Skip to main content
How Long Does It Take to Learn English as a Second Language?
November 23, 2022 at 8:00 AM
Girl learning English as a second language

Since the 19th century, English has been considered the international language that people use to connect on a global scale. With over 65 countries including English as an official language, fluency has become critical for international businesses, diplomatic communications, and travel. That said, the English language is extremely difficult to learn outside of a classroom setting.

Whether you plan to work for an international company, live in a new country, or you are simply fascinated by the languages of the world, taking classes is by far the most efficient way to learn English as a second language. At American English Institute, we welcome students from all different backgrounds to enroll in our programs. You may be wondering - how long will it take me to become fluent in English? Below we have listed a few factors that affect how long it takes before you can begin speaking like a native.


The older we get, the more difficult it is to learn a new language. This is one reason why many parents opt to expose their children to more than one language from birth. Babies have no prior attachment to the meaning of words or how to structure sentences. This enables them to speak multiple first languages. Similarly, toddlers and young children can often learn by immersing themselves in an environment where they are constantly hearing the second language. As we age however, it becomes increasingly difficult to let go of our ideas about what words mean or how to convey our thoughts. An adult may for example take over a year to become fluent, where a 5 year old child may begin speaking conversationally in a matter of weeks. If you are interested in teaching your child English, our custom youth packages are the perfect option for you.

Prior Experience

Those who have a basis of English may be able to skip over a beginner-level program, enabling them to complete their coursework at a faster pace. This is the case for many citizens of countries that have named English as their second official language. In these countries, children are often required to study English for several years in school. Even for adults who have not practiced speaking English in years, having a basic knowledge of the language should help expedite the process.

Program Intensity

Learning a new language is primarily about practice and memorization. Those who take language classes just once per week or practice for just a few minutes per day will take much longer to become fluent than someone who is taking a highly intensive course. At American English Institute, we offer 8-week intensive courses that include 20 hours of coursework per week. Our program aims to expedite the learning process by challenging and immersing our students in the language. Our programs range from beginner to advanced level instruction, enabling students to work their way up through all five programs over the course of less than one year.


Regardless of your education, learning English as a second language occurs much faster when you are living in an English-speaking region. This challenges students to use a full range of vocabulary on a daily basis and learn from their peers outside of the classroom. If you have the flexibility to live somewhere like North America or another English-speaking location for an extended period of time, we highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity in order to become fluent. Our English classes are located in beautiful Riverside California. 

Are you looking for a comprehensive course that will help you learn English as a second language? Get in touch with us today to learn more about our highly effective programs.