How long does it take to become proficient in English? The general consensus is that it takes between 70 and 1,100 hours to learn English, depending on the level you want to reach.
In this article, we'll break down how long it takes you to learn each level of English and what skills you'll be able to achieve at each level.
Beginners to English should start at this level. After the Beginner level lessons, you will have a limited command of the language and will be able to communicate in normal situations using common expressions and basic vocabulary.
You'll be able to make small conversations and express yourself, but only on familiar topics and in a very basic way.
According to the CEFR, you will need approximately 70 hours of regular tuition to reach level A1. At this level you will learn to understand basic phrases and expressions, communicate effectively with others when they speak slowly and clearly, say hello and introduce yourself and others.
You will need approximately 180-200 hours of regular language practice to reach level A2. At the end of this level you should be able to understand common expressions, discuss everyday topics and exchange basic information.
The Intermediate level is the level of already more fluent speakers of the language, when a user can understand the main ideas expressed in simple language. A person at B1 level is considered to be able to function effectively in travel and engage in conversation on more complex topics.
To reach B1 level you will need approximately 350-400 hours of regular study. Once you have reached this level, you will have an adequate vocabulary, be able to catch the main points of a conversation and be able to write short and simple texts.
To reach level B2 you need 500-600 hours of regular study. At this level, you will be able to participate more fluently in conversations, think of clear formulations, communicate and express your own point of view, master more complex texts of different types from abstract to technical, and write in different styles.
The advanced level is designed for users with a good command of English. After studying at this level, you should be able to communicate fluently with native speakers, hold complex discussions, understand the main ideas and subtext in a text, as well as compose complex written work.
You need 700-800 hours of regular study to pass level C1. At this level you should be able to understand longer and more complex texts, produce clear, detailed written work and be confident in all grammatical concepts. You should also be able to communicate fluently and spontaneously with others, express yourself easily and use English in a variety of ways.
Level C2 will require around 1000-1200 hours of regular study. Consequently, a C2 level user should be able to understand much of what is heard and read, be able to summarise the essence of documents and dialogues and be able to produce detailed written work with confidence. You should also be able to carry on a fluent conversation, easily using all the subtleties of the English language.