This research presents the findings of a study relating to portfolio as an assessment tool and its implementation by English as Second Language (ESL) teachers in two secondary schools. Participants included nine lower and upper secondary school classroom ESL teachers. The research design was qualitative in nature as there was a need to immerse in the classroom to witness and observe the portfolio assessment process carried out by the ESL teachers. The interviewing technique was used for triangulating data obtained during classroom observations. Data collected through both techniques were transcribed and analyzed manually. The nine ESL teachers involved felt that the current assessment methods were insufficient for measuring student learning as students focused on memorization and studied merely for examination rather than the acquisition of knowledge. Significantly, the teachers divulged that when students are engaged in portfolio assessment, they become less examination oriented and are able to take charge of their learning. The teachers reported that although the implementation of portfolio as an assessment tool involved major investment in time, they proved to be valuable and conducive tools for individualizing the learning process and in documenting student progress and achievement over time. Findings from this study recommend that portfolios drive instruction by assisting teachers to identify student needs by matching instruction to needs and assessment to instruction. The results have clear implications for assessment, and the teaching and learning of second language learning.
Portfolio, ESL instruction and assessment, alternative assessment
Trust economic empowerment is an issue that is rarely debated in discussing the reality of Orang Asli’s economy. Instead, other issues such as lagging behind, poverty, and marginalization of Orang Asli often become the hot topics for discussion. History, however, has shown that Orang Asli have been conducting economic activities with other communities for ages, even though the returns of the aforementioned activities are not encouraging for them. Orang Asli also have shown, through their history, their ability to fulfil other communities’ needs. Such a relationship directly indicates the relation of social capitals and economic empowerment among Orang Asli. In order to examine this issue, a study was carried out. The study was conducted on seven interviewees, who are the Orang Kuala villagers, residing at Bumiputera Dalam, Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia. Data were gathered by using in-depth interview method and semi-structured interview protocol technique. Data gathered were then analysed by using QSR NVivo software. The findings of this study showed that Orang Kuala have social capitals but the relationship differs according to the types of social capital, the bonding social and the bridging social capital. In particular, Orang Kuala have weak bonding social capital but possess a strong bridging social capital. They also show the ability to empower their economy through self-reliant, participation in businesses, increase in revenues and ability to control their income. As a conclusion, this study concluded that the economic empowerment of Orang Kuala is a result of bridging social capital.
Bonding social capital, bridging social capital, economic empowerment, self-reliance, participation and revenue control
Contemporary British writer Ian McEwan explored various themes as he progressed from his early fiction to his later work, focusing more on personal relationships in the later years and how such relationships were affected by cultural and other issues of the time. He also shows how the macrocosm, which is society, affects the microcosm (human relationships) directly or indirectly. His meticulous writing style is obvious in all of his works. McEwan’s careful choice of words and use of similes, metaphors and symbols creates diverse moods and touches the very emotional and psychological core of the reader. On Chesil Beach is an excellent example of his craft, as he presents the reader with conflicts at various levels. The protagonists, Edward and Florence, suffer the burden of belonging to different social classes; challenged by the constraints of Victorian-era sexual boundaries while facing the consequences of a lack of proper communication and miscommunication. Edward and Florence, like most of the major characters of McEwan’s later novels, are victims of their time and this paper strives to understand, and interpret the signs by using semiotics as a tool to unravel the meaning behind the words.
On Chesil Beach, Ian McEwan, sexual boundaries, conflicts, semiotics, Victorian-era
Numeral classifier system is an instance of linguistic device for categorisation, a cognitive process that is indispensable in human cognition and language development. The current study investigated the acquisition of eight Malay shape-based numeral classifiers through a matching comprehension task in 140 6 to 9 year old children. The aim is to examine the developmental patterns observed in the comprehension of Malay shape-based numeral classifiers. Specifically, the study focused at examining if the complexity of the semantic features of individual numeral classifiers plays a role in numeral classifier comprehension order, and if the degree of typicality of numeral classifier exemplars has an effect on the comprehension order. Results indicated that semantic complexity and exemplar typicality play a significant role in Malay numeral classifier comprehension.This suggests that multiple factors interact with each other and contribute to the developmental pattern of numeral classifier.
