A question that we receive often is, "How long will it take me to become fluent in Spanish?". And that's a great question to ask!
There isn't one specific answer to this question, however. It depends on multiple factors. Here are some things to consider:
- What is your current Spanish level?
- How many hours per week can you invest in improving your Spanish?
- What is your definition of "fluent"? Some people just want to be conversational while others need to be able to speak Spanish at a university-level professional setting.
- Do you already speak 2 or more languages? When did you learn them?
- Gut check - how much do you really want to become fluent in Spanish? What is your motivation level?
Now, before getting technical, here you can read an actual account of a Spanish student from Delaware, USA, who achieved fluency in 3 months. A Total Spanish Immersion Program, where you have daily Spanish lessons in a Spanish speaking country while at the same time living with a local host family, drastically speeds up the process.
To give you an idea of where to start, take a look at our Level System. At Habla Ya Spanish Schools we have six (6) different Spanish levels, from absolute beginners to complete fluency (just like a native). Each level is defined by the degree of proficiency in specific communicative skills: oral expression, listening comprehension, reading and writing skills.
- Level 1: Survival I, (A1, Elementary) - 60 hours of lessons
- Level 2: Survival II (A2, Beginner) - 60 hours of lessons
- Level 3: Conversational I (B1, Intermediate) - 60 hours of lessons
- Level 4: Conversational II (B2, Advanced) - 100 hours of lessons
- Level 5: Fluency I (C1, Proficient) - 100 hours of lessons
- Level 6: Fluency II (C2, Superior) - 400 hours of lessons
The amount of hours stated above to your right is basically what it takes on average to cover each level. So in theory, from zero to complete fluency it takes an average of 780 hours of class time.
Our level system and syllabus are built under the guidelines of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (just think about how many languages they speak in Europe... they are obviously the experts), which provides reliable and objective measures of linguistic ability and details the specific contents and skills that students should learn and acquire in each level.
Once you complete our Placement Test, we will assign you to one of these levels, specifically noting whether you're in the first half or second half of the level.
With that information, you can calculate how many total average hours you'll need to reach your goal level. Click here to see the explanations of what you can do at each of the above levels to decide what your goal level would be.
The longer you draw out your program, in other words if you can't commit to a minimum of lessons per week, the slower your learning will be, possibly even lengthening the time that you calculated from the above Level System. To stay on track, you should be studying at least 15 hours per week. We recommend 20 hours/week and that is why our Group course is this amount.
For those who already speak 2+ languages, the time could be shorter. Also for those who are super motivated or who are already living in a Spanish-speaking country or are constantly around Spanish speakers, the time could be shorter.
Above all, to truly become fluent in a foreign language, you must PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Consider doing an immersion program at one of our three schools in Panama or check out our recommendations for how to continue studying Spanish at home after your Spanish program.