Coherence and Dealing with the Coronavirus

Coherence and Dealing with the Coronavirus

This article has been written by Liam McAlary, a Years 7 – 12, VCE Legal Studies and VCE English Language Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Liam then please check out his page here.


Hello everyone, here is my article for April. This article will firstly discuss coherence, which is a key discourse feature that is especially important for your study of formal language (Area of Study 2), and will then address the elephant in the room, which is the current pandemic caused by the Novel Coronavirus.

COHERENCE:

Firstly, I will discuss coherence. Understanding coherence will not only help you analyse texts but will also help to improve the standard of your writing. Essentially, coherence is how clear something is and how all the ideas withing the text relate to each other. Cohesion is slightly different and is the specific language features that connect and bind the text together. Please do not confuse these two ideas (which some students do). This article will not go into a lot of detail about cohesion, although it is worth noting that cohesion is one of the main features of coherence. The other main features are consistency, conventions, logical ordering, inference, and, formatting. All these features help to make a text easier to understand and follow, which is what makes a text coherent. Obviously, coherence can be addressed when discussing both written and spoken texts, although it is more significant when discussing written texts.

Formatting: How a text is organised and structured can help to make it coherent and easier to follow. Key features of formatting that assist with coherence include bolding, underlining, the use of headings and subheadings, dot points, capitalisation, and numbers. These features help to set the text up in a way that is clear and easy to follow, thereby making it coherent (look at specific texts and you should be able to ascertain how the formatting helps or hinders coherence).

Conventions: The expected presentation of a text. If readers know what to expect from the text before they know the exact contents, they can deal with it efficiently and quickly. For example, a doctor’s referral adheres to certain conventions that mean medical receptionists can quickly file and process the referral, knowing exactly where to find the information they need.

Consistency: Coherent texts stay relevant to the topic(s) and do not randomly jump around from one idea to another.

Logical ordering: Coherent texts are ordered in a logical way, which shows a rational train of thought, thus making them easy to follow. When discussing logical ordering, remember to explain how the ordering is logical. For example, a text ordered chronologically is generally ordered logically.

Inference: Unlike other features, inference is not something that it is in the text. Texts do not use inference, they rely upon it to be interpreted in a particular way. Texts can enable a reader to use their external knowledge to infer meaning. For example, a person may infer that a person’s relationship has broken down if a text says, “the person was wearing a ring, and then the next time I saw them, their hand was bare.”

EXAMPLES:

To demonstrate how coherence plays a role in making texts easier to follow, I will use a recipe for how to boil an egg.

 

COHERENT:

  1. Heat water
  2. Place egg in water
  3. Wait until water boils
  4. Wait 2 minutes
  5. Remove egg

The above is coherent as is ordered logically, formatted clearly, remains consistent, and adheres to the conventions of a recipe.

LESS COHERENT:

  1. Heat water
  2. Remove egg
  3. Wait until water boils
  4. Wait 2 minutes
  5. Place egg in water

Although the text is ordered correctly in terms of its numbers, the illogical ordering of the numbers and steps makes this text hard follow. Additionally, a recipe that has the numbers in the right order (1-5), but has the steps in the wrong spot is illogically ordered and is also hard to follow (thus making it incoherent)

  1. Heat water
  2. Place egg in water
  3. Wait until octopus boils
  4. Wait 2 minutes
  5. Remove egg

The above is clearly inconsistent and is impossible to follow as an octopus has just appeared out of nowhere.

CURRENT PANDEMIC

Further, I feel it is necessary that I quickly discuss the current situation that the COVID-19 outbreak has caused. Before I discuss this, I should quickly point out that I am not a doctor or an infectious disease expert, and I have no training or education in these areas.

It is inevitable that at some point, your education will be exclusively online at some point this year. Consequently, your learning will be a lot more self-driven, so you will need to be more disciplined and diligent to ensure that you do not fall behind. Find a space at home that you will be able to study without distractions such as your phone and social media and do what you can to try and keep a sense of normality to your education.

