Is one hour a week enough?

If you spent just one hour a week doing your job, how long would it take you to get promoted?

If you spent just one hour a week training for a marathon, how long would it be before you were able to run the distance?

If you spend just one hour a week learning or practising English, how long will it take you before you can speak the language confidently and fluently?

I think you’ll agree that, in each of those cases, the desired result is unlikely to happen.

You need to put in the time

My point is this: if you want to speak English confidently and fluently to the level required in professional situations, you need to dedicate time to learning and practising it. 

One hour a week with a teacher or language coach is a great start and can be extremely beneficial if used correctly, but it’s not enough on its own.

In between the sessions, you need to read, write, speak and listen to English regularly.

For example

You can read news articles, interviews with people you’re interested in, or a novel or book on a topic of interest.

You can write emails or reports, keep a journal, or write sentences in which you put into practice recently learned grammar or vocabulary.

You can listen to podcasts or watch videos, TV series or films.

For speaking, you can practise delivering a presentation, preparing for a meeting or hold a conversation with yourself.

Related Articles

How to Practise English from Home

La Técnica del Hombre Loco

You can then take advantage of the sessions with your teacher or language coach to raise any doubts and ask any questions that you have.  This will give you the opportunity to practise the most useful language that has come up so your teacher or language coach can help, guide and correct you as necessary in order for you to be able to use the language well.

The clients I have who do this are the ones who improve most quickly.

Conclusion

There are no shortcuts.  If you want to do anything well in life, you have to put in the time and effort.  That includes learning a language and being able to speak it well.

5 Responses to Is one hour a week enough?

  1. Hello, Gareth!!! Completely agree with you. If you only practice one hour a week , it may be insufficient . In my case, I dedicate a reading of some subject that interests me in English every day . At the weekend I watch a series in English with English subtitles and above all I have conversations with my dog always in English. Best regards, Gareth

    • That’s brilliant to hear Isi. Well done! Hopefully, your comments will serve as inspiration to other readers.

      Best,

  2. Good morning Gareth. It’s true that one hour is not enough. I’ll try to do better this week.
    Just a question, if you speak to yourself in English, with plenty of mistakes, of course, you are learning, isn’t it a problem because you’re fixing and repeating the sames mistakes several times? Thanks.

    • Hi Ilona,

      Not just next week of course, but also the week after that and the week after that, etc. It needs to be consistent.

      With regard to your question, which is related to La Técnica del Hombre Loco and involves talking to yourself in English in order to get some practice speaking, ideally you will also have access to an English teacher or English coach on a regular basis who can correct your mistakes and with whom you can check doubts and raise questions related to what comes up in the conversations you have with yourself. It is good practice to be aware of what you’re not sure about when speaking and to make a note of this language and address it with yor teacher or coach.

      Best,

  3. Thank you Gareth. When I said that I’d try to improve my study hours it was of course for the next weeks, months, years :)but good I said that 😊 because I’ve remember the expression » the week after» you write down.
    With regard to the other question , yes, the right way is to ask the doubts to some English teacher. Grateful.
    Have a nice weekend Gareth.

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