Is it possible to speak a new language in only two months?
Perhaps you’ve seen a language school, website or learning-method that claims that you can learn a new language very fast. Is it possible? The short answer is yes. And I will explain how it could be ‘yes’ below.
However, the longer answer involves how you are planning to learn, and what level you are aiming for. Is it possible to be fluent in two months? If you consider fluent to be above the level C1 (Advanced), then no, I can’t see how that could be possible. However, to have a decent base, and to be able to communicate with people, albeit making mistakes, is certainly possible.
Self-practise at home = No.
Even if you are someone who is excellent at concentrating and studying, I don’t think it is possible to speak a new language in two months only with self-practice; using books, listening to tapes or other online methods. This is mostly because to be able to speak a new language, you have to speak! Most language and linguistics professors agree that production of a language is very important to achieve fluency. China is a good example of this, as it has millions of people with English qualifications who are unable to speak English.
Despite saying this, if you spend two hours a day, every day, for two months, practising something, you will certainly get a good base! Using a combination of reading, writing, listening, and some exercises and/or games, like duolingo or memrise, and you could probably reach an A2 level (Elementary) by yourself.
In classes = Probably not.
This is definitely a step-up from only practising by yourself. Assuming that you have a good teacher, you should be covering reading, writing, listening and speaking within the classroom. This should provide you with enough practice to be able to speak in some basic situations that don’t require much vocabulary; such as language you might use on a short holiday.
Whether or not you ‘can speak’ your new language kind of depends on what ‘can speak’ actually means. If spontaneity and fluency are what decide whether you ‘can speak’ or not, then I doubt that two months of daily classes would be enough to reach this level.
Personalised intensive programme = Maybe
I have written before about how to make your own immersion environment. The idea of ‘immersion’ is that your target language becomes a real tool for your daily life, rather than just something that you are learning. To go from ‘not speaking’ to ‘speaking’ another language within two months, some kind of immersion is probably necessary. Although it isn’t exactly immersion, a very heavy intensive programme of personalised classes, should boost language very fast.
For example, two months spent with daily two-hour classes in a classroom, as well as two hours more spent with one-on-one classes focusing on speaking, could produce an intermediate speaker in only two months. Unfortunately, most people aren’t able to find the time for such an intensive programme in their normal lives.
Immersion Classes = Yes.
If you are lucky enough to be able to have two months holiday, and a bit of money to spend, then there is one way that I believe you can learn a new language in two months, and that is with a true immersion programme.
Kind of like a children’s summer camp, there are now many immersion programmes around the world that provide accommodation, meals and many hours of classes a day. The environment should stimulate language production even outside the classroom, as you and your colleagues (presumably of different nationalities) should speak in your target language at all times. Those who are very dedicated to the immersion programme would limit all contact with their mother tongue, such as using the internet, and speaking to friends and family.
Desire, dedication and determination = Yes.
At risk of sounding cheesy, whether or not you learn a language is down to you. Even in the immersion classes situation that I have picked as the best way to learn in 2 months, without hard work and dedication, you won’t learn. I have met people who have learnt a second language to a high level using little more than exercise books and audio.
The key is determination. Of course, if you enjoy the learning process, everything will be much easier.
What method is for you? Do you have any questions? If so, leave them in the comments section below.