I am an Australian-born Chinese person living in Sydney. I grew up speaking Cantonese at home and learned English at school. I am a lifelong passionate language learner and I have been learning Mandarin Chinese for 9 months now, achieving a B2 level of proficiency.
I also passed an EF-SET exam in March achieving a C2 level of English proficiency.
I have a strong educational background, graduating with the HSC Certificate exam in NSW, and I have previously attended the University of New South Wales (UNSW).
It depends on many circumstances. The similarity between your mother tongue, motivation, and time spent studying English will significantly affect how well you learn English. One thing that is often overlooked is consistency. Consistently studying just 10 minutes every day (~70 minutes a week spread across 7 days) is better than studying for only 1 hour per week (60 minutes a week crammed within one day). This is because spacing out your study sessions across smaller periods will help you to gradually remember more information, compared to cramming everything in one long session and not reviewing what you learned until the next week. I believe that consistency is the biggest factor towards improvement, and this is true regardless of what language you're learning.
I think it will take the average person anywhere from 3 to 12 months to acquire English to a conversational level living in Sydney. This is because they will be in an immersive environment where everyone speaks the language, so it will be much faster to pick up compared to learning English online. Once again, there are many factors that influence a learner's ability to learn English, but I think that with the right guidance and study methods, the ability to pick up English can be significantly shorter.
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