According to a study carried out in 2017 by Eurostat (the Statistic Office of the European Union), the most spoken and the most studied language in the EU remains English.
How long does it take to learn a foreign language on the Internet?
It is hard to evaluate...Your age, your motivation, your current level and the one you want to reach, the e-learning methods should also be taken into account.
To give you ideas, here are some numbers from a study carried out by an American institut showing the average time of study (in a two-month period) needed for a beginner to cover the requirements for one college semester:
- Duolingo : around 34h on average
- Babbel : around 15h on average
- Busuu : around 22h on average
The younger you are, the easier it will be!
Kids' brain is like a "sponge": they are much more receptive to new things, new sounds etc than adults. They can start learning from 3 years old, without any problem/difficulty.
Don't worry, all is not lost if you decide to start as adult. You will just need more patience and persistence, so your brain can refreshes and recovers its capacities.
Most sites and apps have fully understood this: caught between work, family and others activities and daily obligations, you have just a short time to learn a new language. That's why most sites offer a 10 or 15 minutes-lesson a day. Their goal: that you are not discouraged and that you are consistent.
Practice, practice, practice!!
- watch movies and series in subtitled original version, it will enable you to get used to new sounds and accents, while reading translation in case you can't understand some words.
- Talk to a maximum number of natives (on the Internet or close to where you live, as suggested by Hi Utandem application), thus you could use the vocabulary while drinking a glass of wine for example ;)
All means are good to refresh your memory and put into practice what you have learned.
- Relax ! You dare not talk because you are afraid to make mistake, to be misunderstood or because you are ashamed of your accent?
Most people would act like this...
Relax !! Reverse the situation: how would you react if a stranger come and talk to you in your language, making some mistakes and stamming? You would help him, correct? Would you think he's ridiculous? Of course not! So go ahead with no complexes!
Is there a better learning method than an other?
Some sites, as Mosalingua for example, use SRS (Spaced Repetition System)
This method, developped by scientists, is efficient on long term memory.
Indeed, as our brain forgets new information very quickly, this method enables to refresh the memory very regularly and to review this information right before forgetting it.
The "in tandem" learning method is showing good results as well.
This method, as you can understand, is based on assistance and collaboration between 2 persons. Both are alternately in an "expert situation" while teaching his mother tongue, and in a "learning situation" while using the foreing language.
Most sites ans apps offer as well an e-learning thanks to games so it can be fun, attractive and motivating.
That said, it is still very hard to highlight a method rather than another one, as we are all different and as the goals to be reached are not the same for all of us.
However, some American research have shown that, the more difficult an exercice is (demanding a big effort to focus on), the more efficient the assimilation is (the information is better memorized).
So be careful of too easy exercices: you woudln't memorize and learn optimally.
Now it's up to you to find the best site or application thanks to our comparative, according to your level, your motivation and the time limit you have to achieve your goal!