Studied English for 8 years, will Antimoon method still work

Luis Tornero   Wed May 16, 2007 11:20 am GMT
I have been learning English for eight years, I know that I make a lot of mistakes and I think about grammar all the time when I speak! Is it too late for me to use this Antimoon method? Are there any ways I can almost "forget" my bad grammar and learn more using Antimoon?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.

(My English friend checked this through, so as to not to violate rule 2. ;-P)
Guest   Wed May 16, 2007 11:53 am GMT

Any method will work if it does not involve going through grammar drills and skimming through reading passages(selected by teachers) and then answer to related questions on such passages. At the moment, your English is not bad at all. You can take it to the next level if you put Antimoon method into implementation. Dont worry about speaking and writing for the whole year. Just read books, magazines and web articles that grab your attention and look up any new words in your dictionary as you read through them. Use a supermemo program for reviewing them on a daily basis. I am sure you'll be leaving an indellible impression on people's minds in no time. There is no magic pill on the market that will give you instant results but total hardwork and dedication.

Dont stick to one aspect of the language. Take some time out for watching or listening to something in the language. Watch a sitcom or listen to some cool songs. Make a timetable for devoting some time to each activity. Keep at it for some time and I am sure you'll see fruitful results sooner or later. Change your attitude, have faith in your ability and dont give up on yourself easily. We human (aka lazy creatures) are capable of doing amazing things if for a moment we purge our negative thinking towards attaining a goal. All in all, every small action counts.

I was just like you when I had come across this website. I put Antimoon's method into practice. In three years's time, I had transformed myself from being a beginner to quite an advanced student. Now I dont have a problem understanding American sitcoms and movies or reading books in print or articles on the internet. I decided to make a point that I would do something in the language almost daily without a hiatus even for 15 minutes. In other words, I changed my attitude as well towards learning English.

So I can guarantee you that the aforementioned method works like a charm. What's more, it is not restricted to English only, but you can apply it as well while learning other languages. The basic logic/method will remain the same.
Mitch   Fri May 18, 2007 4:33 pm GMT

Your response to Luis was excellent. (As is your English now!) I think that the advice for not worrying about speaking and writing for a year is great (if one has the discipline to do it.)

A couple of questions:

Did speaking and writing "emerge" on their own after a year, or did you have to force yourself to practice when you were ready? Krashen thinks that speaking emerges on its own with enough input, by I'm not so sure. I can understand spoken Spanish (at least at the television news level) and most written Spanish, as well as written French (at least at the Harry Potter level), but I can barely hold a conversation in Spanish, and not at all in French. Do I just need more input (that's what Krashen would say), or do I need to practice speaking and writing when I feel ready?

Also, I've never used SuperMemo, and haven't done any specific vocabulary work (flash cards, reviewing glossaries) since my classroom days, many years back. Is that really necessary for production? Again, Krashen thinks that enough comprehensible input, at one's right level, will eventually cause production to emerge--he's not even big on dictionaries, as long as the input can be comprehended. What do you think?

Guest   Fri May 18, 2007 6:03 pm GMT

In theory, if your input is comprehensible and you dont need an aid of dictionaries then how are you going to improve your vocabulary? If your vocabulary is low, your reading speed will not improve. You can not read a novel or newspaper article at ease. You need to know a lot of words for that. He is probably wrong. You need to review words on a daily basis - how will you understand them next time when you hear or read them? First, second and third revisions are important so supermemo will come handy in this case. The revision of new words is as important as any other aspect of the language. All activities are interconnected. Once your vocabulary grows up, you will be able to read texts much faster (your reading speed will increase) and your listening skills will also improve. It has been my experience that all of this language mastery lies in the words and phrases and how they are used together. Once you are out of your intermediate level, try on challenging contents. Never settle for anything where you will learn a couple of new words. Read any text where you will learn more than two words. That stuff is challenging in my opinion. I always reviewed my words in the form of example sentences (copied from dictionaries)and in which they were used (copied from books, articles). I hardly care about the definition, it is there for me to remind the meaning of a word if don't get it right directly from an example sentence. I did a lot of contextual-based learning. It irks me when a native teacher teaches me a word or phrase out of its real context, separately.

Nope. Production did not emerge on its own. I noticed that writing has improved my spoken skills a lot. If you can write well then you can speak well, too. It is just a matter of speaking those correct sentences out loud.
A lot of writing which I did in the form of posts and emails had enabled me to speak quite articulately. Once you are able to gain enough input through reading and listening try switching on to writing. Start with writing simple sentences and then move on to incoporating your newly acquired vocabulary. You have a lot of time for writing correct sentences.
If you develop a good habit of writing correct sentences then you'll also develop a good habit of speaking correct sentences. They have a direct relationship.

On a couple of occassions, once I was done with my speaking. Other speakers were unable to respond me back because they were taken aback with my fluency. What I did was to speak the way I write. My all sentences were without "you know, urrs, ums,".

I did a lot of self talking probably 10-15 minutes a day with my portable recorder and replay it back. That helped me a lot to keep me going in real life conversations. My mouth muscles dont get tired easily.

So, yeah, you need to force yourself to speaking (self talking with a portable player) with some practice you will notice that your tongue and brain will be in sync. Initially, you definitely need some practice in spite of accumulating a lot of input! Plus, I always perform better when deep down I consider myself a confident and a fearless communicator. When you have got to speak, never think about having preconcieved notions about your mistakes, always give your best shot at putting across your thoughts. Next time when you communicate, be confident and purge any preconcived thoughts from your mind.

<<Do I just need more input (that's what Krashen would say), or do I need to practice speaking and writing when I feel ready?>>

Go for writing first once you are quite competent at writing without looking up words in a dictionary then go for speaking. I attact more important to writing then speaking. I am ready to confess that if you are a good writer, then you can't be a poor speaker!

I rate the importance of each skill like this.
1. Reading
2. Listening
3. Revision of new words
4. Writing
5. Speaking(self talking most of the time, when you get a chance to communicate with a native speaker, go for it).
Antonio   Fri May 18, 2007 8:20 pm GMT
Guest,,, where are you from?
All that you wrote is about your quest for a perfect Spanish?
I got confused
Guest   Sat May 19, 2007 6:39 am GMT
Not for Spanish but for English. IMHO, it would probably work with any other language. Accumulating a lot of input is a life long activity, anyway.

I would suggest that people should start writing after a silent period of reading, listening and reviewing of new words for one year.
Laura Braun   Wed May 23, 2007 3:39 pm GMT
I think that I imporve my english language skills since several years ago, because I even started to think in english so now I don't see the diference between my own langauge and english language. They both are terra incognita for me (just kidding). I'm neither here nor there. I like here and there. It's like one heart split up at thousand pieces and I don't know... But to be honest some days I just cannot hear english. If I'm not so concentrated I just cannot hear it. What is that strange language which others speak. I said so many times Lords prayer in my own language, bu the last time I started to say it in english and I knew the words even without trying to memorise them. So what I think that english language is a jorney trough culture, trough mantality, it's the best jorney which I have ever had. That's because long ago I discovered that site and I got to know some good friends and I think that they are friends for life-time.
Guest   Wed May 23, 2007 4:21 pm GMT
Girls can be philosophical that's some news to me. Laura, your English is great but your typing isnt. Take your time while typing. Your attitude will determine your success. With right attitude comes unbridled motivation to achieve something and that's a key plank in the whole learning process. Never satisfy with your improvement. Keep going and enjoy your journey, as you said so!