Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 241

Search results for: VOC

241 Investigating Iraqi EFL University Students' Productive Knowledge of Grammatical Collocations in English

Authors: Adnan Z. Mkhelif

Abstract:

Grammatical collocations (GCs) are word combinations containing a preposition or a grammatical structure, such as an infinitive (e.g. smile at, interested in, easy to learn, etc.). Such collocations tend to be difficult for Iraqi EFL university students (IUS) to master. To help address this problem, it is important to identify the factors causing it. This study aims at investigating the effects of L2 proficiency, frequency of GCs and their transparency on IUSs’ productive knowledge of GCs. The study involves 112 undergraduate participants with different proficiency levels, learning English in formal contexts in Iraq. The data collection instruments include (but not limited to) a productive knowledge test (designed by the researcher using the British National Corpus (BNC)), as well as the grammar part of the Oxford Placement Test (OPT). The study findings have shown that all the above-mentioned factors have significant effects on IUSs’ productive knowledge of GCs. In addition to establishing evidence of which factors of L2 learning might be relevant to learning GCs, it is hoped that the findings of the present study will contribute to more effective methods of teaching that can better address and help overcome the problems IUSs encounter in learning GCs. The study is thus hoped to have significant theoretical and pedagogical implications for researchers, syllabus designers as well as teachers of English as a foreign/second language.

Keywords: Transparency, Corpus Linguistics, Frequency, Proficiency, L2 vocabulary learning, grammatical collocations, productive knowledge

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240 Investigating Iraqi EFL Undergraduates' Performance in the Production of Number Forms in English

Authors: Adnan Z. Mkhelif

Abstract:

The production of number forms in English tends to be problematic for Iraqi learners of English as a foreign language (EFL), even at the undergraduate level. To help better understand and consequently address this problem, it is important to identify its sources. This study aims at: (1) statistically analysing Iraqi EFL undergraduates' performance in the production of number forms in English; (2) classifying learners' errors in terms of their possible major causes; and (3) outlining some pedagogical recommendations relevant to the teaching of number forms in English. It is hypothesized in this study that (1) Iraqi EFL undergraduates still face problems in the production of number forms in English and (2) errors pertaining to the context of learning are more numerous than those attributable to the other possible causes. After reviewing the literature available on the topic, a written test comprising 50 items has been constructed and administered to a randomly chosen sample of 50 second-year college students from the Department of English, College of Education, Wasit University. The findings of the study showed that Iraqi EFL undergraduates still face problems in the production of number forms in English and that the possible major sources of learners’ errors can be arranged hierarchically in terms of the percentages of errors to which they can be ascribed as follows: (1) context of learning (50%), (2) intralingual transfer (37%), and (3) interlingual transfer (13%). It is hoped that the implications of the study findings will be beneficial to researchers, syllabus designers, as well as teachers of English as a foreign/second language.

Keywords: L2 vocabulary learning, productive knowledge, L2 number forms, L2 morphology

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239 A Preliminary Study of the Reconstruction of Urban Residential Public Space in the Context of the “Top-down” Construction Model in China: Based on Research of TianZiFang District in Shanghai and Residential Space in Hangzhou

Authors: Wang Qiaowei, Gao Yujiang

Abstract:

With the economic growth and rapid urbanization after the reform and openness, some of China's fast-growing cities have demolished former dwellings and built modern residential quarters. The blind, incomplete reference to western modern cities and the one-off construction lacking feedback mechanism have intensified such phenomenon, causing the citizen gradually expanded their living scale with the popularization of car traffic, and the peer-to-peer lifestyle gradually settled. The construction of large-scale commercial centers has caused obstacles to small business around the residential areas, leading to space for residents' interaction has been compressed. At the same time, the advocated Central Business District (CBD) model even leads to the unsatisfactory reconstruction of many historical blocks such as the Hangzhou Southern Song Dynasty Imperial Street. However, the popularity of historical spaces such as Wuzhen and Hongcun also indicates the collective memory and needs of the street space for Chinese residents. The evolution of Shanghai TianZiFang also proves the importance of the motivation of space participants in space construction in the context of the “top-down” construction model in China. In fact, there are frequent occurrences of “reconstruction”, which may redefine the space, in various residential areas. If these activities can be selectively controlled and encouraged, it will be beneficial to activate the public space as well as the residents’ intercourse, so that the traditional Chinese street space can be reconstructed in the context of modern cities.

