Group IV Languages Proficiency

FYI: students of Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean


Length of Training       Minimal Aptitude         Average Aptitude        Superior Aptitude
16 weeks (480 hours) Novice High                 Intermediate Low        Intermediate Low/Mid
24 weeks (720 hours) Intermediate Low/Mid   Intermediate Mid/High Intermediate High
44 weeks(1320 hours) Intermediate High       Advanced Low              Advanced Mid/High
80-92 weeks (2400-2760 hours) Advanced High    Superior                Superior


Jan 5, 2016 3:10 PM
Comments · 3

@Barry - is that coming from FSI? I'm not sure what kind of discussion you're looking for here, but you might want to explain what those hours represent and who they apply to. I've seen many people get upset about them because they weren't put in the right context. A comment I read a lot is "this says it takes X hours to learn Y language, and that's BS!"

January 5, 2016

My point wasn't that the information is BS. My point was that it should be explained. The FSI charts, which are quoted at dozens if not hundreds of language learning sites without providing proper reference, are merely a list of classroom hours required for a given language. For example, their Japanese program is 88 weeks long, and contains 2200 classroom hours. At the end of this time, graduates are pretty proficient, most likely C1/C2 on the CEFR. 


But that doesn't mean studying 2200 hours makes someone C1/C2 in Japanese. The students spend about the same amount of time outside class as they do inside. Plus, FSI students are typically native english speakers with vast knowlege of language learning, and their entire job at the time is to learn that language. Outside of FSI, very few learners have the same conditions.


The original paper can be read here:


January 5, 2016

Agreed; total BS. But I think it's important for all to understand there are parameters or standards of proficiency. Whether or not an individual wants to follow this standard, it's there choice. Thanks for you input, aegis!

January 5, 2016