When learning English as a second language, non-English speakers typically follow a course that combines classroom lessons, homework and practice outside of lessons. Formal English as a second language (ESL) courses often take learners from a level of having no knowledge of English at all to academic fluency over the course of between 1.5 to 2.5 years. They are advised to speak English as much as they can during this time, aiming for upwards of 8 hours per day.
Reading and writing are also learned, although the focus tends to be on speaking and listening. At the earliest levels, the emphasis is on attaining a level of fluency suitable for everyday tasks, such as shopping and ordering food in a restaurant. Conversational fluency comes next, followed by what is known as "academic fluency," which allows for the comprehension of academic texts.
A less formal way to learn English is to use online resources, such as Babbel or Hello-Hello World. These are apps that allow users to proceed at their own pace without any commitment. Hello-Hello World, which is available for free download, uses flashcards and exercises to develop English language skills. The app also features crowd-sourced recordings of real people speaking English to aid in pronunciation.