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Canadian and Cameroonian English-Speaking University Students’ Compliment Strategies

There are numerous studies on the realization patterns and functions of compliments in English (Holmes 1986, Manes & Wolfson 1981), Chinese (Ye, 1995; Yu, 2005), German (Golato, 2005) French (Kerbrat-Oreechioni, 1998; Traverso, 1996; Mulo Farenkia, 2009), and many other languages. To the best of my knowledge, there is no study on compliments in Canadian English. Also, there is a growing body of research on the performance of speech acts in different regional varieties of the same languages and such studies are undertaken within the framework of variational pragmatics (Schneider & Barron, 2008). With regard to the types of speech acts examined, much research has focused on requests, apologies, thanks, invitations, etc. in pluricentric languages such as English, German, Spanish, French etc.1 As far as the speech act of complimenting is concerned, the very few studies available dwell on compliment strategies in Cameroon French and Canadian French (Mulo Farenkia 2012a, 2012b, 2012c). The recent years have witnessed a rapid growth in the number of studies in variational pragmatics2 dealing with the realization of speech acts such as offers (Barron, 2005), responses to thanks (Schneider, 2005), requests (Barron, 2008), expressions of gratitude (Jautz, 2008), etc. in two or more varieties of English. Nevertheless, a great deal of work still remains to be done on speech act performance in Canadian English and Cameroon English. Also, compliments have been widely investigated in several regional varieties of English. However, there seems to be very little or no information on how English-speaking Canadians and Cameroonians express admiration. The present study attempts to provide such an analysis, by comparing the ways English-speaking Cameroonian and Canadian University students express admiration in six different situations.

According to Holmes (1986:485) a compliment is “a speech act which explicitly or implicitly attributes credit to someone other than the speaker, usually the person addressed, for some ‘good’ (possession, characteristic, skill etc.) which is positively valued by the speaker and the hearer”. In most studies, compliments are considered as expressive speech acts with multiple functions. According to Kerbrat-Orecchioni (2005) compliments are “verbal gifts”, offered to enhance the face of the recipient, to negotiate or affirm solidarity between speaker and hearer (Herbert, 1989, Holmes, 1988, etc.) and to encourage desired behavior in specific situations. Compliments also serve as intensification or indirect forms of speech acts such as apologizing, thanking, advising, asking for information, etc. or mitigating devices of face-threatening acts like criticism, reprimanding, etc. (Jaworski, 1995: 74). While compliments serve as conversation openers as well (Traverso, 1996: 107), they are also employed to mitigate face-threatening acts in written discourse (Gea Valor, 2000). Although compliments can generally be seen as positive politeness devices, they may more specifically be considered as examples of some of the positive politeness strategies developed by Brown and Levinson (1987: 102 – 128). As a matter of fact compliments function as “prime examples of the first positive politeness strategy, that is, ‘Notice, attend to H (his interests, wants, needs, goods’ [...] since complimenters indicate that they have noticed and attend to the recipients’ needs and interests and attempt to make the addressee feel good” (Sifianou, 2001: 396). Compliments could also be interpreted as “the output of [the] second positive politeness strategy, that is, ‘Exaggerate (interest, approval, sympathy with H)’” (ibid.) and this aspect is usually reflected in the use of intensifiers such as adverbs and interjections in compliment utterances. A compliment can also function as an example of strategy 7, that is, “Presuppose / raise / assert common ground”, in the sense that the compliment indicates a kind of commonality with regard to taste, values, etc. Compliments may also function as examples of the last positive politeness strategy, that is, “Give gifts to H”, which consists in offering goods, sympathy, understanding, cooperation, etc. In other words by giving a compliment, the speaker indicates that s/he knows “the addressee’s ‘human relation wants’ to be liked and admired and tries to satisfy them” (ibid.). In brief, “irrespective of the particular strategy they are outputs of, compliments are clearly positive politeness devices” (ibid.: 398). Compliments also have negative politeness functions. This is the case when they are employed to mitigate face-threatening acts such as requests, criticism, etc.

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(Author: Bernard Mulo Farenkia

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Initiation, Hazing or Orientation? A case study at a South African University

“Initiation” is derived from the Latin word initium – an “entrance” or “beginning”. Typically it involves a rite of passage or ceremony marking acceptance into a group (gang, team, age cohort)of some kind. Metaphorically it can involve “a transformation, in which the initiate is ‘reborn’ and starts afresh in a new role. This definition applies to many harmless and socially accepted induction ceremonies such as baptism, confirmation or university graduation, each of which has clearly defined objectives, and serves a useful purpose of introducing, acclimatising and ‘starting’ an individual in a new and foreign (possibly uncomfortable) environment.

