A couple of Polish guys took English classes in school for six years and still were not fluent, so they read books in English and listened to English on their own time. They made English flash cards on their computers to review. In three years they were near native-level.
Tomasz P. Szynalski, now fluent in English
They made a website about how they learned English called Antimoon. They explain how to read, listen to audio, and use flashcards to become bilingual. I have complete confidence that this method works. If it is so good why haven’t you heard of it? Here are 4 reasons:
1. It’s upfront about how much time it takes to become bilingual
The website says:
“The Antimoon Method relies on getting “massive amounts of input”, which means something like [reading] 60 pages and [listening to] 6 hours of spoken English a week…If you are so busy that there is no way you can get 60 pages and 6 hours of input, the Antimoon Method won’t be a good match for you.”
It took them three years of consistent effort to get the great results they wanted.
Michal Ryszard Wojcik, the other developer of Antimoon.
2. It’s not well marketed
Rosetta Stone is so well marketed that even my dog has heard of it and hopes to buy a copy when he gets his tax return check. Antimoon, on the other hand, is a humble website. A website which is not well monetized. I don’t think they have a YouTube channel or are on Instagram.
3. It is not a course
If you want to become bilingual the typical thing to do is take a course: a class, or a self-study program. Antimoon is neither. The antimoon method is to read, make and use flashcards, and listen.
From the antimoon website:
…watching videos on YouTube, watching House M.D., playing Mass Effect, etc. all count as “listening time”.
So, you select your own media and dive in.
4. If you are a complete beginner in the language, it may not be very pleasant.
From the website:
“When you are a beginner, you have a small vocabulary. In this state, reading books or watching movies is too difficult. Even if your content is extremely fun, all the unknown words will make it very difficult to enjoy it.”
They recommend staying away from classes because the progress you’ll make will be slow and it won’t be worth your time and money. They advise people to begin using their method by reading simplified books with only 1,000 different words in them.
The book pictured above has only 600 different words. You could order it in Spanish but you won’t understand it…unless you know Spanish.
So, Antimoon is not a way to start from scratch. You need some skill already to start.
We can appreciate that they are honest about how much time it takes to become bilingual. We can get over the fact that nobody else we know has heard of Antimoon, let alone uses it, but the fact that it is best suited to people who can already read a chapter book is a stumbling block. Beginners will have a hard time using it.
Looking a gift horse in the mouth feels wrong.
AJATT and MIA are based on Antimoon, but more extreme. They advise you to immerse yourself in the language for as many hours as possible, even as a brand new beginner. Antimoon is much more reasonable in expecting you to begin when you have enough knowledge of the language. And instead of immersing as much as possible, Antimoon says do 6 hours a week of listening and 60 pages of reading per week.
A post of ideas for how to reach the level needed to begin the Antimoon method is coming soon.