This situation is continually evolving, and we do not know the full impact that it will have on the school year, so keep working and ensure that you just do the best that you can. Remember that everybody is in the same boat, and that through your teachers and tutors, there is support out there for you.

Anyway, I am sorry for how long this article is, but I hope that it proved to be helpful for you. Stay safe, stay well, and stay home.

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: Discussing Discourse Particles and Their Importance in Conversations, Topic and Floor Management in Conversations and Strategies for Success in English Language.

 


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

Coherence and Dealing with the Coronavirus
read more

How to Maximise Online Lessons for Tutors and Students

How to Maximise Online Lessons for Tutors and Students

This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Lydia then please check out her page here.


In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, services worldwide are adapting to survive, from universities to supermarkets to cafés. Similarly, when it comes to tutoring, there are necessary changes to be made in order to reduce any possible risk of in-person transmission. This is an unsettling situation for students and tutors alike as they navigate changes in every sphere of their lives, inevitably leading to a host of questions and concerns.

What are some of the ways tutoring might migrate to a virtual environment?

First of all, students and tutors need to pick a software with which to facilitate connection. Some of the most popular choices are Zoom and Skype, while others prefer Google Hangouts, or the paid website, Google Meets (to which most university and school students are granted free access). Zoom and Google Meets have some interesting functions and are optimised for shared learning, allowing tutors and students to share files on their screens. On the other hand, Skype and Google Hangouts have less functions, are slightly less complicated and require less time put into them in order to be fully understood. Tutors should educate themselves on these different programs in order to provide ultimate flexibility, so that they can consult with their students as to which option best suits their learning.

But what happens if your home internet simply isn’t good enough for a video call?

This is a tricky issue to fix, as most libraries where students and tutors alike could previously find reliable Wi-Fi are closed. If a video-call connection is unstable, students and tutors should try switching off their videos, which can improve the connection. In a worst-case scenario, those with enough mobile data should consider hot spotting their computers, or a tutor could simply give their student a regular phone call and continue to work on shared documents online together (internet connection permitting). It’s worth noting that students can alternatively connect to Zoom simply by calling – thus using no data or Wi-Fi.

How can we ensure that learning is maximised in a new way?

Previously, students could bring along worksheets and paper documents to show their tutors in-person. Online lessons can require a bit more advance planning. Students should consider sharing documents with their tutors before lessons, perhaps even taking photographs of hard copy work they would like to share with their tutor. Likewise, tutors could benefit from sending students a quick reminder to prepare for the lesson to ensure the best learning experience.

What are some of the potential benefits we might discover which are unique to online tutoring?

As some may have recently discovered, online tutoring provides ultimate convenience to student and tutor alike! Cutting out travel times to tutoring locations gives students more time to study and tutors more time to prepare. Furthermore, the advanced technological functions of programs which connect people allow new methods of teaching: for example, tutors might learn how to harness screensharing and online documents to improve collaboration.

Of course, most tutoring will likely revert to in-person learning once the situation is safe enough to do so, but who knows how many people will decide they in fact prefer online tutoring once they experience it?

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: How to Improve and Practice Good Handwriting?Benefits of Using Technology in the Classroom and Benefits of Meditation for Students.

 – LearnMate Tutoring.


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

How to Maximise Online Lessons for Tutors and Students
read more

How to Improve and Practice Good Handwriting?

How to Improve and Practice Good Handwriting?

This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Lydia then please check out her page here.


In a rapidly digitalising world – a change hastened by the current COVID-19 pandemic – students should not forget to practise the skill of handwriting. At the time of writing (the end of March 2020), no changes to end-of-year exams have been announced, so students should still prepare to be writing exams by hand. Don’t throw away your notebooks and your pens just yet!

Even if examinations are eventually altered, handwriting is a helpful skill to develop. One such reason is the potential to improve learning outcomes when notes are handwritten. Some research studies have found that students better retain information and learning when they handwrite their notes, rather than taking notes in a typed form. Handwriting means students must carefully select and prioritise what they record. In turn, this means that they are already synthesising and processing the information they are being taught, where those using their laptops might simply be copying the information straight from a teacher’s PowerPoint.