This paper attempts to investigate the current literature on behavioural based and culture change approach on workplace safety. It draws on current publications and the findings of a two recent research study; Safety Culture and Behavioural Based Study Approach. A semi-structured interview and questionnaire survey approach methods was adopted for both studies. The interrelationship, the comparison in terms of concept, characteristics, and application and implementation steps is analysed. The findings revealed that culture formation can be thought of as a series of behaviours and consequences. Behavioural Based approach to safety focuses on workers’ behaviour as the cause of most work-related injuries and illness. In contrast, the culture change approaches to safety are “top-down”, focus on changing the values and beliefs of the organisation, and involve working with the leadership of the enterprise. Hence, both approaches are complementary and a combination of the two will enhance workplace safety.
Framework, safety culture, Malaysian construction companies
Defining public needs is hugely important to the concept of sustainable development and it has been at the core of the concept from the very beginning. This study was undertaken in order to explore the sustainable development needs of the public and governors, to provide greater understanding of the discrepancies within both parties’ needs and to propose a mechanism to define important sustainable development needs in Sepang, Selangor,Malaysia. A qualitative investigation was conducted through the use of, in-depth interviews and group discussions were held with the public and the governors to represent their personal and that of the community views they represented. Both parties exhibited five common values, namely identity, safety, freedom, environment and development. Both parties also highlighted six fundamental needs according to the Max-Neef list, i.e. subsistence, protection, participation, creation, identity and freedom. Only the public participants highlighted the need of affection. Despite similarities in terms of needs, the findings revealed discrepancies in values and perspectives. This study implies that it is important for the governors to comprehend and acknowledge local public values because these needs conform to values and normativity. This study suggests governors should evaluate the relevancy of development plans towards present being and tailor the needs of the development to local traditions, local nature and existing structures. In conclusion, the governors should decide on needs that resemble the aspirations of the local people within the existing systems they are living in and supported by.
Sustainable development, needs, values, governor, public
The purpose of this study is to investigate pre-service science teachers’ mental images of science teaching. This study also aimed to ascertain if there is any significant difference in pre-service science teachers’ mental images of science teaching based on gender and levels of schooling. This study was both quantitative and qualitative in its design. In this study, the ‘Draw-A-Science-Teacher-Test-Checklist’ (DASTT-C) was used as the primary data collection instrument. Pre-service science teachers were instructed to draw pictures of themselves as science teachers at work and write a brief explanation describing their drawings. They were also asked to specifically answer two questions namely, “What is the teacher doing?” and “What are the students doing?” regarding their drawings. This study revealed that pre-service science teachers had three different teaching styles which were categorized as, i) ‘neither student-centred nor teacher-centred (no decision)’, ii) ‘teacher-centred’ and iii), ‘student-centred’. Independent sample t-test results showed that there was no significant difference in pre-service science teachers’ mental images of science teaching based on gender. However, there was a significant difference in pre-service science teachers’ mental images of science teaching based on levels of schooling
Pre-Service science teachers, mental images of science teaching, DASTT-C
This study was designed to identify the relationship between number of best friends and the feelings of loneliness and social dissatisfaction among the children in preschool. Thirty-six children of a private preschool were interviewed based on structured interview using interview schedule to gather information regarding their self reported feelings on loneliness and social dissatisfaction at their preschool. In-depth interviews was also conducted to elicit information from the children and the teachers regarding the children’s best friends, socialization at school and the feelings of loneliness. Findings suggest that a considerable number of children experience feelings of loneliness and social dissatisfaction at preschool. However, the study did not find any significant relationship between children’s number of best friends and the self reported feelings of loneliness and social dissatisfaction.
