Proposal: English as a Second Language

People often ask questions which are too basic for ELU, though the people asking are not ESL students. Why not broaden the new group to accept all basic questions which do not need the intervention of a serious language researcher?


1 Answer 1


Personally, I'm open to suggestions. I just had to pick a working title, any working title. Quick and dirty. But the more I think about it, that might be its whole strength. It's short and clear. I'm afraid trying to shoehorn in any and all basic questions will invariably leave us with something way more confusing.

Besides, the point of this proposed site is not to load off all basic questions off ELU. ELU, just as any other site, needs a certain amount of basic questions to survive. In fact, it doesn't have that many non-basic questions, and the ones it does have are often too non-basic and might be a better fit for Linguistics.

In short, our goal here is not to kill ELU, or even split it up. Our goal is to provide a new home to at least some of the people who fall through the cracks. We have to draw the line somewhere, so why not draw it somewhere everyone can clearly see. Are you a non-native speaker? Ask here. No FAQs to read. No obscure criteria. (You as the asker are probably the last one to be able to judge how "basic" your question is anyway. You can only judge that once you know the answer. Chicken and egg.)

Mind you, your question can still turn out to be rather advanced, and a better fit for ELU. Well guess what, then we'll just migrate it.

  • 2
    Well, the cracks are not very well defined, I'm afraid. For the top 13 example questions in the ESL proposal, there are 10 more or less identical questions on ELU that are accepted and well answered. (see links in my comments on the different example questions)
    – awe
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 12:45

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