Learning a foreign language in 12 months- Part 1:
Our tips and tricks for learning a foreign language fluently in 12 months

Here we explain how you can learn any foreign language in a year:

Build a good vocabulary:

First the basic principles:
What do you have to learn, to speak fluently?

  1. You should have a vocabulary of at least 3,000 words
  2. Learn the vocabulary with examples of its usage
  3. Learn the most important grammar

The basis of learning a foreign language is vocabulary

learn vocabulary

As the basis for learning a new language you need to learn as much vocabulary as possible.
The more vocabulary you learn, the better.
Therefore you should spend at least 80% of your time learning vocabulary.

With 3,000 words you attain Level B1/B2 on the European Language Scale.
You will be able to cope with complex communication, and understand and construct complex sentences.
You will also be able to communicate with native speakers both in writing and speech.
You will also be able to understand television programs in the learnt language.

In order to approach the level of a native speaker you should learn between 4,000 and 5,000 words.
Then you will understand almost all the nuances of a language.

Your Aim: 3,000 words in 12 months

We have calculated that:
To learn 3,000 words in 12 months, you only need to learn 10 new words a day.
With the revision of previously learnt words this will only take 15 to 20 minutes a day.

Learning with a language course from 17 Minute Languages:

If you learn with a language course from 17 Minute Languages you have the best chance to learn 3,000 words in a year.
The daily exercises provide you with new vocabulary every day.
Additionally you will systematically revise previously learnt vocabulary.
By this means you will learn vocabulary quickly and effectively- and never forget it. We have long developed and improved our learning techniques.

  • With the “Quick Repetitionmethod you learn vocabulary three times faster as traditional methods.
    You concentrate on quickly learning new words.
  • If however you need to learn the correct written form of the language, then we recommend using our Text Entry system: with this you write the word correctly before moving onto the next question.
  • We would also suggest using our Association Method:
    With the Association Method you create mnemonic cues to remember words and their meanings.
    We will write about this method further in a future blog post.

Find text exercises to consolidate vocabulary learning

learn a language by reading

Read and hear short Texts in order to consolidate the new vocabulary.
By this means you revise the vocabulary and learn new words in context.
We recommend Missing word exercises which require you to find suitable words for the gaps.
This helps to build associations to these words and therefore recall of them.
The texts and Vocabulary should be repeatedly listened to, in order to learn proper pronunciation.

Our suggestions for learning grammar:

learn grammar

We recommend spending 10% of study time on the grammar of a foreign language.
At first you should only learn the most important and basic grammar, but don’t get too immersed in grammar learning.
You will quickly be able to understand a lot.
It is often possible to learn a lot from the context of conversation or written texts.
Deeper study of grammar should wait until you have learnt enough vocabulary, and can already use the language and can therefore find answers to questions quickly.

We wish you success and fun at learning your new language!

You would like to read more about this theme?
Learning a foreign language in 12 months- Part 2:
How to practice the new language in order to speak it fluently