Friendship, loneliness, preschool, social dissatisfaction
Gardens are natural and cultural artifacts presenting both natural and man-made beauty through their natural images. The collection of these representative images or iconography forms the particular identity of a garden. Hence, different gardens present a variety of iconographies, which could affect people preferences for them. For the purpose of this study, four well-established gardens in the world were selected as case studiesand their images were used to represent their iconographies. A photo-questionnaire survey was employed to elicit preferences for garden iconographies and to determine factors influencing their preferences. Factor analysis was used to reveal preference dimensions and stimuli in each category or groups of garden scenes based on preference ratings. Dimensions were qualitatively analyzed and were discussed in terms of their contents and spatial organizations. The study found that garden elements, axes, direction, focal points, and their particular arrangements influence preferences of garden iconographies. The findings from this study will help to inform Landscape Architects the choice of iconographies in the development of new garden identities.
The study investigated linguistic politeness in ten viva voce sessions occurring in two universities in Iran. The model of politeness which was proposed by Brown and Levinson (1987) was drawn upon in the study to analyze academic talk in the review context of viva sessions. Particularly, the study focused on negative politeness strategies, which are used to attend the ‘negative face’ of the speaker and the hearer, due to the formality of the context. Of the negative politeness strategies which were used, ‘give deference’, ‘hedging’ and ‘impersonalization’ were found to be the most frequent strategies. Type of genre and the institutionality of discourse had a robust impact on almost every instance of talk, including politeness strategy choice. While raising our awareness of academic discourse in Persian, the results of the study could help foster interpersonal communication between the peers and academic members to enjoy a more pleasant social world.
Linguistic politeness, viva voce, Persian language, negative politeness, review genre, academic discourse
The main objective of the study was to determine the relationship between parenting behaviour of mothers and social emotional adjustments of adolescents in intact and non-intact Malay families. Sample comprised 213 mothers (n = 166 from intact families; 47 from non-intact families), with at least one adolescent child between the ages of 13 and 17 years, and are residing in Kuala Lumpur. The respondents were identified via a name list of the adolescents’ and e-survey. Using a self-administered questionnaire, the respondents provided information on their background characteristics, self-esteem, family functioning, parenting behaviour, and adolescents’ social emotional adjustments. Results revealed that mothers parenting quality and adolescents’ social emotional adjustments in the overall sample were generally moderate. Better parenting behaviour was shown to be positively related to adolescents’ strengths in non-intact family, and negatively related to adolescent’s difficulties in both family types. Additional analysis, however, indicated that family functioning rather than parenting behaviour is a better predictor of adolescents’ social emotional adjustments. Findings imply that parents and families in any structure are important contributors of adolescents’ social emotional adjustments.
In the era of globalization, the educational needs are changing world wide. With special reference to developing countries, objectives and aim of education are more toward self-sustenance, happy and healthy living in safe and pollution-free environment. At the same time, it is without a doubt that materialism and technological advancements at some instances cause youth to be competitive among themselves which inevitably causes stress among school students. This is due to education system, curriculum load and competition for achieving excellence. With this view in mind, the National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT), New Delhi, an apex body for school education in the country, has suggested revolutionary changes in education as suggested in the it’s the National Curriculum Framework (2005). Amongst them, one of the important changes suggested is the integration of work with academic subjects. Work-based education as pedagogical medium in school education is based on Gandhian philosophy. Designating Work Centered Education (WCE) to this concept, it is considered that integration of work in school curriculum, replace rote learning, develop generic competencies and develop values, respect for manual work and workers besides physical development of children. This paper deals with the concept of Work Centered Education (WCE), its operationalisation and its advantages in making school education children centered.
Pedagogical tool, work centered education, school education
Despite its apparent precision in meaning, realism as a once-held literary school of thought provokes controversies regarding its basic definition and the works attributed to it. This is particularly the case with the postmodern use of the term, most specifically in relation to fiction, with realism generally asserted as the traditional language of the genre. This paper is an attempt to discuss the implication and tenets of realism, its progress and changes, in selected works of post-war British fiction. Accordingly, Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory, Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, and Ian McEwan’s Atonement are dealt with to trace realism within their respective modes of new realism, fantastic-grotesque and postmodern metafiction. Having survived the early twentieth century allure of modernism, realism has gradually evolved into a new identity capable of emerging in and mingling with new modes prevalent in postmodern fiction. Owing to the spirit of the time immediately following the Second World War and the particularities of different authors, the postmodern realism has gone beyond a mere portrayal of the objective world and is in demand of a refreshed understanding of the new outlooks contemporary realism has the potentiality to offer.
