Sergey Sulimov


Sergey Sulimov



школа английского языка

“Speak English in a Month!” “Confident English in just three weeks!” You’ve probably seen ads like this. In addition, you may have even thought, “Eh, I’ve been learning for so long and still haven’t achieved perfection. Moreover, there’s nothing wrong with you. Nevertheless, there’s a problem with ads like these. We explain why.

How long does it really take to master English?

When it comes to learning anything, time is an important factor. All languages are divided into four groups, depending on their difficulty. Moreover, English is in the first group. The United States Foreign Service Institute (FSI) states that if you can study ten hours a day, it takes 48 days to master languages in the lower group. Ten hours every day for 48 days (that’s almost seven weeks) and you’re fluent in English. In addition, even here there are nuances. Experts from the same Institute rate fluency on a 5-point scale:

1. elementary proficiency. A person can communicate while traveling and maintain a conversation on everyday topics.

2. limited the language working knowledge. The individual can meet routine social needs and limited work needs.

3. minimal job skills. The individual speaks the language with sufficient grammatical accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social, and professional topics.

4.     Total professional proficiency. The individual speaks the language fluently and accurately at all levels normally appropriate to professional needs.

5.     A native or fluent bilingual speaker. The proficiency level corresponds to an educated native speaker that.

So, what you put into “learn English” depends on your goals and needs. To reach the fifth level even with 10 hours of continuous study for 7 weeks is unrealistic. And in general, only a few can devote that much time to study, forgetting about work, other studies, family, social contacts and other things.

The EnglishPapa school, as well as many other educational institutions in Europe, rely on the CEFR recommendations (Reference Common European Framework for Languages), or the Reference Common European Framework for Languages. According to this system, there are language knowledge six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2. On average, it takes from 6 to 9 regular classes months to master one level. The fastest way to get to the first level, Beginner, is 2-4 months.

What you can learn in three weeks after all 

The problem with the ads we mentioned above is that they don’t give specific information. What does “learn English in 3 weeks,” mean? Compare it to a statement like this: “Learn reading English all the rules in 3 weeks!” or “Master the English tenses in 3 weeks!” Complicated? Yes. Nevertheless, it’s a realistic and understandable goal. Such ads don’t cause confusion, because there is specificity. 

Promises to learn English in 3 weeks, or even months a couple, can only be trusted if you are offered to master a specific and not the most difficult skill. This could be:

  • Pronunciation (sounds production, intonation);
  • reading (reading rules);
  • separate grammatical constructions;
  • vocabulary (words and expressions) on one topic or in one direction, for example, for a tourist trip or going to a restaurant.

It is also important to assess your starting level. If you’ve already mastered the Upper-Intermediate level but haven’t used the language for years a couple, then 3 weeks of intensive lessons can make up for lost time. In addition, if the last time you encountered English at school 20 years ago, then confidently speak in 3 weeks you will not get.

If you come across such ads, critically assess them and analyse what they promise you. Mastering a specific skill or dealing with a single rule in 3 weeks is realistic. Learn to understand movies in the original and communicate with native speakers on any topic in just training months a couple from scratch – unrealistic. 

Школа английского EnglishPapa в Минске

We hope our article was useful for you. We invite you to take our English courses for adults at our school to start learning English or to improve your knowledge. Take an English level test on our website and sign up for a free trial lesson of English online. With EnglishPapa, you will definitely begin to speak English!

Take a trial lesson online for free at any convenient time

Discover how the lessons take place

Discover your english level

We will help you set study goals