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Calculating how long it takes language students to reach fluency

Face the reality – the mathematical facts of the road to fluency

As mentioned above, the PQE helps the student to face the reality of what lies ahead. However, that’s not sufficient. You must make your students understand a few home truths. It’s not enough to say ‘you must study… classes aren’t sufficient’ you have to demonstrate it to them in a way that it’s anchored in their brain. You yourself as a teacher must also come to understand the absolute pointlessness of classes without a study programme.

Achieve both these goals by taking on board the following yourself and then communicating this to your students.

Total time to reach a basic level of fluency – 450 hours
Student has 2 * 1 ½ clases a week – total 3 hours a week
450 / 3 = 150 weeks + holiday breaks brings you to 3 years.

While this is a long time, many students would feel satisfied with this to a certain ex. However, there is one huge problem with this: IT DOESN’T TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE SIEVE FACTOR. WHICH IS namely, that almost as soon as you eneter some linguistic knowledge . and definitely if it’s half baked, it starts to slip away unless it’s constantly reinforced. This measn that the longer there are between classes, periods of study and the start – end date of your 450 hours the greater chance you begin forgetting what you learnt. In other words, people who learn over a short time can use the building block analogy. Each item they learn goes on top of the next to build a house of fluency. When you start elongating the learning time, however, it’s like a house of sand and the knowledge base starts dissolving away.

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