Realism, post-war British fiction, metafiction, modernism, post-modernism, Graham Greene, Mervyn Peake, Ian McEwan
Current literatures show that study on work ethics is gaining popularity among researchers for a very obvious reason, namely the threat of moral hazards. Cases of corporate scandals and collapses provide evidence that moral misconducts among employees have contributed to the financial disaster of many companies. It is believed that there is a possible relationship between work ethics and organizational commitment, thus performance. This study would therefore attempt to investigate the Islamic Work Ethics (IWE) practices among the employees of banking institutions in Malaysia with specific focus given to the possible relationship between IWE variables and organizational commitment (OC). The findings of this study indicate that all IWE variables are positively and significantly related to organizational commitment.
Accountability, effort, honesty, Islamic work ethics, shari’ah, teamwork
Urban design plays an important role in a city’s daily life. Therefore, accessibility to thermal comfort spaces for citizens engaged in urban outdoor activities could be one of the main goals of urban designers. Urban forms and canyons have important roles in microclimate and thermal comfort situation in outdoor spaces. The hot humid climate of Bandar Abbas, especially in long summers, causes thermal stress for urban activities. In this study, two different urban fabrics were investigated using thermal comfort and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) methods. Eight provisional measuring points in the selected prevailing canyons were used to obtain the data. The results correlated with the effects of the urban canyon orientation to variation of the microclimate factors, and consequently, the thermal comfort situation in the hottest period of the year. In addition, the results also indicated that the traditional urban fabric is more thermally comfortable than the new residential urban fabric. According to field measurements, thermal comfort calculation and wind simulations, the canyons with the north-south direction present a better orientation for air circulation benefiting from the sea breezes as compared to the other canyon orientations. Hence, this study provides insights for urban designers and policy makers residing in the hot and humid climate in the Middle East.
The formation of proverbs and phrases into poetic forms with synchronised sentence structures and rhyming expressions through authentic dictions that are engaging and meaningful are the treasures of one’s trait and nation. For some race or ethnic groups it is through these classical works of wisdom that a race or an ethnic group could prevail and remain recognised transcends time and age . A list of 26 basic components of social character traits of the Malays was traced through maxims and literary work s of wisdom. The list of social character traits will just remain a list of compilation to be read and forgotten, just like many others written and compiled by other Malay literary scholars. There is a need to make this list scientifically proven. This paper discusses on how these components were transformed into a measuring instrument through a grounded theory research method. The end product was not only a web-based diagnostic instrument to measure the conformity and deviation of an ethnic group but also a formation of a new theory that could be applied to all other ethnics and related groups in the world today that are interested in knowing and preserving their social character traits.
Ethnic, social character trait, literary work, maxims, measuring instrument, grounded theory, research method, theory, heritage, preservation, culture
This article, through considering the main images of Christian feminism: sin, salvation and Eve, analyses Thomas Hardy’s portrayal of his female protagonist, Tess, in Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891). It is significant that through the portrayal of Tess, Hardy conveys the same images of females as the Evangelicals do. The way Hardy portrays Tess does not pave way for any changes in the unfortunate position of the female protagonist in Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Through reading this article, a reader will discover more about the prevailing notions during that time and also about the way Hardy portrays Tess as a typical woman in the Victorian society, who is directly under the control of the existing notions in that patriarchal society. The notions of ‘angel in the house’ or the ‘relative creature’ make Tess a direct example of a typical woman in Victorian society, whose destiny and life are under the direct control of the male characters in her life. As these concepts of womanhood stress Tess’s purity and selflessness, her sins become very significant through the story, and the way she is compared to Eve as a temptress emphasises her sinfulness. She is also portrayed as the character that needs salvation more than any other characters in the story, but ironically there is no salvation and way up for her and she sinks to her tragic death. Considering the main tenets of Christian feminism in Tess of the D’Urbervilles suggests that Hardy’s portrayal of Tess is not different from the Evangelical notions of his time and does not champion women’s disadvantaged status.
