politics etc. Some are eager to learn English for travel purposes. Others will need to learn it just for study purposes. English as a global language will definitely help you do better no matter whatever you do and wherever you go. Even there are some concerns where employees have been mandated to communicate in English only.
Form a Personalized Plan
Different people learn English as a language with different objectives. So, what you as an individual need to do is to form a unique plan according to your needs to meet your goals. Your purpose to learn English may differ from that of others and so would your plan too. But you should also keep in mind that progress differs from man to man. It’s very much normal and common that everyone does not progress at the same speed. But you must keep going to reach your perspective and not be frustrated.
According to Cambridge ESOL, it takes around 200 hours to come up with a significant improvement in learning a new language on an average. Although it’s difficult to measure a proper learning speed as it varies with different individuals and circumstances learners study and practice in, there is a European framework for adults to calculate their average progress in a guided learning atmosphere. The framework shows that it would take 180 – 200 hours in Pre-Intermediate level, 350-400 hours in Intermediate level, 500-600 hours in Upper-Intermediate level, 700-800 hours in the Advanced level and 1000-1200 hours in the Proficiency level.
Several language courses are available online meeting specific perspectives naming business English, Academic English and many more. The proper approach, personalized materials, and customized courses would keep you motivated as a learner.
Teachers and Institutions
Teachers would have a great responsibility in tailoring the courses and materials to meet the needs of the learners. A mismanaged goal may end up demotivating the learner directly. Moving up too quickly may prove harmful to the learner’s progression. Proper planning and designing of the courses to be followed are very much Important. Testing and evaluating the learners by placing examinations before them may help them get to a standard level and provide them with firm objectives.
Institutions and Govt. agencies should honestly focus on the individual progress of their students as well as professional learners. It’s appropriate to confront learners with their actual level of progress no matter how good or bad it is. Grading up fast just to feel good may lead to disappointment and frustration smashing the ultimate goal. On the contrary, a good performance is good to be praised but the authority should be strict about the areas the concerned learner needs to improve in.
What are the Factors?
First of all, you need to be patient enough to develop a proper reading and listening skills by putting aside a significant amount of time for such practices. Rather you should try to learn from everything you come across each day. Listening to songs and watching movies and tv shows in English with subtitles could be of great help.
Second, if you are a student or a professional learner, you need to study and carry on your practicing English skills outside your classroom. You will need an unmixed passion and motivation to reach your goal. Your passion will motivate you to study and practice in your free hours. In other words, you need to practice your skills in real life environments by yourself, if you need a rapid progress in your English. Practice independently.
Studies show speaking a language helps to learn it faster than reading or writing practices. People who work or study in English-speaking countries are fortunate enough in respect of practicing their English skills with their English speaking peers. However, that’s a matter of time, budget and proper resources which isn’t a matter for general people. At this point, Social Media platforms, blog posts, e-news, e-magazines in English can be a good remedy for developing English skills. Things could include being friends with English speaking people and getting engaged with their posts once or twice a day by making comments and replies. These activities would contribute to developing your communication skills by increasing interaction in English.
The next is, it takes lots of effort and time if the language you want to learn is different from your mother tongue. People speaking other languages with the same alphabet as English such as French, Swedish, German and Spanish have an extra advantage while learning English because these languages have a great number of similar sounding words and in many cases have grammatical rules and norms that match with that of the English language. But if you have been an English language learner in the past, no matter how preliminary or elementary level it was in, you may find it a quite easier experience. Studies reflect that previously learned information is stored in our long-term memory. They just resurface when we try to absorb new information if matched.
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