How Much Time Do You Need to Become Fluent in English: the True Answer and the Strategy

How Much Time Do You Need to Become Fluent in English: the True Answer and the Strategy

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How much time do you need to become fluent in English? This is one of the most common questions among English learners.

They usually want to know the exact period of time – one month, three months, 6 months or one year?

As if the answer is more than 3 months, then what? Are you out?

According to the University of Cambridge, it takes 200 guided hours for a motivated learner to advance from one level to the next. The key word here is ‘a motivated learner’.

No one can give you an exact timeframe for achieving fluency. It is difficult to measure fluency.

Even if you are fluent in one area (let’s say when you speak about your work), you may be unable to express your views on global warming as accurately as you do in your native language.

So, our fluency depends on what we are talking about and if we are familiar with the vocabulary of this topic.

When you ask how much time I need to spend to become fluent, it’s as if you ask how much time do you need to become a musician or to understand Roman history.

Sounds overwhelming, huh? In fact, it is.

You need to break it down, so you don’t overwhelm yourself. What are the topics or areas that you want to speak fluently about?

If you identify those, it will be much easier for you to plan your next steps.

The English teacher and YouTuber Marwa Nawawy knows exactly how to do it. In fact, she even developed a proven strategy called the ‘7 Days Fluency Project’. I asked her to share it with us.

Are you curious? Watch the video How much time do you need to become fluent in English, in which she explains the strategy step-by-step.

Below the video you’ll find a summary of our talk – an actual plan for you to start working on your fluency and a free PDF that you can download and use as your workbook.

After watching the video, let us know in the comments:

– Would you like to try the 7-day Fluency strategy?
– What will your first Fluency project be about?

‘7 Days Fluency Project’: how to implement it

Essentially, spoken English fluency consists of two parts – fluency and pronunciation.

Fluency is your ability to express yourself without hesitation in English on a broad range of topics using a variety of vocabulary.

Pronunciation is the ability to speak clearly, pronounce words accurately, so that people can understand you.

Work on your fluency first.

Here is Marwa’s strategy. It is called the ‘7 Days Fluency Project’. Make your work more effective and smooth by using the workbook Marwa created for you. Download it here for free.

Action plan:

Day 1.
– Pick the first topic you want to work on.
– Write it down in your workbook. You will be working on this topic for the next six days.
– Pick 1-3 resources you would like to use (podcast, YouTube videos, articles). Choose short articles or videos – up to 10-15 minutes each.
– Watch it. Write down words and idioms you already know (your passive vocabulary) and all unfamiliar words and phrases.

Day 2.
– Watch the video #1 again.
– Make a 2 minute speech about what you’ve seen using your passive vocabulary (set a timer on your phone).

Day 3.
– Watch the same video again.
– Tell a four-minute story using your passive vocabulary about what you have watched.

Day 4.
– Watch the same video again.
– In a 4 minute speech, summarize the information you’ve seen using only the new vocabulary that you’ve learned.

Day 5.
– Spend eight minutes talking about the video #1 with passive and new vocabulary.

Day 6.
– Make a 10 minute speech using your passive and new vocabulary.

Day 7.
– Try to push your limits! Discuss the topic for 12-15 minutes.

After you finish the first topic, choose another one and repeat the process for the next seven days.

In a month, you’ll be able to talk freely about four topics, in two months, you’ll be fluent in eight topics, etc.

Here is a link to Marwa’s workbook for more detailed instructions. You can also watch her masterclass with students where she walks you through the 7-day strategy in more detail.

The second step to gaining fluency is improving your pronunciation. You can watch Marwa’s video to learn how to approach this.

Basically, it consists of three main steps:

  • Recognize sounds and listen for them
  • Learn how to produce them
  • Spending 10-20 minutes a day on drills

Here are some more resources you can use to practice English on your own:  

How to Improve Your English Using the Compound Effect
Improve your Pronunciation with These Effective Exercises
Daily Pronunciation Practice for English Learners

English Language enthusiast, the founder of and Speaking Club host.
I help English learners to boost their speaking skills and confidence.

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