How long does it take to learn French?


How long does it take to learn French?

How much time does it take for me to be completely fluent in French? This is one of the questions that we are often asked when people decide to register for one of our French courses.  In today’s article we will go through the different levels so that you understand what is considered a fluent French speaker, as well as, the factors that can help you learn French fast.

What does it mean to be fluent in French?

In order to answer this question, you must first understand the official levels of French. We often see resumes with the language skills section in which people claim to have a basic, intermediate, advanced, or proficient level; even though this self-assessment is accepted, the ideal is to have your level assessed in accordance with a standard framework of languages. There are several frameworks; at Alliance Francaise Vancouver, we use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The CEFR levels are divided into A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, from complete beginner to native proficiency. Each level has a determined set of objectives you must achieve, and your grasp of these objectives can help determine your fluency in French (or other languages).

There are several tests that can help you certify your level of French like the DELF and DALF, but we will talk about them later.


How long does it take to become fluent in French?

To answer the original question, there are several factors that come into play to determine how fast you can learn French:

Your native language and environment.

We cannot change our native language, but if it comes from the same root, like Latin, you will find similarities that will help you make correlations to help you understand the French grammar.

The environment you grew up in and your current one influences the language-learning process. Studies show that the earlier people are exposed to a second language, the easier it becomes for them to acquire a new language in the future, which is why it is encouraged to sign up children for a French language course. Listening to a new language should be easy if you live in a place like Vancouver.

Your level of commitment

Learning a new language takes commitment, like with any other skill. Enrolling in a course and attending classes is not enough; you must take the time to work through your course content and complete the exercises.

How often you practice and your exposure to French

Additionally to your French classes, practice and exposure are essential components of language acquisition. With the internet available everywhere in the world, you have access to platforms where you can practice daily, like Frantastique. You can also attend francophone events. Even listening to French music or watching French movies is a way to ensure the exposure and use of the language outside of the classroom.

Just remember, even if you consider that you do not excel in any of the above factors, everyone is capable of learning French! 

How long does it take me to complete a level of French?

In accordance with our method of teaching, you can complete these levels in the following timeline:


A1 is the basic level of French; it can be completed in 84 hours or three sessions. It can be completed in around five months if all sessions are studied in sequence.


A2 is an intermediate level of French, and it can be completed in 140 hours or five sessions. Students can obtain this level after eight months of study (after achieving the basic or level A1 level.)


B1 is considered an independent to advanced level of French. Students can complete it in 200 hours or seven sessions. This equivalence is 11 months of study (after achieving the intermediate level).


B2 is the level where a student is considered fluent since their knowledge is advanced but not proficient. This level requires 230 hours of study or eight sessions, meaning one year of complete study (after completing the intermediate). 


This level considers a person proficient in the French language. Once skilled in the language, the key to keeping this level or improving is constant practice and use of the language. It can be done in either a French course or a cultural event.


A level C2 is a person that is considered a native or an expert in the language. This is the ideal level to achieve.

Not sure of what level you are currently in? Consider taking our level assessment or a DELF exam to give you a clear idea of where you are.

Would you like to know about the levels of French or ideas on how to become fluent in French? Let us know by posting a comment on our Social Media!

 Expose your children to French  from an early age! Discover our French Language courses for children here!

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