Thursday, September 15, 2011

From my own experiences, I have found that the most difficult thing to address is ‘flow’. A situation that I found myself in two weeks ago concerned this exact subject. Explaining what “sentence fluidity and naturalness” means to an upset person can be quite a task, and it is my own personal opinion that such a task is wholly and completely impossible. Things like ‘flow’ can be very abstract and are virtually in the eye of the beholder. I dare you to try and define the word. It seems as if a good strategy to overcome this word would be to just have the tutee replace it with what they really mean. I would much rather hear “Can you check my paragraph transitions” than “Does this flow?”

This also ties back to our “Boundaries in Tutoring” discussion. Different languages may use different words to explain the same thing. A translation can easily be scrambled and uncomfortable to a native speaker. A tutee may say something that sounds odd or awry, and the tutor may not full grasp what the tutee is asking for. Then again, the tutee may say something that describes a difficult concept, but it is worded in an interesting and new manner that actually makes a lot of sense.


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