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Tutor profile: Martha S.

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Martha S.
Talented Tutor with Experience in International Relations and Language Learning
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Questions

Subject: Spanish

TutorMe
Question:

How can you tell the difference between the imperfect and conditional tenses in Spanish?

Inactive
Martha S.
Answer:

Many people struggle to know when to use the imperfect and conditional tenses in Spanish, given that the English translation of each involves the word "would." For instance, "I would go to the game, but I feel sick." is an example of the condiitonal tense, while "When I was young, I would work in the store with my parents every day." is an example of the imperfect. While the word would is present in both, the Spanish translations look quite different: "Iría al partido, pero me siento mal." verus "Cuando era jóven, trabajaba en la tienda con mis padres todos los días." To distinguish between these two tenses, it's important to consider when they were happening. If the verb represents an action that was regularly repeated in the past, we use the imperfect tense. For instance, in the above example, the person worked every day when they were young. If it is something that you would like to do in the future, depending on particular conditions, then we use conditional. Above, the person would like to go to the game, but because the conditions of feeling well enough to go don't exist, they likely will not go.

Subject: International Relations

TutorMe
Question:

How does the phrase, "Where you stand depends on where you sit," affect the field of International Relations?

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Martha S.
Answer:

The phrase, "Where you stand depends on where you sit," represents a key concept in bureaucratic politics. Essentially, it means that an actor will be constrained by the role which they have been hired to fulfill. Actors often jealously guard the wellbeing of their institution, often at the cost of making the best overall decisions. One easy example of this is considering a budgeting process. While the representative of a certain institution might recognize that another institution could benefit far more than their own from greater budget spending, they may be unwilling to concede that if they realize that a spending cut could result in their inability to realize certain planned activities or a lay-off of their co-workers. This is important to consider in International Relations. Oftentimes, for instance under the classical realist model, governments are analyzed as single, rational actors. However, this simplification fails to recognize that thousands of individuals, with loyalty to their offices, make up government and contribute to international policymaking and implementation. Subscribing to a realist model may cause us to predict that governments will act in one "rational" way to increase their power; meanwhile, a consideration of "where actors are sitting" will help us understand why they are taking stances that could lead to a separate decision, which may appear irrational. One commonly cited example of this is the Vietnam War, in which the U.S. took many non-rational decisions, which can be better explained when considering how different bureaucratic offices saw those decisions as beneficial to their own power. Therefore, to have a more nuanced understanding of how international policy gets made, it's important to consider bureaucratic politics.

Subject: English as a Second Language

TutorMe
Question:

How do you provide curriculum tailored to an ESL student's need?

Inactive
Martha S.
Answer:

The first step is to assess where the student currently stands in their knowledge of English through conversations, questions, readings, and tests. Then, find out about their previous English educational experiences. What worked for them? What did they find challenging? Next, find out their goals. Do they hope to use English because they recently moved to an English-speaking country and want to be able to function in daily life? Do they want to travel somewhere for a week? Will they need to have business conversations in their target language? Finally, design classes based on what you have learned, which meaningfully support them in moving from where they are towards where they want to buy. Integrate many different language abilities (speaking, writing, listening, reading) and learning strategies across classes.

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