What are some different handwriting styles?

Let’s go back to primary school to answer this particular question. Most young children learn to write in a basic cursive style. Yes, this is the style you would have had to master to get the coveted pen license. It’s likely, however, that going into high school, students begin to write in plain, normal, non-cursive script. This poses a problem when handwriting is done carelessly and messily, meaning some students’ work becomes illegible for teachers. Another commonly used handwriting style is printing, a capitalised, separated style usually required by official documents and forms to allow ease of comprehension.

What are some handwriting techniques, and how can you improve your handwriting?

Improving poor handwriting is difficult – it requires adapting long-established bad habits. Some handwriting experts recommend changing up the way you grip your pen, taking every opportunity to practise your handwriting, or ‘using a nice pen’. Other techniques include practising writing in big letters, thus taking your practice back to basics and making you focus on every letter you write.

As is the case with most disciplines, practice makes perfect! Think of all of the ways you might be able to practice your handwriting: write lists, hand write a journal, write out a paragraph from a book you really enjoy, and most of all, write out your school work by hand.

A great way of practising your handwriting is to look up practice sheets so that you can really work on giving those new techniques a go. You can find some free printable worksheets at the following websites:

Where can you get lessons or classes on handwriting?

If you’re really committed to improving your handwriting, look into lessons, or just do a class here and there! It’s worth pursuing a class which caters to your level and age group, so make sure the lessons are tailored alternatively to adults, teenagers or children. If you prefer to do some classes online, you could look into the courses offered by Udemy, or you could try using Skill Share, or even investigate the free options available to all on YouTube.

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: Why Perfectionism is a Problem, How to Teach Soft Skills to Students and  Benefits of Meditation for Students

 


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

How to Improve and Practice Good Handwriting?
read more

Benefits of Using Technology in the Classroom – LearnMate

Benefits of Using Technology in the Classroom

This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Lydia then please check out her page here.


It is hard to deny the power of technology today. While some of the more outlandish theories from the past have not yet come into fruition (see: AI running the world), a great wealth of technology is available at just the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger. Combine technology with learning and you can find a world of opportunities which seem endless.

So, what are some of the ways you can integrate technology into the classroom?

  • Interactive whiteboards are popular tools for teachers. These allow teachers to annotate online documents and easily correct work for all students to see. Dangers still remain: how many students can remember squirming with both amusement and concern as a teacher destroyed a SMART board with a regular whiteboard marker?
  • Use technology to gauge the general opinions about a topic in the room in a non-threatening way. Many students fear speaking up in front of an entire class, so using technology can be a useful way of gauging the opinions of students beyond those who are more confident. Websites such as Poll Everywhere and Socrative can allow fun, healthy conversations in a class. Keep in mind that you might want to save this for more mature students, as the prospect of hiding behind anonymity to send through something inappropriate can be too tempting for the class clowns.
  • Tablets, when provided to a class, can allow students to access material in a more engaging way. Imagine using a textbook which weighs next to nothing and has exercises embedded within it!

What are the benefits of technology-driven education?

  • Learning outcomes can improve when technology is harnessed well. It has been found that 70 per cent of students score more highly in assessments and report better attendance in ‘active-learning environments that use technology than traditional ones.’
  • The possibilities for connection through collaboration and teamwork are widened by the use of technology. The use of forums and shared documents allow students from across the globe to connect, share ideas and work together.
  • Students gain skills which will be indispensable in the future (and also, clearly, in the present), in a rapidly evolving technological climate. With the development of exciting, new possibilities, jobseekers who are adaptable and more technologically literate are well-placed to impress potential employers.
  • Quite simply, it’s fun! Students love getting to use new technologies, and it is never a bad thing when students are enjoying learning. Technology might very well be the difference between a lesson turning out dry and boring, or exciting and memorable. In a world where it is increasingly difficult to maintain people’s attention for longer periods of time, technology increases engagement and can allow some students to participate in lessons more actively.
  • Technology is a good back-up option if there happened to be, hypothetically, a novel virus spreading around the world. At the time of writing (March 2020), educational institutions around the world are increasingly adopting technology such as apps, Zoom and Skype as a temporary or long-term replacement for face-to-face learning in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: Discussion and Examples of Language Varying to Reflect IdentityTips for Supporting Your Child in Year 11 and 12! and Will anyone care about your ATAR in a year?

