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Ray M.
ELA/ESL teacher and Translator for seven years
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Japanese
TutorMe
Question:

What is a key fundamental difference that a native English speaker must recognize in order to be successful in their study of the Japanese language?

Ray M.
Answer:

A key fundamental difference between the English language and the Japanese language that must be understood is that the grammatical basis of sentence formulation is complete opposites. This means understanding word order. In the English language, we form sentences in the subject-verb-object (SVO), pattern, Japanese is subject-object-verb (SOV) language, as is Korean, Mongolian, and Turkish. For example, Okasan ga pan o kaimashita would directly translate to English as Mother bread bought. The verb comes at the end of the Japanese sentence, in this case, the verb is bought (kaimashita). For beginning learners, this can be frustrating because it goes against our ingrained native speech pattern, but if this simple, but the important difference is accepted from the off then future learning and practice will be more productive.

Writing
TutorMe
Question:

What are some of the key elements involved in the writing of a persuasive essay?

Ray M.
Answer:

First and foremost, the end game of a well written persuasive essay is, of course, to persuade your reader or at the very least give them enough compelling evidence that they may have a re-think of their position on any given topic. Some key points to keep in mind; chose a side, know who your audience will be, and do the research so that you will have ample supporting evidence to back your view. Knowing your topic inside and out will be of little use if you do not anticipate what counter-arguments could be made and address them in your writing. In short, a holistic approach to persuasion that covers all your key points backed by evidence, while still addressing counter-views will set you on your way to constructing a successful persuasive essay

US History
TutorMe
Question:

What are the roots of American multi-culturalism?

Ray M.
Answer:

The United States of today is the product of the ideals, customs, and cultural identities of its first European settlers. These varied cultural, religious, and national identities, though distinctly European, would be changed slowly and gradually into something uniquely American. This gradual change is the result of geographic conditions, waves of various non-English groups, and encounters with indigenous cultures. The rivers and shoreline of the new world aided newcomers in their settlement by providing trade and commerce routes but also created vast distances between groups making an early centralized form of government near impossible. Colonies living and operating as independent entities would later help shape the idea of states’ rights. Though fiercely independent, colonies recognized the need for trade and commerce not only with Europe but with other colonies. This naturally brought about the need for some sense of regulation and order. This need for regulation and order by groups that held various social and cultural norms in many ways marks the beginning of the need for Americans to compromise with one another for the good of the whole. By the 1680’s England ceased being the number one supplier of settlers to the new world, waves of German, Swiss, French, Irish, Scots, Swedes, and Dutch would follow in their wake. Many came to the new world to flee war, poverty, persecution, oppression and some as indentured workers, but regardless of the reason for making the journey, they brought distinct and varied social and cultural norms that would alter the colonies and themselves. Though the earliest waves of newcomers to this land were indeed European, each group brought distinct cultural and social patterns that would be re-shaped and influenced by those around them and by the very land upon which they settled. One could even argue that the very foundation of America was built on multi-culturalism. From state to state the variety of people, food, dialect, festivals, and cultures are all evidence of our multicultural foundations.

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