How’d you like to find out how to learn a language fast? And by fast I mean going from 0 to a really comfortable fluency level in a matter of months.
What if I said that 3 months from now you could be speaking your dream language with confidence and pure joy?
Better yet, what if I showed you a step-by-step 3-month study plan that you can leverage to learn over 2000 words, internalize grammar without boring drills, read what you want and actually communicate with other people with no stress?
I know It sounds too good to be true. But just like you, I have been long fascinated by the idea of maximizing my learning so that I can get the best results in the littlest time possible, and with minimal wasted effort.
After years of learning languages and coaching others to do the same, I've finally figured it out. And today, I'm going to share it all with you. I'm going to tell you how to go about learning as much language as humanly possible within 90 days.
How to Learn a Language in 3 Months: My Complete Study Plan
Here’s what to keep in mind before going ahead with this plan:
This plan is a series of flexible steps that you can follow in order to learn a language fast.
The end goal is "B1 in three months" and it’s only realistic if your target language is similar to your native language. If you're a native English speaker learning Japanese, for example, the time period to reach fluency needs to be adjusted to 9-12 months, instead of 3.
I'll be explaining the steps month by month in terms of 3 things: WHAT you should do, HOW you should do it, and WHEN you should do it.
So let's begin with Month 1.
To begin your quest for fluency, you need a good beginner language course to follow.
The best, in my opinion, are the "With Ease" series of coursebooks provided by Assimil. You can find them online by searching for "Spanish with Ease", "French with Ease", "Hungarian with Ease", and so on.
Assimil's courses are particularly handy because of their excellent content and structure. Typically, they consist of small, portable coursebooks that contain around 100 authentic and interesting target language dialogues. Each dialogue comes with audio, a translation into English (or some other language you know well), and short but helpful grammar notes.
Typically, Assimil is the only resource I recommend for the beginner stages of learning. But to learn a language FAST, I recommend another resource to use at the same time: Innovative Languages' "Pod101" or "Class101" language courses!
These courses, all of which have names like "GreekPod101" or "KoreanClass101", are essentially massive collections of audio and video lessons, each dedicated to a specific language. They often contain tons of authentic, useful language content that is delivered alongside English translations, grammar notes, and all sorts of other useful information.
Access to these courses is subscription-based, but there are a bunch of different pricing options to choose from, so you can usually obtain a lot of high-quality language content at very little expense. And there's even a free trial!
Best of all, Pod101 courses aren't just limited to beginner content. I've learned several languages using these courses, and they've served me well from the beginner level all the way to advanced proficiency!
So that's how I would start. After choosing my target language (say, Dutch), I would pick up Assimil (Dutch with Ease) and then the appropriate Innovative Language course (DutchPod101).
Now that we have our resources, we need to know how to use them. If we wanted to go at a normal pace, I would say pick either Assimil or Pod101 and do one lesson a day.
But our pace, of course, is anything but normal. We want to go FAST, so we need to do more than 1 lesson each day. A LOT more. Specifically, I recommend covering three lessons of Assimil and three lessons of Pod101, every single day.
But how exactly should we go about doing these lessons?
I recommend the following:
- First, read the content and listen to the accompanying audio at the same time.
- Next, read the text in your target language, and try to focus on the meaning.
- After that, just listen to the audio by itself, and focus on the sounds of the language.
- Once you're comfortable with the sounds, try to read the text out loud to yourself, in an effort to build your pronunciation skills.
- Listen to the audio again, and repeat what you hear as soon as you hear it. This is a technique called "shadowing", and it will help you really improve your articulation.
- When you're done with all that, review the grammar notes that come with the lesson, to help clarify any doubts you may have.
That sounds like a lot (and it is), but we're not quite done yet. In addition to covering 6 new lessons each day (3 Assimil and 3 Pod101), you should also review the 6 lessons you learned the previous day, either by re-reading or re-listening to their content.
That's a lot to manage, I know, but this kind of intensity is essential if you want to attempt a B1 in three months.
We've got our resources, and we know what activities we need to do. But for our first month, when should we actually do these things?
First off, you'll have to do this every single day. If you skip any days, it becomes much less likely you'll learn your target language within the 3-month period.
Next, you must keep in mind that I'm recommending that you cover twelve language lessons each day: six new lessons, and six old lessons (as review).
In this case, is 1 hour a day enough to learn a language fast?
Absolutely not. For most people, this intensive training will take up to 3 hours each day. Try not to exceed three hours, though, since that might lead to burnout, which is the opposite of what we want.
Do your best to schedule these 3 hours of learning when you have the most energy. That will give your brain the best chance of absorbing the new material. Take breaks here and there as you need, but always try to make sure you're learning when you're most focused and engaged in the tasks at hand.
On to Month 2!
At the end of the first month, you likely will have completed all of your Assimil coursebook, and most (if not all) of the beginner content from Pod101.
From here, you can continue on with Pod101, if you'd like. However, I recommend trying a couple of new resources as well: LingQ (affiliate) and LingoPie (affiliate).
These resources are useful at this stage because they are usable with a wide variety of authentic language materials. Specifically, LingQ is great for learning from podcasts, and LingoPie is great for learning from videos.
Both of these platforms have tons of great content to choose from, and LingQ even has the option for you to upload your own authentic texts, so you can technically make a "podcast" out of any text you want!
When using LingQ and LingoPie, you should follow two key guidelines:
- First, only learn with content you find interesting. If you don't find something interesting, you'll be much less likely to actually learn from it. So when choosing content, remember to always follow the fun!
