Monthly Archives: December 2010

The Effect of Task Types on EFL Learners’ Listening Ability

Masoud Bahrami, Islamic Azad University, Iran

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

Abstract This study aimed at examining the influence of task-based activities (four specific types of tasks: matching, form-filling, labeling, and selecting) on listening ability in students of English as a foreign language and to identify if there was any correspondence between task type and students’ language proficiency level. Ninety senior EFL learners of Sadra English Institute in Dorood participated in this study. The sources of data for this quasi-experimental study included two task-based tests of listening comprehension and a test of language proficiency. Analysis of the findings indicated that there was a significant relationship between the three tasks of “matching, labeling, and form-filling” on the one hand and listening comprehension on the other. However, no such relationship was observed between the task of “selecting” and listening comprehension. Moreover, the results of the participants’ performance on each task at each level of language proficiency showed that among the four tasks of the study only the “selecting” task did not correspond with the three levels of language proficiency. The participants, according to the results of the post-test, showed no improvement over the task of “selecting”.

Continue reading

Effect of a Brief Stress Management Education Workshop on the Stress Knowledge of White-collar and Blue-collar Employees: A Pilot Study

Jenna Osseck, Joan Scacciaferro, Deirdra Frausto, Carol Cox*, Truman State University

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

Abstract A sample of 70 white-collar and blue-collar employees participated in a one hour stress management training workshops about the definition and causes of stress, work-related stress, strategies for managing stress, and creation of a personal stress management action plan. The stress management workshop knowledge test was administered pre- and post-intervention to analyze the causes and signals of stress, ways to manage stressful situations, and strategies for managing stress.

Results indicated that there was a significant increase in post-test mean knowledge scores as a result of the intervention. It seems that a brief workplace stress management education workshop could improve stress prevention knowledge in both blue- and white-collar employees.

Continue reading

Antecedents of Adolescents’ Coping Strategies in Immigrant Families in Los Angeles

Ian B. Nahmias, Scott W. Plunkett*, California State University, Northridge

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

Abstract Immigrant adolescents use coping strategies to deal with acculturative and personal stress. Yet, little is known about where these coping strategies emerge. The purpose of this study was to identify whether perceived parental behaviors and neighborhood qualities related to the coping strategies used by adolescents from immigrant families. Self-report data were collected from 729 adolescents from immigrant families in one Los Angeles school. Multiple regressions indicated (a) girls reported higher family support and social support in coping than boys; (b) parental warmth was significantly and positively related to family support and social support, while negatively related to ventilating feelings and substance use coping; (c) parental harshness was positively related to social support, ventilating feelings, and substance use coping; and (d) neighborhood stressors were related to higher ventilating feelings and substance use coping.

Continue reading

Nursing Students’ Perceptions of Learning Outcomes throughout Simulation Experiences

Christine Hunter, Patricia K. Ravert*, Brigham Young University

Full manuscript: http://www.kon.org/urc/v9/hunter.html

Abstract The purpose of this study was to determine undergraduate nursing students’ perceptions regarding learning outcomes developed during simulation experience throughout the nursing program. Students from four different semesters completed surveys following their simulation experience to report their perceptions of learning outcomes (improving communication, increasing nursing skills, understanding classroom material, developing critical thinking, and facilitating teamwork). Results indicated that each semester, students rated increasing nursing skills and developing critical thinking as two of the top three learning outcomes obtained during simulation experiences. Students perceived that developing the learning outcome of facilitating teamwork increased more in later semesters. Improving communication and understanding classroom material were not rated as frequently.

Continue reading

Depression and its Negative Effect on College Students

Tiana Keith, East Carolina University

Full paper: www.kon.org/urc/v9/keith.html

Abstract Rates of depression in college students are at an all time high. Millions of emerging adults are experiencing symptoms that are making daily routines problematic. These symptoms may include, but are not limited to, drowsiness, loss of appetite, sense of hopelessness, apathy, and irritability. Long periods of suffering through such feelings are non-conducive to dealing with the demands of college life. The causes of depression are as unique as the individual that experiences the disorder. For many students, however, depression can be attributed to stressors such as academic pressure, inadequate social adaptation, inadequate sleep, and the stress of the overall transition to college life. Reports show an inequality of depressive symptoms experienced by male and female students for unknown reasons, but assumptions have been made. Students who suffer from depression risk serious health problems if positive steps are not made to help with their symptoms. It is not uncommon for the traditional student age group to resort to substance abuse and other risky behaviors to escape depressive symptoms. In many cases students experience eating disorders, and others choose suicide. With an increasing demand for positive coping mechanisms, universities have made an effort to offer free psychological services to students on their campuses. Although attempts have been made, students are underutilizing the resources. Students and universities must work together to provide an effective way to reduce depression in college students. 

Continue reading

The Language of Book Titles

Grace Brody, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (Columbia University Course)

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/highschool/brody.html

Abstract This study investigates the possible existence and influence of different linguistic patterns in the titles of books aimed for young adults and adults. If these patterns are effective, they could help explain the popularity of some books over others. The existence of these patterns could also demonstrate expectations for what is more appealing to each age group. However, in surveys given to ten adults and ten young adults, the patterns did not correlate to any title preferences among the age groups, suggesting that the titles serve some other purpose.

Continue reading

Assessing the Relationship between Sex, Temperature and Sleep

John Wayland, University of Wales, Newport

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

Abstract Circadian rhythms exert various physiological influences that encourage sleep. However, the relationship between temperature, sex, and sleep is complex. This study examined the relationship between these factors using an online questionnaire. Participants consisted of 83 females and 47 males who rated their temperature and length of sleep. Results indicated differences between and within sexes but found that neither temperature nor the interaction between these factors influenced the length of sleep that participants recorded. Explanations suggest that the subjective nature of the experiment may have influenced the result. Consideration is therefore given to future integration of subjective responses alongside readings of temperature. Additionally, a longitudinal study is suggested to assess temperature change over a substantial period of development.

Continue reading

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Its Impact on North American Society

Kelly Tian, University of Chicago

Full paper: www.kon.org/urc/v9/tian.html

Abstract: The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 made a profound impact on American society, affecting the targeted Chinese people and as well as Caucasians. Because much of what happens in the past influences the present and future, it is vital to understand the motives for the Act and how it affects others. Perhaps by learning about previous difficulties one can draw conclusions on how to lead more productive and harmonious lives in the future.

Continue reading