Keywords: Rapid Urbanization, traditional street space, space re-construction, bottom-up design

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238 Evaluation of the Role of Advocacy and the Quality of Care in Reducing Health Inequalities for People with Autism, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

Authors: Jonathan Sahu, Jill Aylott

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Individuals with Autism, Intellectual and Developmental disabilities (AIDD) are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, hampered not only by their own limitations to understand and interact with the wider society, but also societal limitations in perception and understanding. Communication to express their needs and wishes is fundamental to enable such individuals to live and prosper in society. This research project was designed as an organisational case study, in a large secondary health care hospital within the National Health Service (NHS), to assess the quality of care provided to people with AIDD and to review the role of advocacy to reduce health inequalities in these individuals. Methods: The research methodology adopted was as an “insider researcher”. Data collection included both quantitative and qualitative data i.e. a mixed method approach. A semi-structured interview schedule was designed and used to obtain qualitative and quantitative primary data from a wide range of interdisciplinary frontline health care workers to assess their understanding and awareness of systems, processes and evidence based practice to offer a quality service to people with AIDD. Secondary data were obtained from sources within the organisation, in keeping with “Case Study” as a primary method, and organisational performance data were then compared against national benchmarking standards. Further data sources were accessed to help evaluate the effectiveness of different types of advocacy that were present in the organisation. This was gauged by measures of user and carer experience in the form of retrospective survey analysis, incidents and complaints. Results: Secondary data demonstrate near compliance of the Organisation with the current national benchmarking standard (Monitor Compliance Framework). However, primary data demonstrate poor knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, poor knowledge of organisational systems, processes and evidence based practice applied for people with AIDD. In addition there was poor knowledge and awareness of frontline health care workers of advocacy and advocacy schemes for this group. Conclusions: A significant amount of work needs to be undertaken to improve the quality of care delivered to individuals with AIDD. An operational strategy promoting the widespread dissemination of information may not be the best approach to deliver quality care and optimal patient experience and patient advocacy. In addition, a more robust set of standards, with appropriate metrics, needs to be developed to assess organisational performance which will stand the test of professional and public scrutiny.

Keywords: Advocacy, autism, Health Inequalities, Quality Of Care, intellectual developmental disabilities

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237 Active Imagination: The Effective Factor in the Practice of Psychotherapy

Authors: Sonia Regina Lyra

Abstract:

The desire for unequivocal clarity is understandable, but this can make one forget that things of the soul are experiential processes, or transformations, which should never be designated unilaterally if it is not wanted to transform something that moves, a living thing, into something static. Among the so-called ‘things of the soul’ there are especially spontaneous fantasies, that emerge during the processes, as a result from the use of the active imagination technique, for when fantasy is not forced, violated, or subjugated by an illegitimate, intellectually preconceived idea, then it is a legitimate and authentic product of the unconscious mind. This is how one can gain access to unadulterated information about everything that transcends the conscious mind. However, it is vital to discern between ego and non-ego, because this principle will result in a release of energy and a renewal of life, which will come to have meaning. This study will deal with the active imagination as a knowledge that depends on the individual experience of the therapist because the patient will be taken just to reach where the unconscious of the therapist was assimilated to his own conscience. In this way, the therapist becomes the method itself, being his personality, a fundamental part of an effective factor.

