There are 58 questions that are actually using , which puzzles me a bit.

Is the tag even useful? If it says something, it tells me users are asking a question because they are learning English, which seems obvious since the site is English Language Learners. Plus, I don't see any difference between a question asked by the users who are actively learning English (i.e. following an English class), and a question asked by users for which English is a second language.

Can we define the tag in a way that makes it helpful, and not a too generic tag meaning (for example) I am asking the question because I am taking a class to learn English? If it can be used to mean this question is about learning technique as Damkerng T. suggests, what can we put in its tag wiki to make it clear in which cases the tag should be used? Should we rename it?

As noted from J.R., we also have . should have a different purpose, or should be instead used.

  • 4
    When I see learning on ELL, I think "this question is going to be about some learning technique". So, the tag is probably useful, but at the same time, it's unclear whether it's on or off-topic, or it's better asked at Language Learning.SE (since it's in public beta now). In any case, I think we should consider these questions on a case-by-case basis. Apr 30, 2016 at 21:44
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    @DamkerngT.: I think that's still too broad to be useful as a tag; if it's about e.g. vocabulary learning techniques, we've already got a tag for that (which is misused enough as it is). Apr 30, 2016 at 21:46
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    @Dam most of the problems lies in the fact that we think; we're not sure.
    – M.A.R.
    Apr 30, 2016 at 22:46
  • I think the tag could be useful if we defined it. Maybe your question should solicit suggestions for how it could be defined, instead of just asking "Is it useful?"
    – J.R. Mod
    May 1, 2016 at 9:26
  • @J.R. I changed the question as you suggested.
    – apaderno
    May 1, 2016 at 9:42
  • Cool. Now comes the hard part – figuring out what it should say :-) (and how it differs from the mnemonic tag).
    – J.R. Mod
    May 1, 2016 at 9:57
  • @J.R. If it were that easy, I would not have asked this question. ;-)
    – apaderno
    May 1, 2016 at 10:00
  • @DamkerngT. Replied to your comment as well in my answer :)
    – WendiKidd
    May 4, 2016 at 16:23

2 Answers 2


In response to both the question and @DamkerngT.'s comment:

I was given a great reminder a few weeks ago by a mod on another SE site: just because your question is on-topic on another site, that doesn't mean it isn't on-topic on this site. We've dealt a lot with this on the ELL/ELU issue, but it's good to remember it can go both ways as well... We've accepted learning-technique questions for a long time, and there's no reason to stop accepting them solely because LL.SE may accept them as well.

This was initially going to be a comment, but in the process of writing it I think I came up with the answer to the question... ? Or something along those lines. Techniques, methodologies... Mnemonic devices are a type of learning devices (?); we need a name for the broader category. What say you, ELL? :)

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    I like the idea of putting the meaning into the tag name. I think having very explicit tag names is important for ELL because the pop-up description might be difficult/cumbersome for a learner to parse when they're writing their question.
    – ColleenV
    May 4, 2016 at 17:13
  • I'm not sure we need a name for broader categories, but with some examples of techniques that we would have very few questions to tag with, I might be convinced otherwise. And the naming scheme you suggest would do the trick if anything would. May 4, 2016 at 18:34
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    My objection to the tag name currently is that a learner asking about practically anything might think that adding the tag is reasonable since their question is about learning English. I think the problem with be solved if the tag is renamed to "learning-techniques" or "learning-methods". "Learning-devices" refers to something else though I think.
    – M.A.R.
    May 5, 2016 at 10:13
  • I agree with @TIPS that the tag should not make the new users think they need to use it. learning-methods is probably my preferred, even if I know there are users who will just read the learning part and think Oh yes, I am learning English; therefore, I have to put it in my question. It happened with various tags in the site I moderate.
    – apaderno
    Jul 15, 2016 at 14:56

I think we should revisit this suggestion after coming across the question

'As a 2nd language' .. Why English grammar is necessary to learn?

which is a close duplicate to an earlier question that was tagged with . I wanted to give it a more useful tag than grammar, but wasn't really satisfied with after looking over the other questions that had been tagged with it.

I wonder if there should be a tag that combines and , because a question about learning techniques seems like it would be closely related to teaching methods.

Maybe what we need is ?

  • learning-methods? Jul 30, 2016 at 3:43
  • @NathanTuggy It's not really a question about a method or technique though. I'm not sure why I'm having angst over it; I just really dislike the grammar tag and I think the learning tag is a bit like it's younger sibling. I was going to make an attempt at the tag wiki, but couldn't come up with anything satisfying.
    – ColleenV
    Jul 30, 2016 at 3:47

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