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A member has already raised a similar question on meta, and makes some pertinent points with which I agree:

Extracts:

(1) When people who are struggling to learn English find a site about English, they see it as a lifeline of sorts. However, depending on who you ask, many resulting questions do not necessarily fall under ELU's intended umbrella. To address this problem, an English Language Learners was proposed in Area 51...

(2)...the creation of ELL hasn't (however) seemed to stem the tide of novice questions pouring onto ELU. Some have recently pointed out that, as things are going now, there doesn't seem to be much difference between the two sites.

(3)If the O.P. is actually only interested is knowing which of those seems more grammatical or sounds more natural, then it was probably an ELL question. However, if the O.P. is indeed interested in learning more about limiting modifiers and the proper placement of elements with focus, then ELU was the right place to ask.

(4)Lastly, it matters not to me how this conundrum ultimately resolves itself – we can keep the two sites, or abandon one and keep the other. If we keep them both, though, I would hope there would eventually be considerably fewer ELL questions – and ELL answers – on ELU.

(Many thanks to J.R. who posted this meta question at Roses are red, apples are green)

Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that we are not migrating a huge number of questions that appear to meet the criteria for ELL questions (as in simple and basic questions, usually from beginners, pertaining mainly to correct grammar, asked with the intention of clearing confusion and improving the standard of written and communicative English; whose answers are likely to be very obvious to native or experienced users; not concerned with etymology, grammatical theory, language research, literary allusions, the fine shades of difference in meaning between expressions, etc.)

This topic has been discussed a great deal on meta...

Should we have a migration path to ELL?

Closing the loop on migrations to ELL

ELL vs. non-ELL

What should and shouldn't be migrated to ELL?

...but the ELL type of questions remain on ELU.

Of the 50+ questions that I have tried to answer, only 2 were later migrated to ELL...

Example: a question I answered (Most recently migrated)

https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/127940/is-it-wrong-for-john-to-say-this-is-john

...but at least 20 questions very similar to the migrated ones have not been migrated.

Can somebody explain why?

A few recent examples of open questions in ELU that could be migrated to ELL:

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/386859/how-to-write-this-sentence-with-correct-manner

"how you go with it" correct use?

"I visited Dan, the Doctor" or "I visited Dan, the doctor"?

None of these are necessarily 'bad questions' but they are definitely elementary. Of course I am a new user but it seems to me that we could migrate so many such basic/beginner's questions to ELL and thereby strengthen the (closely related but distinctly different) goals and purposes of both ELU and ELL.

Please note: having read the meta discussion that ELL is not the trashcan of ELU, I can well understand the sentiment "don't send us your bad questions" which is what I am saying as well: since ELL seems to have been created specifically to solve the beginners' type of basic questions coming to ELU, should we not be consistent in migrating all (rather than some of the) questions that are best suited for the aims of ELL rather than ELU?

NOTE 2: some members have argued in meta that there is a case for merging ELU and ELL without prejudice if the same type of questions are going to be answered at both ELU and ELL.

Proposal to merge ELU and ELL

Should we consider going in the other direction with ELU and ELL?

IN SUMMARY: Did I get the general impression that many experienced ELU users disapprove of badly constructed basic questions from new users (unknowingly off topic as defined here) being posted on ELU, and consider them inappropriate for "a site of serious language enthusiasts and linguists") -- sometimes even closing questions as off topic -- and yet they are unwilling to migrate them to ELL? Does ELL not want questions from beginners referred by ELU? Why are a few questions being migrated sporadically while a huge number of other, similarly eligible questions are being retained here? If I am missing something, please enlighten me.

If users at one or both sites are showing such reluctance towards migrating the appropriate questions then it only seems to strengthen the call by some members to merge ELU and ELL into one mega site ELL&U -- "English Language Learners and Usage"!

