This website seems to be full of errors.

Christensen Low   Thu Nov 16, 2006 12:25 am GMT
As an ESL teacher and a language learner (having become somewhat accomplished at Korean), I feel that I can make an "educated" argument against this website's "myths". I'm in the middle of grading papers, so my comments will have to be short. Though, I failed to see any research findings to back up this websites "myths". As well, they seem to be led mainly by the writer's imperfect perceptions.
As far as the research I have seen and the general attitude held by most of the ESL teachers I have worked with or come into contact with, this websites points are unsubstantiated if not erroneous. I could spend time pointing out the errors in each of the "myths", but I do not have time right now (nor do I have time to make this short essay "perfect").
Myth #1 states that living overseas is not the best way to learn a language. Studies have shown that it is. As well, my own experience (having lived in Korea for three years) and the experience of hundreds of my students would contend otherwise. Do those living in a foreign country still have difficulties learning a language? Yes, this is true. Though, if you ever have lived in another country, you will quickly realize that those who have had an opportunity to live in another country benefit from this experience. I could continue on this point, but, like I said, my time is limited.
Myth #2 states that speaking isn't the only thing that is needed. As I almost agree with this point, I won't bother to point out the many studies that have shown that speaking a language is necessary. That all of the skills are necessary.
Though, I do strongly disagree with Myth #3 because of its implication. Is making mistakes solidfying errors in a language? Once again, personal experience in teaching and learning a language and the body of research there is out there - all of this shows that making mistakes is natural. What is not beneficial to a student is when they get so worked up about being 100% perfect that they don't speak. When this website made this comment, it made my blood boil! Why? Because I do spend hours and hours getting my students (especially my Asian students) to realize that they don't have to worry about making a mistake. We do learn from our mistakes, and if we don't learn from them right away, we will in time. Speak, for God's sake, speak! Don't worry about your mistakes until there is time to correct them!
I could spend hours debunking this website. Though, I don't have the time. I have students' essays to grade and finals to mark. These are students who are now living overseas and make tons of mistakes in every one of my classes. Yet...I can tell that they have improved. They have benefited from the "myths" presented on this website.

If you wish to challenge my assertions, feel free to email me at
Robin   Thu Nov 16, 2006 4:51 am GMT
Dear Christensen Low

I am sure that a lot of people go to the 'Forum on English' without using the rest of the Web Site.

When I first took an interest in this Web Site, I looked at the Anti-moon method, and the general philosophy of the site. Since then, I have only used the Forum on English Language, I have not looked at the rest of the material on the Web Site.

So, when you talk about the various 'Myths', it would be helpful if you would point out, where on the Web Site they are to be found.

Broadly speaking, I agree with some of the points that you make. I wish that you would present your arguments in a simpler way. For instance: You could start a Forum Topic "The importance of making mistakes when speaking English".

Another Topic could be: "Do people benefit from living in the country of the language they are trying to learn?"

Furthermore; you could have a Topic: "Is it necessary to be able to speak a foreign language?" or "Is it sufficient to be able to read and write in a foreign language?"