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Christian feminism
Adolescence education in secondary stage has been received an increased attention and scholarly debates since students experience a high volume of biological and mental siftment at this stage. Teachers are the most important guides to cope them with their changes; thus, a positive attitude of teacher is an essential. With an elicit cross examining process in connection to teachers’ gender, localization, faculty and qualification was considered for practice on the institutionalisation of Adolescence Education in secondary schools at Orissa, India. A total number of 300 secondary school teachers were chosen as subjects of the study by using stratified random sampling procedure. The results of the study determined that male teachers have positive attitude towards Adolescence Education as compared to their science counterparts, whereas male teachers have favourable attitude toward the subject and urban teachers demonstrate their superiority over their rural teachers in their attitude.
Adolescence Education, secondary school teachers, attitude
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a functional means of communication intervention designed for individuals with a variety of communicative challenges. The purpose of this study was to interview a mother who implemented PECS for her 3;03 year old child with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. The interview aimed to investigate a mother’s perception about the efficacy of PECS and issues related to PECS intervention. The results of the interview showed that PECS was effective in enhancing communication skills and reducing problematic behaviours. PECS also had a slight impact on speech production of the child. The issues related to PECS intervention were discussed.
Communication, intervention, language disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, Picture Exchange Communication System.
The present study investigates the possibility of using a free-writing task as EFL pre-reading activity. It studies how the free-writing task to raise EFL readers’ schematic knowledge compares with a more traditional pre-reading activity, i.e., pre-teaching of vocabulary. The participants, who were seventy-two Iranian upper intermediate EFL students majoring in English, were assigned into three homogenous groups that were randomly labelled as ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’. Two groups, namely, A and C, were randomly designated for free-writing treatment. These participants received specific instructions and practice on free-writing for 15 minutes. All the participants were then given a reading comprehension task, with a reading passage and subsequent comprehension questions. Group A was given 5 minutes to free-write about the topic of the passage before doing the test. Group B was treated with pre-teaching a list of vocabulary to be seen in the passage. Group C was treated with a combination of the free-writing activity and pre-teaching the list of vocabulary. The mean scores obtained by the three groups were submitted to data analysis using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) as the statistical test to determine if there was a statistically significant difference between the mean score of the three groups. Results of the data analysis showed the importance of free-writing as a pre-reading task to activate the readers’ background knowledge (schema).
The study of lexical and grammatical patterns in the language that a learner must assimilate is important for pedagogical considerations. Therefore, the linguistic approach in ESP classrooms today is gaining its momentum. Additionally, the adoption of corpus-based language investigation has made the attempts even more accessible; many aspects of the specialised language can be described empirically and systematically. It has been discovered that word and structure frequencies of a specialised corpus are greatly different from a large corpus. They provide insights into the features of the specialised language. Hence, this paper demonstrates the different, yet useful information about a specialised language that can be discerned from the analysis of three types of wordlist; namely, frequency wordlist, keyword list and key-keyword list. The findings inform the features of the specialised language that need to be highlighted in an ESP classroom.
Corpus, frequency wordlist, key-keyword list, keyword list, specialised language
This study tested the hypothesis postulating that Malaysian undergraduate students with low proficiency would make the most rapid progress in English if all guided learning time (tutorials and lectures) in the first semester was used entirely for speaking tasks. The study took the form of a Non-Equivalent Groups design with 59 Malaysian undergraduate students in their first semester, the majority of whom had scored only Band 1 or Band 2 in the MUET exam. The students were allocated alphabetically to an experimental group of 30 students, who were taught using all of the contact hours for speaking tasks and a control group of 29 students who were taught using “as normal” method – including grammar explanation and examples; reading; writing and listening tasks. All students took a pre-test at the start of the semester and a post-test at the end of the semester, which assessed their abilities in speaking, writing, reading and listening. Since, scores did not conform to a normal distribution so the Wilcoxon Sigma rank test was used to assess the difference in the scores between the pre-test and post-test, while the ManWhitney test was used to compare the changes in the scores between the experimental and control groups. The analysis showed no significant difference between the control group and the experimental group, in terms of the changes in the scores between pre-test and post-test.