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    Examples would help. You should be aware of the following post that got a lot of attention: A friendly reminder: ELL is not EL&U's trash can. In general, people should migrate only when it is clear that the question is off-topic here, but would be a good fit for the target site (not just possibly off-topic here, or possibly on-topic there). – sumelic Apr 29 '17 at 16:58
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    I have read that meta and am well aware that ELL has its own identity! My point is that many a question at ELU is most suitable for ELL and relatively less suitable for ELU in terms of the way that ELU seems to be generally defined as an advanced site for language enthusiasts and ELL for learners of basic English. If 2 such questions were migrated, why not the other 20 that are very similar? At the moment, ELU and ELL seem to be fielding the same type of questions which appear well suited to the aims and purposes of ELL rather than those of ELU. I shall post a few examples by edit. – English Student Apr 29 '17 at 17:06
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    Well, migration is not supposed to be used on questions that are on-topic on both sites, even if they seem more suited to the other site. It's only supposed to happen to questions that are off-topic on the original site. – sumelic Apr 29 '17 at 17:08
  • It is possibly a narrow interpretation which has become a convention. I read many members' opinions in meta that ELU is "swamped with" many questions best suited to ELL, and some of them contend that these serve to obscure those questions that are more suited to ELU. I have added a link to the most recent migration. I could not understand how this answered and discussed question 'became' off topic after so many days and got shifted to ELL. I am saying that if it got shifted then at least 20 other recent questions should also be. I mean there must be consistency in selecting Q for migration. – English Student Apr 29 '17 at 17:16
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    Your first example is not on-topic at ELL. Proofreading is off-topic unless there is a specific concern identified. – ColleenV Apr 30 '17 at 3:59
  • @NVZ -- ESU corrected by edit -- my keyboard software makes the error by 'auto correcting' ELU for some reason! – English Student Apr 30 '17 at 16:07
  • Your first example is not on-topic at ELL. Proofreading is off-topic unless there is a specific concern identified. – ColleenV -- could the OP not be advised how to edit the question to bring a specific concern to it, making it on topic? I am saying that not some but all beginner's questions about basic English unknowingly asked at ELU should be migrated to ELL, because that apparently was the reason for the creation of ELL -- I sure hope they are welcome there! – English Student Apr 30 '17 at 16:17
  • english.stackexchange.com/questions/387077/… I recently answered a question where the OP was puzzled by the anomalous use of one particular word in a news report -- it was a similar sounding word used by error, or else a misspelling, and anybody with a reasonable knowledge of English could pick it up -- that makes it just the right beginner's question for ELL, but a learned senior member, who disapproves of both the question being on ELU and the fact that it was answered, has voted to close it as off-topic: could we not migrate it to ELL instead? – English Student Apr 30 '17 at 16:52
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    I don't get it. Are these questions only partially voted to migrate, or VTC for other reasons or no VTC at all? – Mitch Apr 30 '17 at 20:22
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    @EnglishStudent I don't see the problem then with things as they are. If you think that a question is migratable, then vote to migrate. If others are feel like you they might also. – Mitch Apr 30 '17 at 23:23
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    @EnglishStudent The FAQ says what the thresholds are for new features. When you pass it, you get a link under any question for 'close'. – Mitch Apr 30 '17 at 23:55
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    Another related meta post, if you haven't seen it yet: : Please don't migrate – Hellion Jun 7 '17 at 14:22
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    @EnglishStudent It's not exactly true that ELU has only been migrating bad questions - it's just that the really bad ones sick out and we remember them. There's a query that we can use to explore how well received the migrations from ELU are :data.stackexchange.com/ell/revision/485239/614947/… (From ell.meta.stackexchange.com/a/3063) We have 344 migrated questions since the beginning of the year, and 193 of them have a positive score. That's not terrible. – ColleenV Jun 7 '17 at 22:44
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    You shouldn't (in general) migrate questions that are on-topic for the site they were asked on.This isn't as hard as it seems if we stop thinking that ELL is for "beginners". ELL is for people learning and/or teaching English that would like answers that are more focused on the pragmatic parts of English and learning it as a foreign language. ELU is for folks that would like a "deeper" answer that might touch more on etymology and linguistics. Between those two extremes are a lot of questions that would fit on either site and many should probably should stay where they start out. – ColleenV Jun 8 '17 at 2:20
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    Also, here's a couple of discussions on English Language Learners Meta that might be helpful: ell.meta.stackexchange.com/q/650, ell.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2670, and ELL's perspective on merging the sites: ell.meta.stackexchange.com/q/3349 (that was a resounding no btw) – ColleenV Jun 8 '17 at 2:26
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While the wider issue of which type of questions need to be migrated from ELU to ELL is open to discussion, I received the following very useful suggestion from a senior member in the above comments:

@EnglishStudent I don't see the problem then with things as they are. If you think that a question is migratable, then vote to migrate. If others are feel like you they might also. – Mitch 1 hour ago

Moreover, another kind senior member sumelic has posted a detailed answer in response to my next question regarding the procedure to initiate a possible migration:

How do I initiate a vote to migrate a question to ELL

(Many thanks to Mitch and Sumelic for the guidance!)

Based on these inputs, I now understand how to migrate a question, and shall try to use it judicuously, but the wider confusion regarding which questions should be migrated and why many questions that apparently meet the criteria are not being migrated is yet to be resolved.

I have seen a huge number of (mostly unresolved) meta questions here regarding such migration, and urge all members to reconsider the current guidelines for migrating a question to ELL.

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I agree with this. The problem as I see it is multi-part:

  1. Google or duckduckgo return this site early when you search for "English Language questions," "English Language answers," or other related terms. Therefore, new users are likely to come here first, and have to be directed to ELL.

  2. There's more activity on ELU than ELL, so people are possibly motivated to post here because they know they'll get an answer. This is a potential vicious cycle, because if ELL doesn't have enough activity, people are more likely to turn to ELU, and then there's less motivation to watch ELL and wait for new or active questions.

  3. A lot of people answer questions that should be on ELL even when they're posted on ELU. I know I've been guilty of this.

In my opinion, the way to solve the problem is to facilitate migrating questions to ELL very fast when they're really appropriate for ELL. It should be easier than migrating questions to and from other sites, because of the unique relationship between ELL and ELU.

Maybe there could be a "migrate to ELL" button that, when clicked by two users, puts the question on a review queue. I think if we migrated the questions quickly, it would help establish ELL's presence on the web (see 1 above), increase activity on ELL (2) and decrease the odds that users who should post on ELL will end up getting their answers here and then going on about their day (3).

  • Thank you; that was just the type of solution I imagined -- easy and simple internal redirect -- because ESU is just so closely related to ELL! – English Student Apr 29 '17 at 18:54
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    @EnglishStudent another possibility would be if every time someone posts a question for the first time, a prompt pops up where you have to click one of two buttons, "I am an English Language Learner..." or "I am a fluent speaker with a question about English..." or something of that sort. – RaceYouAnytime Apr 29 '17 at 19:39
  • Exactly. And it could even specify the range and scope of the question and answer so that the user can decide to submit to the appropriate site. As it is, ESU has often been functioning as a most pedantic version of ESL, and many an innocent beginner would have been bewildered to get a Ph.D grade answer to his simple question! – English Student Apr 29 '17 at 20:01
  • I appreciate your phenomenal work on this site within such a short period (reflected by the awesome reputation!) – English Student Apr 29 '17 at 20:05
  • @EnglishStudent thanks, you too. – RaceYouAnytime Apr 29 '17 at 20:06
  • You are welcome! ESU is a brilliant site for language enthusiasts, and ESL is a boon to beginners, which is why I am suggesting that we help everyone to reach higher quality by streamlining the flow of questions between ESU and ELL. – English Student Apr 29 '17 at 20:09
  • @EnglishStudent I completely agree. It's a tough problem to solve (getting people to use ELL) but it seems like there could be ways to make the system work better. – RaceYouAnytime Apr 29 '17 at 20:11
  • The first time user may not even know of ELL, so I consider it more a problem of allowing so many ELL questions to remain in ELU, for whatever reason, though there may possibly be good (even logistical) reasons that we may not fully understand as newer users. So let us wait for the experienced users to enlighten us! – English Student Apr 29 '17 at 20:18
  • Migrate the questions VERY FAST is a GREAT IDEA. – Lambie Apr 30 '17 at 14:05
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    @Lambie I can't tell if you're being sarcastic. Do you agree that would help, or are you saying that's impractical? – RaceYouAnytime Apr 30 '17 at 14:09
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    Did I get the general impression that many experienced ELU users disapprove of badly constructed basic questions from new users (unknowingly off topic as defined here) being posted on ELU, and consider them inappropriate for "a site of serious language enthusiasts and linguists") -- sometimes even closing questions as off topic -- and yet they are unwilling to migrate them to ELL? Does ELL not want questions from beginners referred by ELU? If I am missing something, please enlighten me. – English Student Apr 30 '17 at 16:24
  • If users at one or both sites are showing such reluctance to migrating the appropriate questions then it only seems to strengthen the call by some members to merge ELU and ELL into one mega ELL&U "English Language Learners and Usage" site! – English Student Apr 30 '17 at 16:30
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    @EnglishStudent another question is when to migrate questions to the writing site. That one has very low traffic and I've noticed questions that probably belong there. – RaceYouAnytime Apr 30 '17 at 16:31
  • That is very true. I myself have answered many questions put by aspiring writers, but most of them are actually asked by persons who are not necessarily 'learners' -- probably suitable for the writing site! – English Student Apr 30 '17 at 16:38
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Generally speaking, there's no clear-cut formula to categorise what questions deserve to be migrated. Both ELU and ELL have a lot of overlapping topics. You will develop a sense of what's better suited here, and what there, over time, and others may or may not agree with your views.