However, increasingly in the modern world, and in tertiary institutions, the word ‘initiation’ has come to refer to activities that are potentially humiliating or degrading, often involving some coersion, and the risk of emotional or physical harm. In America, the term “hazing” is the common equivalent. While mild initiation may involve nothing more than the pranks or antics of young students, there are forms of initiation imposed by the group on a newcomer that lead to harassment, abuse and humiliation. When peer pressure is exerted by a group on other individuals in order that they ‘voluntarily’ conform to norms, under the threat of ostracization or other negative consequences, one moves into a very different and negative interpretation of the word ‘initiation’, and it is this concept that is explored further in this paper.

Hoover and Pollard’s (1999) National Survey in the United States of some 60,000 student athletes from 2,400 institutions revealed that a quarter of them experienced some form of hazing in order to join a team. Of these, one in five were forced to do something or humiliated in some way, half of these acts involved alcohol and 2/3 involved embarrassing apparel, sleep deprivation, or unhygienic behaviour.

In the most comprehensive survey to date of 53 institutions in the United States involving over 11,000 undergraduates, Allen and Madden defined hazing as “any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them regardless of a person’s willingness to participate” (2008:2) These behaviours are embarrassing, dangerous, and potentially illegal, and typically include alcohol consumption; public humiliation; isolation; sleep-deprivation (including being woken very late or early); public performances or skits of a potentially embarrassing nature; being made to sing or chant with a group in a public situation; wearing clothing that is potentially embarrassing; acting as a servant to others; associating only with specific people, being tied up or confined, being dropped off at an unfamiliar location, drinking large amounts (of water or alcohol), and performing or miming of sexual acts (op. cit. 2008:9).

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(Author: Vivian de Klerk

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Are Common Beliefs Present among Greek Academics during the Implementation of a Controversial University Policy?

This paper investigates the existence (or not) of a common academic culture, values and beliefs among Greek academics. This is accomplished by drawing elements from a policy issue which has been affecting the Greek university for over a decade. An institutionalized evaluation system of the Greek university has always been a policy issue that created political tension. Even before the beginning of the Bologna process unsuccessful attempts to legislate for and implement an evaluation system in the Greek university had been made (Law 2083/1992).

After the opening of the Bologna process there were also attempts to establish a quality assurance and evaluation system in the Greek University (MoE draft Law 2003, Law3374/2005). Through confrontations, a few university department evaluations began to be carried out from 2008 onwards. Through this confrontation, two large coalition groups emerged among academics, one in favour of and the other against the institutionalized evaluation program as provided for in the law of 2005 (see Kavasakalis, 2011). The existence or absence of a system of core beliefs and values among Greek academics that were activated in the opposing, conflicting groups of networks for this policy program is one of them, and it is dealt with in the present paper.

The university is one of the oldest institutions in European history. As Berchem says: ‘universities represent the memory of a society, including not only knowledge, but also values and experience. The university is among the longest-living formal institutions in the world – with the Catholic Church, being one of the very few others that have an even longer tradition’ (Berchem, 2006, p. 395).

It is therefore necessary to examine the basic turning points in the history of European universities in order to proceed with this study’s analysis of the existence (or not) of common values in the Greek university today.

Universities appeared during the twelfth century as corporations, associations of persons performing common tasks and defending their interests. By the middle of the thirteenth century they had received, through the intervention of popes, a canonic content by which a university was an institution that ‘[is] acknowledged or founded by a pope, whose members enjoy all the privileges granted to them by the pope, whose degrees are acknowledged throughout the Christian world on the pope’s credence’ (de Ridder-Symoens, 2006, p. 370). At the pre-Nation/State stage universities’ core missions were teaching and research. The medieval universities, as far as their mission and basic organization were concerned, bore many similarities to the present institutions since they were legal corporations with the power to grant degrees, and also had a similar structure, being constituted of a curriculum, examinations, commencement, and faculties (Haskins, 1927, p. 369).

