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How Long Does English Study Take?

It takes time to learn a language, and it takes more time to learn a language well enough to use it easily in a university setting. There is no formula because every person learns language -- even their native language -- at different speeds.

How long will it take YOU to learn English at ONU?

Look for your most recent TOEFL score at the left.   To the right of that score is the approximate time for completing English study.  You may take less time or more time depending on the first language, the length of time you have studied English already, and your use of English while you are in the United States.

Institutional TOEFL

Internet TOEFL 

Expected time in English studies



No English studies, ready for academics



One semester of English  (ISTP) (w/ 6 credits of academic work)



Two semesters of English  (ISTP) (with 9 credits of academic work)



Three semesters of English (IEP + ISTP)



Four semesters of English (IEP + ISTP)



Five semesters of English (IEP + ISTP)

This table represents average completion time for students entering with these test scores, across all sending countries.  Students entering with higher reading/writing scores will generally move more quickly; students entering with higher speaking/listening scores will generally move more slowly.  (Learning to read and write takes longer than learning to listen and speak in an English environment.

The unique value of the Ohio Northern Program is that it moves students into full academic course work at the earliest possible time for student success.

But, people learn languages faster, generally, IF

  • They already are fluent in languages other than their native language
  • The language they are studying is close in grammar or vocabulary to their native language
  • They can take risks and use a new language even before they are comfortable with it
  • They use that new language almost exclusively for what they can and don't rely on their first language
  • They spend time outside of class with the language (reading, speaking, listening, being with native speakers)

English Language Programs

Clark Hall 129
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
Monday: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed