Tutor profile: Katlyn D.
Subject: Study Skills
How can I effectively memorize vocabulary words?
The spaced repetition method is very effective for learning new vocabulary words. First, you will need flashcards, with a word written on one side, and the definition written on the other side. Flashcards are commonly used for vocabulary learning, but the way you approach them matters. New and difficult words should be practiced very often, while familiar and less difficult words can be practiced less. Following this technique will optimize the vocabulary that you are able to learn.
What differentiates a language from a dialect?
Though we often take for granted that dialects are just varieties of the same language, this is not always the case. In fact, political borders often play a significant role in defining the two. For example, Mandarin, Hakka, and Hokkien are considered different dialects of Chinese. Indeed, all of these "dialects" are spoken within China. However, someone who speaks Mandarin and someone who speaks Hokkien would not be able to understand one another. Conversely, German and Dutch are considered to be two different languages, spoken in Germany and the Netherlands respectively. However, these two languages are mutually intelligible. This means that a German speaker and a Dutch speaker could converse with little difficulty. Linguists are often more interested in mutual intelligibility when it comes to discussing languages and their varieties.
Subject: English as a Second Language
What is the most important aspect of learning a foreign language?
When learning a foreign language, communication is the most important skill. I have seen many students learn the ins and outs of grammar or vocabulary, but who cannot converse effectively in said language. Practicing and utilizing a foreign language is far more important for developing skills than memorization. This is why English as a Second Language classes should focus primarily on communication, and supplement with important information on grammar and vocabulary.