This qualitative research primarily explored the common patterns of three learner characteristics (i.e., motivation, learning styles, and learning strategies) shown by more proficient Taiwanese EFL learners based on their language learning experiences. The participants of this study were ten non-English-major sophomores who attended the same English Honours programme at a private university in the northern part of Taiwan. Each of these more proficient language learners was given an in-depth interview to gain information required to answer the research questions of this study. The obtained results showed that: (1) the participants were both integratively- and instrumentally-motivated learners; (2) the major learning style preferences of the participants tended to be more visual and auditory; and (3) the main learning strategies the participants frequently used when learning English included meta-cognitive strategies, memory strategy, cognitive strategies, and social strategies. Through these findings, EFL or any other language instructors could better understand what makes a proficient language learner, followed by developing appropriate teaching approaches and materials to assist their students to attain a good level of language proficiency.
Despite chronic and widespread concerns about professional abilities of EFL teachers and the success of teacher education programmes, surprisingly little attention is paid to how these abilities are being evaluated and whether trainers and trainees agree upon shared evaluation criteria. Elsewhere, it is often observed that EFL teachers at different levels of elementary, high school and university are being evaluated in entirely different ways, ranging from a strict interventionist evaluation often in case of elementary school teachers to an empowering autonomy in favour of university instructors. This work, therefore, intended to make a descriptive study of the current state of affairs in how evaluation takes places in EFL teacher education programmes in Iran and to collect and categorize pre-service trainees’ feedback to evaluation, in an attempt to shed light on some major mismatch areas between EFL trainers and trainees. Results indicated that many trainees were evaluated not by how they trained to be effective teachers, but by how they performed during training sessions as students. The required data were obtained from a variety of qualitative resources, including interviews and questionnaires, in a teacher education programme held at Islamic Azad University, Karaj Branch-Iran in 2011.
The paper demonstrates how the notion of ‘performance as kinesis’ or ‘activist performance’ (Navera 2007) can be applied to the teaching of argumentative writing. In order to achieve this, the author first revisits his earlier work based on Dwight Conquergood’s (1991, 1992, 1995, 2002) notion of ‘performance as kinesis’ and how such notion may be used to conceptualize facilitation in the teaching and learning context. In this earlier piece, the author argues that when facilitation is seen as performance as kinesis, the teaching-learning situation becomes a site of negotiation, students become responsible co-creators of content and process in the teaching and learning context, and classroom participants exercise self-reflexivity. Following this brief discussion is a sample lesson that aims to demonstrate how the approach is realized in an argumentative writing class. This sample lesson is then subjected to two levels of analysis. The first looks into the significance of the specific activity-based lesson to the teaching of argument while the second points out how the overall framework of organizing the writing lesson enacts the notion of performance as kinesis. In both levels, teachers and students engage in a dialectics of action and reflection (Freire 1972, 1997) that can potentially bring about a change in their ways of thinking and acting. I conclude that the teaching of argumentation becomes transformative when the notion of performance as kinesis is materialized in the teaching-learning context. This is significant to 21st century pedagogy as it encourages the development of critical citizenship crucial to a fast-changing world.
Argumentative writing, performance as kinesis, transformative performance
Malaysia is a multi-cultural country and this is reflected in the diversity in the classroom population that requires teachers to constantly cater to these differing students’ needs. It is believed that cooperative leaning is able to fulfil the requirements of current language learning classrooms; for it is able to address students’ diversity and promote achievement. However, recent research has shown that there is a disjuncture between principles of contemporary cooperative leaning and Asian cultures. Therefore in this study, the researchers examined the effects of the type of cooperative learning grouping (heterogeneous and friendship) on learners’ reading comprehension performance by employing a quasi-experimental design. This study involved 115 sixth semester local polytechnic students and data were collected using a reading comprehension performance test. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, ANOVA and t-test. The findings from the ANOVA and t-test showed significant main effects of friendship grouping in reading comprehension performance. Based on the research findings, friendship grouping in cooperative learning could be considered as a possible approach in encouraging tertiary students to be actively involved in their second language reading classroom.
Cooperative learning, ESL reading, reading comprehension, friendship grouping, type of cooperative learning grouping