Tutor profile: Veena S.
Why does it seem like more people are experiencing anxiety these days?
Anxiety is a common emotion that everyone experiences. In fact, anxiety is important to our survival and for living a purposeful life. However, there are also a variety of anxiety disorders that exist. If you feel anxious, it doesn't mean that you have an anxiety disorder. In saying that, a lot more people are identifying themselves as suffering with anxiety. Some reasons for this could include increased competition and pressure that human beings experience these days, increased use of social media and exposure to all kinds of people across the world, as well as media's negative portrayal of world events. For instance, everyone wants to live happily, be successful, be the best at what they do, and look good while accomplishing all this. This can breed traits of perfectionism from a young age. At school, with increased exposure to social media, this creates a culture of wanting to fit in and be increasingly more accepted by peers. It is also becoming easier to experience the effects of bullying online, as the identities of bullies may not be traceable. Even those who don't notice feelings of anxiety when they are younger report significant anxiety as adults, due to increased pressures and responsibilities that accompany different life stages. If we also look at the state of the world, there is a constant stream of bad news that we receive from news channels. These topics vary from racism, murders, war and disease to environmental issues. In fact, there is a lot to worry about. Without knowing how to manage your own anxiety successfully and learn how to live with it, it can cause a lot of distress, pain and suffering. On the other hand, more people are speaking up about their experiences of anxiety, which allows it to become more accepted and more normal. This is unlike in recent decades, where people struggling with anxiety felt like they had to keep suffering by themselves.
Subject: English as a Second Language
What are the realities of learning English as a second language and how can you manage your expectations?
In my opinion, there are many expectations that need to be managed in learning English as a second language. First of all, learning a second language requires motivation, perseverance and commitment. In order to progress from beginner to intermediate, it will take hard work and daily practice. Listening to podcasts, music and other material in English, watching English movies (with subtitles if needed), reading articles online and reading books in English are some of the ways to incorporate English into your daily life. Further, speaking and conversation skills are more difficult to develop. Students often understand English better than they can speak. Therefore, regular conversation and speaking practice is important. Further, it is unrealistic to expect that you will get rid of your accent. While you can improve your pronunciation, you might have to accept that you will speak English with an accent. This is completely normal. When you first start to learn English, you will probably make a lot of improvements. However, when you want to progress from an intermediate to an advanced level, the progress starts to slow down. This is where it can become frustrating. But the key is to persevere and continue to practice.
How does technology play a role in learning English in the 21st century?
Technology plays a critical role in learning English in the 21st century. In fact, learning without some type of technology is becoming more uncommon. With increased access to PCs, laptops and mobile devices at home and in school, students can broaden their horizons and enhance their knowledge and learning through the use of technology. The invention of the internet has further contributed towards this trend, as students can use the internet to study and complete homework. Websites such as YouTube provide a lot of helpful educational material. Students can also use Google to search meanings of words or phrases they are not familiar with. They can also read material on different topics to broaden their knowledge and comprehension. Further, schools and universities are more frequently using online forums to communicate and for submission of assignments. Therefore, technology is generally becoming a more crucial aspect of learning and education in the 21st century.
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