- Second, try to learn with content that you mostly understand, but don't completely understand. This kind of content is what I like to call both "comprehensible" and "rich" content, because you know enough to it right away that you can quickly learn and understand the parts you don't know.
So try to learn rich and comprehensible content every day. You've already been doing this with Assimil and Pod101, but using LingQ and LingoPie will open you up to a lot more challenging content that covers a wider range of content than your beginner materials could.
In the second half of Month 2, you might even want to hire a tutor, which you can do relatively cheaply using services like italki and Preply. The goal here is to speak, but you want to follow the same theme of learning (and discussing) content and topics that heavily interest you. Don't focus so much on speaking perfectly; just speak and listen as much as you can, and your accuracy will steadily and gradually improve.
As with month one, I recommend that you continue learning for at least three hours a day during month two. If you can, however, try to push for four hours a day. You should be more accustomed to intense learning at this point, so learning for this long shouldn't burn you out like it would have last month.
Adding another learning hour to your day will give you more time to cover a greater range of language learning content (as provided by LingQ and LingoPie), but it also gives you time to fit in the tutoring that I mentioned a few moments ago.
Speaking of tutoring, I recommend scheduling at least two lessons every week, at a rate of one every three days or so. This will help keep costs low, and give you an opportunity to review between each session.
On to Month 3!
For this month, the answer to "what you should be learning" is simply "more of the same!"
You should be very comfortable with intermediate-level podcasts and videos in your target language now, so for this month, you should try to broaden your content base and learn from content on an increasingly wide range of topics.
Fortunately, YouTube has a near endless amount of videos in a huge variety of languages, so if you change your YouTube location to a country where your target language is spoken. As you go through more content, try to strike a balance between quantity (watching as many videos as possible) and quality (watching videos which most closely suit your interests).
For Month 3, you can also continue working with your tutor. If you feel like it, you can even look into hiring a second tutor, just so you can gain experience talking to different people.
The "How" for Month 3 is roughly the same as in Month 2. Just read and listen to as much content as you can, in the same way as you've already been doing. For reading, I also recommend bilingual / interlinear books (affiliate) as they save you a lot of time that you’d otherwise spend checking the dictionary. Similarly, you can keep having conversations with your tutor on a wide range of topics that interest you.
For the "When" of Month 3, you'll want to ramp things up even further. Assuming you took my advice for Month 2 and are learning for four hours a day, for this month you should push for a full five hours of learning, every single day.
With the extra hour of learning, you'll gain a lot of benefit from more frequent speaking practice, so this is the right time to move up to 3-4 conversations per week, rather than the original one or two per week. This will help you inch ever closer to conversational fluency by the end of the month.
The end (or is it?)
At the end of Month 3, you'll probably want a way to determine if you've achieved your goal of fluency in your target language.
A good way to do this is to see if you can manage a full, 30-minute conversation with a native speaker where you are speaking comfortably and confidently, and with little difficulty. If you can manage that, I'd say you've definitely reached your goal!
This, of course, is not an objective measure of your skill compared to the B2 level of the CEFR. That's only truly attainable through studying for an official CEFR test, which might take you longer than three months to do. But if you're looking for that objective measure, then that's something you should look towards doing next.
Speaking of "next", that reminds me: whether or not you're able to have a 30-minute conversation in your target language (or even pass a B2 exam), you should plan on continuing to learn your target language! There's no real "finish line" in language learning, so you should always be open to learning more, and improving your skills in new ways.
But still, there’s a Problem
“What if I don’t really have the time and energy to go through this intense training, in spite of my best intentions?”
We live in a busy world where most of us have 9 to 5 jobs, others have businesses to run, or families that need our attention.
As an adult, it’s tough to make time to learn.
I know that. I’ve got my hands full every single day. Still, I make time for my greatest passion. And you can too. That’s why I’m here to help make things much easier for you.
I created a course called How to Become a Master Language Learner: Level 1 that will enable you to learn your target language at a much more manageable pace.
Plus, I’ve prepared all the tools and resources you need to reach a B1 level in 3 to 6 months. And best of all, you’ll do it through the Bidirectional Translation Method which I designed, perfected and used to learn 10+ languages to fluency.
At the same time, you’ll become part of a fantastic Circle community of hundreds of learners just like you and you’ll have the full support of my team and I.
To make things even better, for a limited time I’m offering a 33% discount on this course. If you want to find out more, click here: How to Become a Master Language Learner: The Bidirectional Translation Method.
Happy language learning!
Great article brother Luca,, but you didn’t mention about assimil “perfectionnement”?
Ciao Luca, ho imparato l’italiano ad un discreto livello seguendo i tuoi video ed i tuoi consigli. Per questo ti ringrazio.
Ho provato questo nuovo metodo con una nuova lingua da 0, il turco. Dopo una settimana ho notato che la comprensione di quanto studiato più o meno c’è, ma manca lo stesso livello di conoscenza di quando ho usato usando l’altro metodo. Con la traduzione diretta, inversa e la scrittura a mano mi sembra che ricordavo meglio e riuscivo ad usare meglio. Creavo più core. Con questo resta solo una buona familiarità. Fa parte del metodo? Se invece di fare 6 lezioni, come suggerisci in questo articolo, ne faccio 3 con il tuo classico metodo, che incluse le ripetizioni, mi prende un’ora ogni lezione, riesco ugualmente ad arrivare agli stessi risultati nello stesso tempo? Grazie tanto