Forum How Many Hours to Go Through Program and What to Expect in the End.

How Many Hours to Go Through Program and What to Expect in the End.



Hello Rocket Languages Creators,

I'm curious, do you know how many total hours the average person would spend going through all 3 levels and doing all the available exercises in each lesson?  The reason why I'm asking is I read in the Rocket News that the Foreign Language Institute (FLI) specified a certain number of hours for a person to become proficient in speaking a second language.  For example, I'm using Rocket Spanish and the FLI said it would take somewhere between 575 - 700 hours to become proficient.  If I went through the entire 3 levels of Rocket Spanish doing all the available exercises, could I expect that I would be fairly proficient in the language?  I realize everyone is different and the ability to absorb and retain what you've learned depends on the person.  I also understand the FLI study was based on students that were in class 25 hours per week in a small classroom environment (6 students) which probably enhanced their learning by having more individualized attention from the instructor and being immersed in the language.

I gather the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in the language and culture by visiting a country that speaks the language you're trying to learn, but I'm just trying to figure out what I can expect seeing the program through from beginning to end.



Hi Timmay! - As you mention everyone learns differently and at a different pace. And peoples, starting point, motivation and time commitment towards learning a new language also vary considerably. So, all up it's a tricky proposition to give a definitive number. In saying that, from the feedback we get it seems that members who regularly spend 30-40 minutes a day for around 3 months report that they have good experiences with their new language when traveling to foreign countries.

As far as our courses go, with around 100 repeatable lessons per level, it looks like most people would average a couple of hours per lesson. So, it may take a considerable amount of time to go through everything.

A lot of people pick and choose what they want to learn as well, for example, if you want more conversation and less grammar then the Interactive Audio lessons are more important and should be used more.


Rocket Languages offer terrific courses (well, I can only speak for Spanish). That said, I don't believe there are any formulas for determining expected outcomes in language learning however you go about it. Whatever approach you do decide to use, be sure to do it every single day - particularly when you don't feel like it. I certainly agree you can have good experiences after several months, but if you are looking for conversational fluency, you have to expect it to take several years (unless you go the total immersion route, of course).
Phédre nó Delaunay de Montréve

Phédre nó Delaunay de Montréve

Well, maybe this will help

Interactive Lesson  Takes 3.5Hours
Written Lesson Takes 1.5Hours
Each Survival Kit lesson Takes    2Hours

The total time to complete:
Level 1: 194 hours
Level 2: 171 hours
Level 3: 144.5 hours
Thus the total time would be: 509.5 hours

Now, throw in a difficulty factor to levels 2 and 3 of 1.2 and 1.3 and you have:
Level 1: 194 hours * 1.0 = 194
Level 2: 171 hours *1.2 = 205.2
Level 3: 144.5 hours * 1.3 =187.85
Total time: 587.05

If you include module test, assuming 2 hours per test:
22 modules * 2 hours = 44 hours

So you have somewhere around ~510 to 631 hours to complete Rocket Spanish Levels 1-3
I know for me, I watch movies in Spanish and also listen to children's books, podcasts and the news in Spanish. If you add all this time together, then you're well over your threshold of 575 hours. 

Evidence suggests that you can become fluent if you go through All of Rocket Spanish at least one AND throw in movies/podcasts/news as you complete it. 

I hope that helps.


Something that I would add is that the amount of time it takes to become truly proficient in a language is subjective based on several factors.  The first one is what language you are learning and the relationship to your primary spoken language.  For example, if your base language is English, then it will be a lot easier to learn one of the "core four" languages (Spanish, French, Italian, German) then it would be to learn another language since all five of these languages (English as well) are part of the "Romance" languages and share a lot of words and grammer.  Meanwhile, if you are learning an Asian language such as Mandarin Chinese or Japanese, then it would be a lot more difficult because the language system is completely different.  You have to learn an entire new alphabet first before you can really do anything.

Conversely, if you are starting off with an Asian language, then it will be much easier to learn a language in that field since they are connected (A lot of the Chinese characters show up in the Japanese and Korean alphabets).

And then there is just like everyone else said in that it depends on what other mediums you are utilizing concurrently with Rocket as well as the amount of time you put into your studies.


Plus, your experience at learning languages. I honestly think I'm a bit slow at this and it's going to take me a lot longer than the average Joe until I'm able to think in my language. 


My experience echoes that of my friend Esteven. (I just returned from 18 days in Cuba with a group of photographers, one of whom was named Steve, and it became a running joke among us to pronounce his name like the Cubans do...lo siento!)

Anyway, I have been studying Spanish for four years. I study every day, without fail. I study "formally" for at least an hour, and usually get in an hour or more of what I would call informal or passive study: listening to CNN en Español, etc. I have no idea how many hundreds of hours I have devoted to learning Spanish, but it is up there.

I am not yet fluent, at least by my definition. I can express myself in Spanish, I can read and write Spanish fairly well, but I struggle mightily with listening to spoken Spanish at the speed of a native speaker, comprehending the meaning, and then forming an appropriate response. I will not consider myself fluent until that time.

That said, during this trip to Cuba I was pleased with my ability to translate Spanish to English for others in my group as well as just understand Cubans speaking to others around me. I think I am improving, paso a paso.

When the subject of hours required arises, I am always reminded of Malcolm Gladwell's thesis that it takes 10,000 hours to truly master something...yikes!


Yeah, immersion is the other piece of the puzzle.  Being able to converse with someone who speaks that language can help a lot.  Case in point.  Every day, I pull out my journal and practice writing the Japanese hiragana and katakana alphabet so that I don't lose it.  Then I practice my Rocket lessons for at least an hour.  Then I'll study with my other tools I have accumulated over the years (books, cds, stuff on the internet).  But despite all this study, I am still able to have conversations a lot more naturally in Spanish then Japanese, simply because there is an opportunity for Spanish more.  

However, ever since picking up Rocket last summer, I've noticed something interesting.  The Japanese is sticking.  Before Rocket, I would study my Japanese with the mediums I have, and then forget most of the information.  But with Rocket, it sticks!  I just need to give myself a quick refresher, but the information has started to move over to long term.  So I guess its just a bit of patience as well.


@Dan-H24, I also expect that it will be more like 10,000 hours to get to the level that I expect that I would class as 'fluent' but I also hope that what I've learned is useful way before then. Your experience is heartening. I went to Italy last year about 3 months after I started Rocket. I was happy that I was able to say a few words here and there and have some fun with it, but it wasn't very useful. I'm going again in June, so 15 months in. There's no way I'm fluent or even really terribly conversational but I expect that it will be properly useful this time for situations where the other person doesn't speak English. I'll be trying to seek those people out!


trutenor, I have noticed the same thing with my Japanese.  Using Rocket Languages for just a few months, it IS sticking!  All the practice and daily studying are working.  It's exciting!

Ask a question or post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here.
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Spanish trial here.