23 June 2014

Benny Lewis... fluent in 3 months...?

People who know me from sites such as HTLAL will know there's no love lost between me and Benny Lewis. The man always refuses to discuss anything, and takes mortal offence at anyone who doesn't agree unquestioning with every single word he says.

This is a shame, because Benny has a wealth of experience in language learning, and being able to "mine" this experience would surely reveal a lot of good stuff. Sadly, though, Benny's refusal to engage in any critical analysis of his own performance has led him to maintain a blog that is full of positively charged platitudes and little of practical substance.

Years ago, I borrowed a copy of his "Language Hacking Guide" from a friend, and blitzed through it making notes for a review on this site, but in the end I decided to let it slide and never published anything.

Now, though, the guy has another book out, entitled Fluent in 3 Months and published by no less than Harper Collins, and the press seems to be lapping it up.

Has Benny grown a clue recently? Has he stopped and given any serious thought to the language learning process? The writing on his blog is as devoid of content as ever, so I doubt it.

I'm hoping to get a loan of a copy of the book in a few weeks time to do my own review, but for now, you can read a very thorough review of the book by the user Big_Dog on the Polydog forum (accompanied by much discussion).

I have to say, most of what he says strikes a chord with me as typical of Benny's style. Woolly definitions, constantly moving goalposts, contradictions, overinterpretations, and just often downright wrong.

Does Benny say anything useful? Yes, he does, but then again, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

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