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(Author: Aggelos Kavasakalis

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Using University-Community Partnerships to Stem Environmental Inequities and Injustice

Town-gown relationships, also known as collaborations between the university and the community, have continued to receive acknowledgement of its ability to enhance the benefits to the community, especially between white universities and African American communities (Bombyk, Ohren, & Shue, 2003; Rowson, Broome, & Jones, 2010). Universities interact with the community to improve the relationship by realizing that the community knows what its problems are but lack resources to properly address those needs The university, in turn, can match the resources to fit the communities’ needs along with guiding the community in the process of being empowered with the knowledge and proper tools to address future needs (Young, 1995; Onyx, 2008).

To further solidify the need for universities to become involved in community engagement, Isaac indicates (2003, pp. 8), “There is a strong need for citizen involvement concerning priorities, problems, and political solutions because the community knows what the problems are; however, the citizens may not know the resources available to solve them.” The Council for International Development (2003) defined advocacy planning theory as a “People-centered advocacy that involves the affected communities themselves in advocating for change as participants in the process, not as objects of the process” (Isaac, 2003, pp. 8).

The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to discuss the roots of the movement by reviewing the following: (1) theoretical perspective of community engagement, (2) the environmental justice movement and (3) the challenges of the environmental justice movement that can be addressed through effective collaborations between universities and the communities they serve.

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(Author: Ralph Gallo, Consuela Amos

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Psychological Counseling needs and Academic achievement of students at the Secondary level

The need for psychological counselling as a practice for promoting adolescent health has been documented worldwide. However, the specific ways by which psychological counselling can be practiced, the optimal settings where psychological counselling can work in the education context, and how successful such programmes are in ensuring gender equity and equality remain largely not discussed in the Asia-Pacific region. Establishing psychological counselling programmes in schools and incorporating gender responsiveness in the context of psychological counselling programmes in secondary education are vital to the achievement of larger education objectives.

The term ‘school counselling’ broadly refers to the process of meeting the needs of students in several areas of development, such as academics, career, and personal. Experts agree that professional school counselling programmes should be comprehensive in scope, preventative in design and developmental in nature. The term ‘guidance’ refers to a more specific trajectory within the field of counselling, a pathway to help students choose a vocational or career path. Guidance is the process of helping people make important choices that affect their lives, such as choosing a preferred life-style. One distinction between guidance and counselling is that while guidance focuses on helping individuals choose what they value most, counselling focuses on helping them make changes.

Early adolescence is a turbulent period. To survive this period, adolescents need guidance and honest assistance. At this stage of life, an adolescent is besieged with multifarious challenges and if these challenges are not resolved, he/ she may become a social misfit. These challenges may adversely affect the academic achievement of adolescents. Education is one of the factors of rating an advance nation and hence the common saying that education is the bedrock of any society. Ironically, school no longer means much to most adolescents as they are so much engrossed with social life. A society whose adolescents are not academically oriented may be classified as under developed.

Consequently, adolescents need to be re-integrated academically into their classes and counselling programmes serve as a bridge towards improving academic achievement which in turn will aid in the long run toward national development. There is therefore a need to investigate the relationship between social life adjustment of the adolescent and academic achievement in secondary schools of Chennai city and in this context, the following research questions were raised.

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(Author: Sahaya Saila, T., Chamundeswari, S.

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Context Sensitivity and Language Specificity of Arabic Verb-Preposition Structure: The Case of English Learners of Arabic

Several studies have dealt with the Arabic verbal system and Arabic prepositional phrases (although separately). Nevertheless, no study, to date, has been devoted to tackling the question of the context sensitivity and language-specificity of Arabic verb-preposition structure per se. The lack of such studies was the principle motivation for undertaking this study. Additionally, being a teacher of Arabic language and literature for many years in different universities (The University of Sydney, The Australian National University and The University of Western Sydney), I noticed the enormous struggle of English learners of Arabic when tackling the phenomenon of verb-preposition structure. Due to the lack of awareness of the context sensitivity and language-specificity of such structures, students quite often confuse the usage of Arabic prepositions with that of English. Hence, the finding and recommendations of this study will be of great benefit and interest to English learners of Arabic since it will raise their awareness of the issues at hand, and, in turn, help them avoid getting the wrong message of Arabic texts owing to misinterpreting the Arabic prepositions which collocate/colligate with verbs.