Also, there's a time window, after which, migration is not possible, 60 days, it is.

Read also: What is migration and how does it work?

Also, it would give you a bigger picture of SE network if you go through all posts tagged faq.

  • Thank you for the useful information. 6 months is a long window of time to decide about migration. I was surprised to see that there is so much disagreement between members of ELU and ELL regarding migration. First of all ELU members tend not to migrate many questions that are more suitable for ELL. Then they strenuously complain about the poor quality of questions we are getting here as in "why are these learners asking these questions at this linguists' site?" -- and still dont migrate it. In the rare case they agree to migrate rather than close, it is strenuously protested by ELL! – English Student Jun 7 '17 at 17:38
  • As an experienced member, could you please explain the above contradiction? – English Student Jun 7 '17 at 17:39
  • @EnglishStudent 60 days. Answer updated. Also, it would give you a bigger picture of SE network if you go through all posts tagged faq – NVZ Jun 7 '17 at 18:22
  • @EnglishStudent To explain that contradiction we'll need a new meta question, probably. – NVZ Jun 7 '17 at 18:25
  • Thanks a lot for the link to faq which is indeed a mine of useful information. The link to the faq question about migration was especially useful and confirms that the main problem here is that by current definitions of what is on-topic, (almost) every question that is on-topic at ELL would also be on-topic at ELU, which is not unfortunately an answer to my Q, but a real problem that needs to be addressed. AND, 60 days is a long enough time window to decide about migration! Why is it so impossible to re-frame the definition of 'on topic' at ELU so as to migrate more questions to ELL? – English Student Jun 7 '17 at 18:41
  • @EnglishStudent From my 4 years here, I have learned that some topics will be acceptable on multiple sites, and therefore there is no need to migrate it here and there within the 156 sites currently in SE network. If possible, just suggest to the new user that if they are learning English as a second language, they can learn more on ELL. – NVZ Jun 7 '17 at 18:44
  • As you know I prefer to help an English learner here itself at ELU, and that is why, despite asking this meta question, I never flagged any Q for migration. WHAT'S AVOIDABLE is the constant complaining by some members that too many beginners' type Q are being asked at ELU [which is apparently a site for 'serious language enthusiasts and linguists'] and also the tendency to close-vote a learner's question that was poorly worded and hence misunderstood, leading to desperate and drastic attempts to 'save' the Q when in fact some seniors felt it was more suited for migration to ELL! – English Student Jun 7 '17 at 18:54
  • The above mentioned matter of the 'massive or drastic edit' to save a Q from being voted closed' (which is what really re-opened the ongoing debate on migration) is addressed in this recent meta question which was answered by yourself, among others; please see the comments by 2 experienced members under my answer which suggest that the original Q was a much better fit for ELL: english.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10310/… and since it is getting rather late, please feel free to reply later at your convenience! – English Student Jun 7 '17 at 19:03

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