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Can a 9 year-old Learn a language in one school year, without immersion?

I have been looking for six to 10 year-olds to learn in a single school year.

Due to it's simplicity, I'm leaning towards Esperanto.

I am wondering about how well elementary students are learning the language, how much time educators are spending on this a day/week/month and any useful information on the results.

March 8, 2017



Esperanto, probably yes. Do you mean just in class or including other online/intensive methods?

Institute of Cybernetic Pedagogy at Paderborn (Germany) has compared the length of study time it takes natively French-speaking high-school students to obtain comparable 'standard' levels in Esperanto, English, German, and Italian. The results were: 2000 hours studying German = 1500 hours studying English = 1000 hours studying Italian (or any other Romance language) = 150 hours studying Esperanto.


Thank you; that was helpful. I'm putting together the plan now to start in August. It'll be in addition to their normal school day, so we may have to push it out over slightly more than a school year.

One step at a time. :)

I think 100 hours is doable 180 days; 150 will be on the high end and will require some summer work. The plan will probably have three tiers based on time available. At the high end, 200 hours (an hour a day) and at the low end 20-30 minutes a day.

Again, that was helpful. Thank you!



Wow! 1000 hours for a French native speaker to learn Italian or other Romance languages? In a classroom setting?

That is a lot!

Compare that to the FSI scale of 575-600 hours to learn "easy" Romance or Germanic languages for native English speakers to reach a S3 proficiency level: https://voxy.com/blog/2011/03/hardest-languages-infographic/

Personal factors = total hours:

Now multiply 600 hours x factors two or three (or more) if you try to learn a new language by yourself, self-paced with no teacher drilling, help and no classroom listening or speaking practices, even as an adult :-)


It depends what level of language ability you're aiming for, and how much time you'll have available each week. They won't end up fluent after a year, or anywhere close, but they'll be able to gain some language ability.

Esperanto is very regular, but your kids won't have much ability to speak it in the real world. You could also consider Spanish, maybe?

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