Prepositions in English are particles which express “a relation between two entities, one being that represented by a prepositional complement, the other by another part of the sentence. The prepositional complement is characteristically a noun phrase, a nominal wh- clause, or a nominal ing clause” (Quirk et al. 1985, p. 657). English prepositions are of five types, they are: 1) time, as in: during the exam; 2) place, as in: against the wall; 3) manner, as in: with ease; 4) agency, as in: by the mechanic; and 5) recipience, as in: to a friend (Collins, 1998, p. 32). It is worth noting that a number of English prepositions may play the role of adverbs in some contexts especially when combining with verbs to form what is known as English phrasal verbs (Bolinger, 1971; Cowie and Mackin, 1993 and Aldahesh, 2009a). Bolinger (1971) labels such particles of dual functions as ‘Adpreps’, which “form the most typical phrasal verbs [... and] function now as adverbs, now as prepositions” (p. 23). The English prepositions used to form phrasal verbs are listed by Cowie and Mackin (1993) as follows:

Aboard, about, above, across, after, against, ahead of, along, alongside, among, around, as, as far as, astride, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, down, for, from, in, in front of, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, onto, on top of, out of, outside, over, past, round, through, to, toward(s), under, underneath, up, upon, with, within, without (p. vii).

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(Author: Ali Yunis Aldahesh

Published by Macrothink Institute)

A Lesson Study as a Development Model of Professional Teachers

An effort of improving educators’ qualification takes such factors as teachers’ intention, students, methods, strategy, media, facilities, library, laboratory, surrounding and management, and development models. The improvement in teacher’s learning quality with collaborative model at every education level will take an impact on learning quality. So, it is expected that it will improve students’ academic achievement and ultimately result in the improvement in the Indonesian education quality where this quality is lower than other countries’ one.

According to Subadi (2009: 19), of the 146,052 Primary Schools in Indonesia, there are only 8 schools to be accepted as a world level in the Primary Years Program (PYP). Of the 20,918 Junior High Schools and 8,036 Senior High Schools, there are only 8 and 7 schools to be accepted as a world level in the Middle Years Program (MYP) and the Diploma Program (DP), respectively. In reference to the data of the 2002-2003 teachers qualification, the reasonable teachers for the students of Primary Schools, Junior High Schools, Senior High Schools, and Vocational Schools amounted to 21,07% (state teachers) and 28,94% (private teachers), 54,12% (state teachers) and 60,09% (private teachers), 65,29% (state teachers) and 64,73% (private teachers), and 55,49% (state teachers) and 58,26% (private teachers), respectively.

The low educational quality indicates that there are problems in Indonesian educational system, including educational paradigm as a basis of whole educational system, development model of teachers and learning strategy, and practical aspects of education such as cost, facilities, and teachers’ welfare. In response to the low quality, the government passes the Act of the Republic of Indonesia No. 14/2005 about Teachers and Lecturers. The Act stipulates an implementation of educational system and development of teachers and lecturers in order to be professional. A teacher or lecturer to be professional must meet academic qualifications, have an educational certificate, and be competent; and consequently he or she will get a high reward.

Apart from the Act, as a development model of teachers the lesson study in Japan can also be useful as a model in Indonesia. In this study, the lesson study is a development model of teachers as a process of teachers training in circle and continuity beginning with teachers in collaboration with other teachers for plan, action, and reflection.

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(Author: Tjipto Subadi, Rita Pramujiyanti Khotimah, Sri Sutarni

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Psychological Counselling needs and Academic achievement of students at the Secondary level

The need for psychological counselling as a practice for promoting adolescent health has been documented worldwide. However, the specific ways by which psychological counselling can be practiced, the optimal settings where psychological counselling can work in the education context, and how successful such programmes are in ensuring gender equity and equality remain largely not discussed in the Asia-Pacific region.

Establishing psychological counselling programmes in schools and incorporating gender responsiveness in the context of psychological counselling programmes in secondary education are vital to the achievement of larger education objectives. The term ‘school counselling’ broadly refers to the process of meeting the needs of students in several areas of development, such as academics, career, and personal. Experts agree that professional school counselling programmes should be comprehensive in scope, preventative in design and developmental in nature.

The term ‘guidance’ refers to a more specific trajectory within the field of counselling, a pathway to help students choose a vocational or career path. Guidance is the process of helping people make important choices that affect their lives, such as choosing a preferred life-style. One distinction between guidance and counselling is that while guidance focuses on helping individuals choose what they value most, counselling focuses on helping them make changes.

Early adolescence is a turbulent period. To survive this period, adolescents need guidance and honest assistance. At this stage of life, an adolescent is besieged with multifarious challenges and if these challenges are not resolved, he/ she may become a social misfit. These challenges may adversely affect the academic achievement of adolescents. Education is one of the factors of rating an advance nation and hence the common saying that education is the bedrock of any society.

