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Tutor profile: Shanae R.

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Shanae R.
Education Professional with teaching, program management, and curriculum development experience
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Questions

Subject: Writing

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Question:

What is an effective way to organize an essay?

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Shanae R.
Answer:

A standard approach to writing an essay starts with a plan, or what we can call an outline. This outline should include the following: 1) A thesis statement; a statement that summarizes what your essay is about any arguments that you are trying to make. For example, 'Pollution has become a major issue in many large cities and I believe that carpooling and increased use of public transportation could both be solutions to decreasing pollution in the environment." 2) Supporting paragraphs; These paragraphs should go into details about the points you are making. Depending on the length of your essay there could be as few as 2. For example, using the example thesis statement above, your first paragraph could describe the pollution problem in general. The second paragraph could detail your first supporting point; that carpooling is a sound way to decrease pollution. The third paragraph can detail your second point: the increased use of public transport can decrease pollution. 3) Conclusive Paragraph; this paragraph should indicate to your audience that the essay is coming to an end. Summarize your points and final thoughts.

Subject: English as a Second Language

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Question:

What role does a person's L1 (mother tongue) play in the acquisition of English as a Second Language (L2)?

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Shanae R.
Answer:

Two points that play a significant role in the acquisition of English as a Second Language are interference factors of derived from the L1 as it relates to the target language and levels of literacy in the L1. When considering English as a second language, one point of consideration is a student's L1 and how it can interfere in the learning process. In order to effectively manage this as a teaching point, it is necessary for an instructor to profile the student's L1 and understand common areas of interference with regard to the L2 ( in this case English) . For example, in pronunciation, Korean speakers have trouble pronouncing the letter 'r' when learning English as a second language. This is primarily because there is no exact equivalent of the English 'r' sound in the Korean alphabet (Hangul). Having this information on hand will allow the instructor to place emphasis on this point during pronunciation activities and will likely positively impact progress. With regard to literacy, studies show that a persons L1 literacy rate can impact on their progress in learning a second language (the L2). This is why in bilingual education, emphasis is placed on equal attention to both the L1 and L2 as this approach is more likely to strengthen the progress of both languages. Again, being aware of this can help a teacher and students understand why their progress may be slower, or on par with expectations.

Subject: Education

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Question:

What learning theories could be of most use in a higher education learning environment and why?

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Shanae R.
Answer:

In a higher education learning environment, Bloom's Taxonomy, or the classification of levels of thinking is essential when considering the design of learning tasks, assessments, and objectives, and therefore the quality of programming. The primary reasons are because the Bloom's Taxonomy hierarchy provides a paradigm that classifies the complexity of thought which can be applied to how/ what a teacher teaches and what / how a student is engaged with a subject matter and its content. In short, Bloom's taxonomy provides what I would describe as a blueprint for the level of engagement and learning in a subject matter. It can define appropriate learning tasks, the assessment of said tasks, and the objectives. For example, a higher education course outline, or syllabus would be an example of best practice IF it included Bloom's Taxonomy at the base of its design. This could mean that for lower level, or 100-level University subjects, you would see assignments that require students to demonstrate that they can RECALL, or can UNDERSTAND certain information; in other words you would see keywords or activities that are based in the first and second levels of cognitive skill within the Taxonomy's hierarchy as opposed to higher order cognitive skills such as analyzing and synthesizing (fourth and fifth levels of cognition of the hierarchy of cognitive skill). Naturally, there are other learning theories that are useful in a higher education setting such as experiential learning theory and constructivism, but in terms of broad application and quality in programming, Bloom's Taxonomy would be the most useful.

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