First, you need to remember that it’s how much you learn each day, minus how much you forget each day, that really counts. With that in mind, we see the best results when learners practice for at least 30 minutes each day. For optimal results we recommend studying twice a day for 30 minutes. Again, speed is the key, so study fast—it just works better.
We think studying quickly is also more fun for learners, especially because they experience the positive feedback of remembering a phrase today that they couldn’t recall yesterday. This kind of encouragement is excellent motivation for staying on track. They learn new and useful phrases every day, and this too helps them stick to it.
So, what’s the bottom line? How long does it take to develop functional proficiency? In our experience you can get through the lessons in about 90 days. Before then, though, you will begin to feel somewhat confident about participating in a conversation, even after about a month or so.
We encourage language learners to practice conversation with native speakers as much as they can while continuing with the lessons. This can often be arranged in the workplace or through social networking Web sites such as meetup.com. All together, and with diligent efforts on the part of the learner, most people can expect to be proficient in basic conversation in 3 to 5 months.