Ironically, school no longer means much to most adolescents as they are so much engrossed with social life. A society whose adolescents are not academically oriented may be classified as under developed. Consequently, adolescents need to be re-integrated academically into their classes and counselling programmes serve as a bridge towards improving academic achievement which in turn will aid in the long run toward national development. There is therefore a need to investigate the relationship between social life adjustment of the adolescent and academic achievement in secondary schools of Chennai city and in this context, the following research questions were raised.

For full text: click here

(Author: Sahaya Saila, T., Chamundeswari, S.

Published by Macrothink Institute)

A Political Economy of the African School as a Learning Organization

Schools are a significant part of industrial and post-industrial human societies, they reflect their environments, strengthen contemporary adaptation processes and needs, and help secure the future. However as knowledge and information technology advance and change the nature of business, finance,, politics etc, the question arises as to whether or not schools have been insulated from the types of changes that other institutions have recently undergone or experienced, how much of a learning organization the school is and how much of class bias is in this. In this work, the focus is on the Nigerian school as a learning organization and the dialectics of the social relations of production inherent in this. The methodology is the application of the political economy approach to the school and the social relations there.

Enterprise is the new metaphor for schooling in post-industrial societies. Schools must compete, must search and research and be chartered. Unlike in the colonial past when schools were managerially inactive and always dependent on government’s directives and supervision, twenty-first century schools are internally, self-driven and often profit oriented. The impact of enterprise and the profit bias is found in the situation whereby in several African states schools are often of two types: public and privately owned schools. Public schools still live in the past, dependent on the government and lacking basic equipment and facilities, while private schools are entrepreneurially driven, with better basic facilities and equipment and charging fees determined by their proprietors (and management).

The consequence is that in several African states, the (good) private school is priced out of the reach of the lower class. Whereas in Africa schools of today are not generally different from those of the immediate post-independence era, in the west, the international trend towards devolution of many of the decisions and responsibilities for managing schools to the school itself-with the end-point being self-managing or self governing public schools has been perhaps the most powerful influence changing the understanding of the management of education over the past two decades. |’Instances can be seen in Canada, where the Edmonton school district pioneered many of the features we see today; in the United Kingdom, with grant-maintained (GM) and locally managed (LM) schools, in the United States, with the charter-school movement; and in New Zealand, which adapted the Canadian model as a means for developing a natural system of self-managing schools called schools of tomorrow’ (Townsend 1998: xx).

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(Author: AOK Noah

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Reference List Errors in Manuscripts Submitted to a Journal for Review for Publication

Onwuegbuzie, Combs, Slate, and Frels (2010) discussed the findings of Onwuegbuzie and Combs (2009), who identified the 60 most common American Psychological Association (APA) errors among 110 sets of authors who submitted manuscripts to Research in the Schools, a nationally refereed journal, over a 6-year period. Of the 60 APA errors that were identified, the most prevalent error was the incorrect use of numbers, which occurred in 57.3% of the manuscripts, which, as concluded by Onwuegbuzie et al. (2010), represents an extremely large effect size. However, it should be noted that Combs et al. examined APA errors committed in the body of the manuscript and did not examine APA errors pertaining to reference lists.

Over the last four decades, several researchers have investigated the accuracy of reference lists in published articles across numerous fields (e.g., business, economics, medicine, social work, psychology, library information science) by comparing each reference contained in the reference list to the original work (e.g., Adhikari, & Bhandari, 2011; Faunce & Job, 2001; Gatten, 2010; Kristof, 1997; O’Connor & Kristof, 2001; Spivey & Wilks, 2004; White, 1987). Most of these researchers have reported unacceptably high rates of errors, despite the fact that, presumably, these articles had undergone a copyediting process. Thus, it is likely that manuscripts submitted to journals that have not yet been professionally copyedited in general and manuscripts that end up being rejected in particular would have even higher error rates in the reference lists. However, to date, no researcher has examined the accuracy of reference lists of manuscripts submitted to journals. Moreover, as yet, no researcher has examined the extent to which reference lists in works—whether published or unpublished—conform to the style guides of the respective journals. This was the goal of the present study. Specifically, the purpose of the study was to determine the frequency and characteristics of APA errors committed in the reference lists of manuscripts initially submitted to a nationally refereed journal, and to explore relationships between reference list errors and selected manuscript variables (e.g., number of authors, editor decision).

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(Author: Anthony J Onwuegbuzie, Eunjin Hwang

Published by Macrothink Institute)