Bye for now
Myths-Buster   Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:20 am GMT
Myths about language learning: by Steve Kauffman
Sho   Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:47 am GMT
For someone who conducts English classes, it is easy to understand why they are against the antimoon's philosophy.
Guest   Thu Nov 16, 2006 12:51 pm GMT
Antimoon's method is similarly based on Stephen Krashen's philosophy.
Guest   Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:04 pm GMT
Reader 2007   Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:33 pm GMT
Thank you for sharing, Guest.
Christensen Low   Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:28 pm GMT
I know of Krashen's methods (I have even met the man), and his theories are really that language learners should be challenged to go beyond their level. It's called the +1 theory (something like that - it's been a while since I've read his theories). How does this website show his theories? Though, I will check out what he wrote and said.
Christensen   Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:32 pm GMT
Sho, by your reasoning, then it is right to distrust any expert. Do you distrust the person who comes to your house to hook up the cable? Possibly, you do a little. Do you distrust Microsoft Word (or Linux, if you will)?
As well, I'm not just a teacher. I'm also a language learner. I have been learning languages for over 10 years (German, Spanish and Korean). I study almost every day, and I put into practice what I teach.
Lastly, I could give a lot of "experiential" evidence from my students, friends and girlfriend (who is Korean). The students who I have seen flourish are the ones who do follow the myths presented on this website.
Guest   Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:37 pm GMT
Christensen   Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:52 pm GMT
Guest, actually, I have heard Krashen talk about the importance of reading. I most wholeheartedly agree with him. I often encourage my students to read to gain many of the skills that they need to perform well in learning a language. This I haven't disputed. Though, I fail to see how it proves some of the myths presented on this website.
Unfortunately, I have said, I'm busy with grading right now, so I'll have to devote more time later.
Jim   Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:28 am GMT
"Do you distrust Microsoft Word ... ?" Are you serious? Do you trust Microsoft Word? I'm not sure Sho even elaborated on any reasoning.

Anyhow, that aside, Christensen, you bring up some valid points but, as Robin points out, most of us are here for the forum and aren't too concerned about the ideas of Tom & Michael (who haven't posted here for years).
Guest   Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:49 am GMT
They are always available via email. You can email them. They will respond you back isually in one or two days. CL, when you have plenty of free time then please debunk these myths in full details. We all are interested in your ideas.
Jim   Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:41 am GMT
Yes, and from what I know of them (which is only via the internet), they are quite nice. I don't mean to put them down by stating that most of us aren't too concerned about their ideas. It's merely a statement of fact ... or fact as it would seem to be seeing as how infrequently their ideas are actually discussed here. And there's nothing wrong with not posting on the forum ... I know a lot of decent people who don't post here.

Anyway, it's been a while since I've read any of their theories but I must agree with most of what Christensen says. The best place to learn a language is where it is spoken. I don't know how you could reasonably argue against this. Speaking is very important when learning a language but there are other importnat things. Yes, "all of the skills are necessary" like Christensen says. The third point is probably the most contentious.

With respect to making mistakes Tom & Michael have an interesting point of view with which I don't believe most of the regualr posters here would agree. I don't agree with Tom & Michael here. Yes, there is the risk that mistakes will become ingrained through repetition. However, we do learn from our mistakes - this is more than just a cliché. As long as the mistake is caught before it becomes ingrained, what's the problem? Catch the mistake & you've learnt something.

Not speaking for fear of making a mistake impedes one's progress especially with regard to fluency, moreover it's so damn impractical. Picture yourself in a situation where you've got a point to make but you just don't know how, what do you do? Do you just shut up and stare hopelessly at to whomever it is you wish to speak? Or do you try to get your point across with what little you've got? Chances are if you make an attempt the person to whom you're talking will understand you & will try clarify your meaning. If you're paying attention to these words of clarification, you just might risk learning something.
Guest   Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:44 pm GMT
Jim, I have been in your above mentioned situation. Actually I was in an interview and my English was limited. I knew only greetings. Damn. I could not say a single proper sentence. I was unable to put my point across. I was humiliated deep down in my heart. I tried to speak as much as I could instead of staring at interview takers. Dude. I could not communicate, they didn't understand me at all instead they were pacifying me because I was being a nerve wrack due to my improper language skills. For a while I forgot about speaking , I mean for 2 years, I did not speak at all. I just did only reading and listening activities intensely and reviewed newfound words from time to time. Afterwards, I had got one more chance to appear in another interview and this time I did not know what happened. My mind took care the rest of the interview and I did not know what I was speaking. I was fluent as hell. I could see the indellible impression on their faces that I had left right on the spot. In my humble opinion, people should first get a lot of useful input then they should care about speaking. The speaking ability can be developed in no time after having a few communications and you are on your way to be a fluent speaker. It is just a matter of practice to develop a relatively good fluency when you are exposed to the language a great deal. No magic is involved, pure immersion is required which can also be attained at home as we all live in a global villlage, no dearth of English channels and print material.