How much time to improve English abroad?
How many weeks do you need to make progress, and which courses are indicated?
Do you want a quick and realistic response?
Many people contact us to find out how much time it takes to improve their English abroad. If you are taking an adult language course at an accredited school or language centre, it takes an average of 7 to 8 weeks to improve your level.
What statistics say
Statistics from Language Schools say that the average progress of an adult taking an Intensive course is a “whole level” in 7-8 weeks, the statistics refer to a full-time course of 30 lessons per week, for a continuous period.
What does this mean? It means that if you are at a solid pre-intermediate level like most adults who join these courses, you can reach a solid intermediate level in just under 2 months of studies.
As it is easy to imagine, there are a number of elements and circumstances that can help to shorten learning times, improving the overall quality of the student’s educational and cultural experience. Among these elements the individual’s predisposition to language learning stands out, along with the quantity and quality of the interaction with classmates (in and out of the classroom) and the spontaneous extracurricular linguistic practice… read the whole article for more details!
So you don’t have time to improve your English abroad?
Not everyone can afford to leave home or work for such a long time to improve English abroad… You may now have a further question: “If I can’t take a 7-8 week course abroad, can only one or two weeks be useful? The answer is yes, they are useful! You can build your own ad-hoc study plan, choose to study one or two weeks a month for a number of months.
Do you have little time but good resources? Great, but don’t overload!
Having little time to devote to improving English abroad is typical of those who work full time (especially freelancers, freelancers and craftsmen). If this is your case, our advice is to opt for a combination of General English in Group and One-to-One lessons (i.e. individual lessons – only you and the teacher). Budget permitting, a nice One-to-One package of lessons only can be a good alternative.
Firmly storing phrases, words, sayings and colloquial expressions in your memory requires concentration and time, this time of “absorption” varies from person to person, it is never a good idea to overload yourself with work in a very short period. For this reason, if you want to improve your English without “melting” you should never exceed 5 hours per day of study, you will have better results if you choose to follow a course of 4 hours per day for two weeks compared to 8 hours per day for one week.
Having said that, we strongly recommend that you take five minutes to see the details of the One to One packages, which are the most effective solutions available on the market and could make a real difference in your case. One to One lessons are expensive, we know, but the students who can afford them always give us enthusiastic feedback, the results are really satisfying.
Do you have a low level, little money and little time?
It’s not the best combination, let’s face it, but never give up your ambitions! If you have a very low level, little money BUT a lot of willpower you can still do a lot.
Book 4-5 hours of One-to-One (individual) lessons at your own city’s language centre. Make sure your teacher is qualified! Ask your teacher to focus only on the basics, building a few simple sentences containing the basic elements of grammar. Learn these sentences by heart, as if they were a song, and use patterns to fix the structure of these simple sentences in your memory. keep repeating them, until they make perfect sense.
Ask your teacher to focus on the tenses: present, present continuous, simple past and future.
After the first One-to-One lessons you will have to practice reading, listening and writing (there are thousands of applications, videos, recordings and websites designed specifically to help students optimize their study) and mark all the doubts in a notebook to show the teacher at the next appointment.
Be smart, do not study at night, study early in the morning and in the afternoon, just one hour a day, if well done, will pay back in a short time! After 20 days you will already have the first concrete results. When you feel that you got to the “elementary level” you can think of a course abroad, the cheapest are those of General English (typically 20 lessons per week), and the most convenient destinations are Msida and Valletta (both in Malta) – check out our PRICES page for more combinations and prices. Together with the course you will have the opportunity to participate in the afternoon and evening activities offered to students and make further free practice.
In low season (October-May) the prices of these courses are way lower.
If you want to keep your expenses to a minimum, you can choose to stay with your family (in a double room, together with another international student), doing so you will have the opportunity to practice for free and you will also have two meals included, meaning further savings.
Secret ingredients to optimize your experience abroad!
Predisposition, time and effort
When it comes to improve your English abroad, many variables are at stake, starting from the individual’s predisposition to learning, previous experiences, the “size” of the class (in terms of number of students per class, typically 10/12 students), the quality of the teaching method and training methods. As we have seen, the average progress in terms of “language level” for an adult taking a group course intensive (30 lessons per week) is 7-8 weeks.
What are the “secret ingredients” for improving your English abroad most efficiently?
As you may have already understood, time and constant practice play a fundamental role in the process of improving your English abroad. However, you must allow yourself a period of “natural absorption” to permanently deposit -and in the right sections of your mental archive.
Practicing and “experimenting” outside the school, in a social and relaxed environment, is one of the best ways to improve your English abroad, facilitate absorption and become fluent.
For this reason, it is advisable to participate in most of the extra-curricular activities offered by the schools. Many professionals (especially over 30, over 40) think that learn the technical vocabulary of your field is enough to communicate successfully in your work environment, nothing more wrong, without the solid basis of conversational English “general” is virtually impossible to start a speech.
Locutions, small “sentences made”, expressions of common use… are essential to give a “tone” to the conversation and to avoid blocking in the middle of a sentence. These important elements can only be acquired through constant conversation practice and, possibly, living for a considerable period of time abroad.
In this regard, choosing to stay with a host family, rather than in a self-catering apartment or hotel, is almost always a good idea. Staying with a host family (all schools offer this option) will exponentially increase your social opportunities. Practicing in a relaxed home environment really helps to improve your English abroad! Of course, staying at a host family is not the same as staying in a hotel!
Can the destination affect the quality of my language learning path?
Normally no, when it comes to improving English abroad the learning path is pretty standardized and there is no “better” destination than another.
- If you plan to study overseas (Canada or USA) the first few days will be a little stunned by the jet-lag (combination of time zone and air travel) and you may not be able to make the most of your ability to concentrate and learn. This is not a big deal if you decide to spend at least 2-3 weeks overseas.
- If you are not used to the metropolitan chaos and you think that you could react negatively to the hyper-dynamicity of a capital city, you should choose a destination as quiet as possible and on a human scale, such as Bristol or Cambridge in the UK, or one of the small schools in Malta.