 – LearnMate Tutoring.


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

Benefits of Using Technology in the Classroom – LearnMate
read more

LearnMate’s COVID-19 Response for New Students & Parents

LearnMate understand many of you will be concerned about COVID-19 and are closely following the situation as it continues to evolve and unfold around the world. We have appropriate business planning and procedures in place to ensure that students can still receive tutoring and educational support during this national health crisis, in a safe and effective environment.

If you’re an existing customer of LearnMate, we recommend you read our advice here.

For everyone else (if you’re a new student or parent of LearnMate or are just browsing our site), please read below…

1. Safely Conducting In-Person Tutoring

As of Tuesday March 31st 2020, ‘in-person’ lessons with a tutor can still legally occur in Australia, however, that may change. We will update this page at that time and if you are a customer of LearnMate, we will notify you via email and text. Note that group lessons with two or more students are no longer allowed to take place – LearnMate only permits one-on-one lessons (one student with one tutor), and we do highly recommend that lessons into the foreseeable future are done online (see dot point 2 below).

If you wish to commence in-person lessons with a LearnMate tutor, then you may choose to do that, however, we urge extra precaution. We understand that your school may have closed and we want to ensure that you are still educationally supported during this time so as to prevent educational disruption.

Please see a graphic at the bottom of this page showing you how to keep yourself hygienic while attending lessons. To summarise some of the main points:

  • We would recommend having lessons at home only.
  • We would recommend keeping a greater distance between student and tutor than normally done (e.g. 1.5m or more) and no more than 1 person per 4 square metres.
  • We would recommend no touching, no handshakes and no friendly body contact.
  • We would recommend that students and tutors wash their hands before and after each tutoring lesson with soap and/or hand sanitiser.
  • Group lessons (2 or more students with one tutor) are no longer allowed until further notice.
  • If you feel or you or your tutor develops ‘flu like symptoms’, then we would recommend you not lessons, and setup alternative arrangements (see dot point 2 below on online tutoring).

If you’d like to start your search for an in-person tutor near you, go here.

2. Conducting Lessons Online (Alternative Form of Tutoring)


If you wish to have lessons with a tutor, but do not want them to be done in-person, then online tutoring is a great way to ensure you can keep up with school work but not be exposed. All LearnMate tutors have been trained and have experience with tutoring online!

Are you looking for an online tutor at a time and location that suits you? LearnMate Online allows you to tap into hundreds of online tutors across all subjects, in all parts of Australia! LearnMate has online tutors for English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Science and so much more!

Here’s how it works and here’s how to get started.

  1. Head on over to the search page here for online tutors.
  2. Search for a tutor for whatever subject/subjects you need help in!
  3. Lessons will start online at a time that suits you – either on Skype or Zoom. Your tutor will inform you on the steps on how to get setup easily for online tutoring, and LearnMate also provides quick instruction to you upon signup. We even provide you with recording capabilities – which means we can record your online tutoring lesson in real time so you can review it at a later date!

If you’d like to start your search for an online tutor, go here.

3. If you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19

It is important to remember that symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or tiredness, while consistent with coronavirus, are symptoms that are associated with other illnesses, including the common cold and flu. Unless you have seen a medical professional and have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should not assume you have the virus, but be vigilant in your hygiene.

If you are experiencing symptoms such as a fever, breathing difficulties, a cough or sore throat, and have recently returned from an affected country, or come into contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, separate yourself from others and call the relevant health authorities.

If you have severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, call 000 immediately and request an ambulance.

For general information on COVID-19, you can also contact the Department of Health national hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 020 080.

Please also see an infographic below on how to prevent spread of the virus as stated by the Victorian Government. You can find the direct link here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19

LearnMate’s COVID-19 Response for New Students & Parents
read more