Who takes an intensive course? What is the structure of an intensive course?
Let me tell you a story about one of my Austrian customers, who was applying for a job that required the usage of Russian. In the beginning the 4-hour-sessions proved themselves as exhausting. Anyone who has been abroad for a longer period knows that translating 12 hour a day tires the mind extremely. This also causes a deeper sleep at night, which is concerned as helpful in learning anything.
On the last 4 days of the 50-lesson-intensive course (the last 16 hours) a great progress was noticeable not only in my customer's performance but also in its general condition. So basically after 8 days he passed a borderline, after the foreign language became he’s own too. He spoke a very good Russian after 50 lessons and he also got the job.
For language courses over a longer period I suggest 2 or 3 sessions a week. When taking only two sessions, it is wise to do homework regularly. One lesson supposed to be 2 or 3 times 45 minutes, depending on other activities.
If you need to acquire usable language knowledge within a few weeks, we are talking about an intensive course. Depending on habitude one should take 4 or at most 5 units per day. In these cases a recreative weekend is advisable. Learning or studying anything else simultaneously isn’t good; that would be on the expense of efficiency. The ability to think on another language is an intellectual effort that requires one's complete attention.