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Tutor profile: Melissa L.

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Melissa L.
Tutor for 3 years, licensed teacher
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

I have to write an application essay for my college application. Can you help me?

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Melissa L.
Answer:

I would love to help you write your college application. I worked for a university and read many application letters and made suggestions for acceptance or acceptance with academic probation (limiting the course work and requiring academic support). Here are a few tips that may help you: - Always have someone else proof-read your essay, they may catch something that you missed, or that you think everyone will understand. - Use formal grammar, avoid slang. - Read through the requirements of the essay (word count/length, topics, structure) and make a checklist. Always include the requirements for the person proofreading your essay. - Keep your audience in mind, the admissions department will read hundreds of these, make sure that yours will keep them interested. - Avoid 1st person unless the prompt asks to tell about yourself, and even then, limit your use of 1st person. After you have written your essay, feel free to send it to me to proofread and go over with you!

Subject: Linguistics

TutorMe
Question:

I am in a linguistics course and we have to know about the different theories for second language acquisition. Would you be able to help me understand the different theories? I specifically need to know about UG, monitor, and interaction.

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Melissa L.
Answer:

There are several different theories that go along with second language acquisition (SLA). Chomsky's theory of universal grammar is one of the most important theories. The basics of this theory are that everyone is born with an innate sense of grammar, such as every sentence needs a subject, a verb, and an object, but we learn how to apply that grammar in our context through observation and practice. There is also the monitor hypothesis, put forth by Stephen Krashen. The monitor hypothesis presupposes that when someone is learning a new language they will "monitor" their output to check themselves and their L2. An example of this would be if a new English speaker speaks slowly to ensure that they are using the correct grammar and not making any mistakes. Another theory related to SLA is Long's interaction hypothesis, which is similar to Krashen's input hypothesis. The interaction hypothesis states that a person will learn an L2 if they have comprehensible input, or phrases, words, and ideas that they can make sense of and learn from. Long also supposes that when students have to work to find that meaning (instead of the meaning being provided for them) they will learn the L2 quicker. There are several other theories, please let me know if you need to know more theories about SLA.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

I am in a poetry class and we are learning about different poetic devices, such as assonance, onomatopoeia, personification, metaphors, and similes. Could you help explain these to me?

Inactive
Melissa L.
Answer:

There are several ways to describe these different devices, but I think the best way is to look at them in context and discuss them from there. Let's start with assonance. Here is an excerpt from Cormac McCarthy's book, Outer Dark: "And stepping softly with her air of blooded ruin about the glade in a frail agony of grace she trailed her rags through dust and ashes, circling the dead fire, the charred billets and chalk bones, the little calcined ribcage. You can see in the first line that the words "glade," "frail," and "grace," and "trail" all have the long "A" sound. That is assonance, when the writer uses a recurrence of a vowel sound, in this poem, the long "A." Next, we can look at onomatopoeia. This one is the easiest because it is words that are sound words, like "boom," "pop," or "kapow" Here is an excerpt from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Bells:" "Oh, the bells, bells, bells! What a tale their terror tells Of Despair! How they clang, and clash, and roar! What a horror they outpour On the bosom of the palpitating air!" The words "clang," "clash," and "roar" are all onomatopoeias because the words sound like a sound.

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