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Tutor profile: Carson X.

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Carson X.
Passionate language teacher (Mandarin and English)
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Questions

Subject: Mandarin

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Question:

Are measure words in English different from those in Chinese?

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Carson X.
Answer:

Yes, measure words in English are very different from measure words in Chinese: to westerners, measure words are very confusing (perhaps one of the biggest challenges when learning Chinese). In addition to nouns, measure words are also needed for verbs. This answer gives examples for nouns only, in the hope to make it less confusing :-) In English, measure words (MW) are usually used for uncountable nouns (mass nouns), for example, a glass of water, a piece of paper. Therefore, MW are now as prevalent as in Chinese, where every noun needs a MW with a structure as follows: Numeral + MW + Noun, in contrast to the structure in English: Numeral + Noun. Take some fruits for example (It seems that this system does not recognise Chinese characters so I will use letters to spell those Chinese characters with explanations in English when needed): 1) English: one apple vs Chinese: yi ge pingguo - yi means one - ge is the measure word - pingguo is apple. 2) English: one banana vs Chinese: yi gen xiangjiao - yi, again, means one - gen is the measure word but is a different word from "ge" used for apple, because banana is long and thin compared to the round shape of apple, thus "gen" is used, not just as a measure word, but also to describe the shape of the object. Now, let's take some animals for example: 1) English: one dog vs Chinese: yi tiao gou - yi = one - tiao: the measure word - you means dog 2) English: one pig vs Chinese yi tou zhu - yi = one - tou is the measure word. - zhu means pig 3) English: one cat vs Chinese: yi zhi Mao - yi = one - zhi is the measure word - mao is cat From both the fruit and animal examples, we can see that different measure words are used in front of different nouns even if the nouns fall into the same category (fruits and animals). To make it even more confusing, some measure words in English, for example "pair" can be used in one pair of shoes, one pair of gloves and one pair of trousers, but in Chinese, this "pair must be different words: 1) English: one pair of shoes vs Chinese: yi shuang xie - yi = one - shuang: measure word for shoes - xie means shoe(s) 2) English: one pair of gloves vs Chinese: yi fu shoutao - yi = one - fu: measure word for gloves (also for reading glasses etc) - shoutao means glove(s) 3) English: one pair of trousers vs Chinese: yi tiao quiz - yi = one - tiao: measure word for trousers (also for belt, scarves, skirt, etc) - kuzi means trousers Well, measure words are confusing not just to westerners but sometimes also even to native Chinese speakers: I often heard my old colleagues from Hong Kong saying one "dui" of shoes, rather than "shuang" as a result of different dialect! However, daunting as it appears, it is not insurmountable. Practice makes perfect. Even if you are still confused, you can always challenge by saying, hey, Carson, your Hong Kong colleague...

Subject: Marketing

TutorMe
Question:

What is "Marketing Mix"?

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Carson X.
Answer:

Also known as the "4 Ps", the term Marketing Mix is one of the most fundamental concepts in marketing strategies. The 4Ps are: 1) Product (ie, what product or service is a business offering to the market?) 2) Price (ie, how much will the customers have to pay for this product or service?) 3) Place (ie, where the product is provided and where the customers can get the product. So, it is also called "channels"). 4) Promotion (ie, how does the business communicate with the customers about the product or service offered? It is extremely important to bear in mind that communication is always a two-way process. For example, when a business delivers a message, eg an advertisement, targeting at the potential customer, it must consider how the customers would perceive the message, not just how the business itself "thinks" (or, even just "imagines"). Whilst the 4Ps sound very straightforward, it is not as simply as it appears. In real life of the business world, a lot of research and well-rounded considerations are necessary. For example, when an unknown brand makes its debut, the place where it appears would determine its position in the industry. To make it more explicit: if a never-heard-of brand appears to be the next door neighbour of Louis Vuitton in a shopping mall, shopperswill take this new brand for granted that it is a luxury brand, too!

Subject: English as a Second Language

TutorMe
Question:

What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL?

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Carson X.
Answer:

TEFL: Teaching English as a Foreign Language. TESOL: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Both TEFL and TESCOL are for non-native English speakers and very often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. To answer this in a simplified way: 1) Teaching non-native English speaking students in a country where English is the official language is TESOL. For example, teaching international students in the USA, the UK or Australia. In this case, teaching often takes place in a multi-cultural classroom. 2) Teaching non-native English speaking students in their home country where English is NOT the official language. For example, Teaching Chinese students in China. In this case, teaching usually happens in a mono-cultural classroom.

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