OK, let’s get realistic. You may have come across other language schools that guarantee full fluency of any language in a very short time. This is far from the best possible way to learn – you pay the tutor, you start on a steep learning curve, you hit a “plateau”, you get frustrated, and you quit! Instead, I primarily focus on helping you to not only memorise parts of a language but also to understand it.
For argument’s sake, let’s say it’s entirely possible to become fluent in a new language in 3 months. This assumes that you study for 20 hours a week and add another 10 hours of self-study and homework. Let’s also presume that you already know 2 or 3 modern languages, you don’t have a 9-5 job to go to, or children to look after. Shall I stop there?
I have very few lucky clients who meet all those criteria and may be able to become fluent that quickly. In most cases, students have other commitments which leave them with 1 or 2 hours per week to learn.
If you engage in weekly lessons and self-study when you have the time, 3 months is long enough to get a good grasp of functional language. When you travel to a country where your target language is spoken, these are the fundamentals that will help improve your trip. This includes:
What Can You Really Achieve in 3 Months?
How to Introduce Yourself
How to Order Food and Drinks
How to Ask for Directions
Describe Your Daily Routine
Describe a Person or a Place
How to Use Colloquial Expressions
If you put the effort into learning a language, you will be able to immerse yourself in enjoying your trip rather than merely being a tourist. No one will find you ridiculous – on the contrary, locals will start to bond with you because you are showing a willingness to understand and be understood.
I guarantee that the people in your host country are more open to people who are interested in their culture, language, and country, and you’ll find your trip far more rewarding if you are able to engage with them.