Monthly Archives: September 2010

Is Listening Comprehension Influenced by the Cultural Knowledge of the Learners? A Case Study of Iranian EFL pre-intermediate learners

Morteza Bakhtiarvand, Payame Noor University of Andimeshk (PNU), Iran
Somaye Adinevand, Education Department of Andimeshk, Iran

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v9/Bakhtiarvand.html

Abstract The present study investigated the effect of cultural familiarity in improving Iranian EFL (English as a foreign language) learners’ listening comprehension. To achieve this purpose, a listening comprehension test was administered to three hundred language learners; ultimately one hundred and twenty pre-intermediate language learners were selected and randomly assigned to four groups. The same pre-test was administered to the four groups before any treatment lesson. During the experiment, Group A had exposure to target culture texts in-and out-side the classroom. The participants in Group B had exposure to international target culture texts in-and out-side the classroom. The participants in Group C had exposure to source culture texts in-and out-side the classroom. The participants in Group D had only exposure to culture free texts in-and-out side the classroom. At the end of the experiment, four groups took a post-test which was the same as pre-test to see whether or not there were changes regarding their listening proficiency. The results of the posttest showed that the four groups performed differently on the posttest, which was indicative of the fact that greater familiarity to specific culturally-oriented language listening material promoted the Iranian EFL learners’ listening proficiency.

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Sexual and Reproductive Health of Peking University College Students: An Examination of Sexual and Reproductive Health Education, Beliefs, and Practices

Karen Hong

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v9/hong.html

Abstract: Understanding the education, beliefs, and practices of Peking University students could potentially help with designing pertinent and effective sexual and reproductive health (SRH) curricula, educating the public about sexual minorities, and removing barriers to accessing SRH services. After a review of The Chinese Journal of Human Sexuality, it was evident that college students’ sources of SRH knowledge, beliefs, and practices were not thoroughly examined within the last year in SRH research. The present study is the first to examine SRH educational resources and preferences of Peking University students, the benefits of Peking University courses on SRH, Peking University student perceptions about sexual minorities, and their barriers to accessing SRH services. A survey was given to 176 Peking University students on SRH, and Excel graphs were compiled to assess their responses. The survey suggested that there are better methods for disseminating information, weak SRH knowledge, little acceptance of sexual minorities, and few attempts to access SRH services. One of the most significant findings included the inaccurate perception of HIV transmission. Eighty-three percent of participants could not answer a particular question about HIV transmission correctly (Graph 10). Also, there was a largely negative perception of HIV-positive people. An overwhelming majority, 71 percent, of participants reported that if they discovered their friend was HIV-positive, it would have a slightly or extremely negative impact on their friendship (Graph 20). These results lend support to the idea that more SRH education is needed to create a more tolerant and informed population of Peking University students.

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Correlates of Protein Intake Among Community Dwelling Older Adults

Meredith E. Sargent and Kelly L. Evola, G. Kevin Randall*, Jeannette Davidson*, Bradley University

Full mauscript: http://www.kon.org/urc/v9/sargent.html

Abstract: Nutritional recommendations, BMI, and quality of life may be uniquely related in a population of older adults. The current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for dietary protein in older adults is 0.8 g/ kg of body weight per day, but controversy exists as to whether this amount is adequate. Research findings suggest that the protein turnover rate decreases by the age of 70, resulting in a greater need for protein by older adults. In addition, nutritional studies have suggested a lower mortality rate is associated with overweight BMI ranges in older adults. Last, a relationship between nutritional risk and quality of life has been found in community living elderly adults. To date no studies have been found investigating the relationship between protein intake and various physical and mental health correlates, such as quality of life among community dwelling older adults. Using data collected from a convenience sample of this population, who indicated protein intake of 0.8 -1.6 g/kg and BMIs of 25 and over, we investigated the relationship between protein intake, self-rated physical health, and life regard; analyses controlled for age, sex, and marital status.Results from a hierarchical regression analysis showed that a measure of life regard significantly and positively contributed to Protein Intake. This final model explained 49 percent of the variance.

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