Keywords: Transformation, symptom, effective factor, active imagination

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236 Using Textual Pre-Processing and Text Mining to Create Semantic Links

Authors: Ricardo Avila, Gabriel Lopes, Vania Vidal, Jose Macedo

Abstract:

This article offers a approach to the automatic discovery of semantic concepts and links in the domain of Oil Exploration and Production (E&P). Machine learning methods combined with textual pre-processing techniques were used to detect local patterns in texts and, thus, generate new concepts and new semantic links. Even using more specific vocabularies within the oil domain, our approach has achieved satisfactory results, suggesting that the proposal can be applied in other domains and languages, requiring only minor adjustments.

Keywords: Data Mining, linked data, semantic links, SKOS

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235 The Appeal of Vocal Islamism in the West: The Case of Hizb ut-Tahrir vis-à-vis Its Competitors

Authors: Elisa Orofino

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Islamism is a very debated topic in the West but almost exclusively explored in its violent forms. Nevertheless, a number of “vocal radical Islamist” groups exist in the West and legally operate because of their non-violent nature. Vocal radicals continually inspire individuals and lead them towards specific goals and priorities, sometimes even towards violence. This paper uses the long-living group Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) to explore the elements that make the organization appealing to segments of Muslim community in the West. This paper uses three agency variables - reflexive monitoring, the rationalization of action and the motivations for actions – to analyze HT’s appeal vis-à-vis two other Islamist groups, Ikhwan al-Muslimun and Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), having similar goals and the same high international profile. This paper concludes that HT’s uniqueness is given by its method, detailed vision of the caliphate, consistency over time and the emphasis placed on the caliphate as the leading force of HT’s unchanged motivation for action.

Keywords: Caliphate, Radicalization, Agency, vocal radicals

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234 Information Literacy among Faculty and Students of Medical Colleges of Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh

Authors: Sanjeev Sharma, Suman Lata

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With the availability of diverse printed, electronic literature and web sites on medical and health related information, it is impossible for the medical professional to get the information he seeks in the shortest possible time. For all these problems information literacy is the only solution. Thus, information literacy is recognized as an important aspect of medical education. In the present study, an attempt has been made to know the information literacy skills of the faculty and students at medical colleges of Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh. The scope of the study was confined to the 12 selected medical colleges of three States (Haryana, Punjab, and Chandigarh). The findings of the study were based on the data collected through 1018 questionnaires filled by the respondents of the medical colleges. It was found that Online Medical Websites (such as WebMD, eMedicine and Mayo Clinic etc.) were frequently used by 63.43% of the respondents of Chandigarh which is slightly more than Haryana (61%) and Punjab (55.65%). As well, 30.86% of the respondents of Chandigarh, 27.41% of Haryana and 27.05% of Punjab were familiar with the controlled vocabulary tool; 25.14% respondents of Chandigarh, 23.80% of Punjab, 23.17% of Haryana were familiar with the Boolean operators; 33.05% of the respondents of Punjab, 28.19% of Haryana and 25.14% of Chandigarh were familiar with the use and importance of the keywords while searching an electronic database; and 51.43% of the respondents of Chandigarh, 44.52% of Punjab and 36.29% of Haryana were able to make effective use of the retrieved information. For accessing information in electronic format, 47.74% of the respondents rated their skills high, while the majority of respondents (76.13%) were unfamiliar with the basic search technique i.e. Boolean operator used for searching information in an online database. On the basis of the findings, it was suggested that a comprehensive training program based on medical professionals information needs should be organized frequently. Furthermore, it was also suggested that information literacy may be included as a subject in the health science curriculum so as to make the medical professionals information literate and independent lifelong learners.

Keywords: Information, Information literacy, medical professionals, medical colleges

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233 Discovering Semantic Links Between Synonyms, Hyponyms and Hypernyms

Authors: Ricardo Avila, Gabriel Lopes, Vania Vidal, Jose Macedo

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This proposal aims for semantic enrichment between glossaries using the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) vocabulary to discover synonyms, hyponyms and hyperonyms semiautomatically, in Brazilian Portuguese, generating new semantic relationships based on WordNet. To evaluate the quality of this proposed model, experiments were performed by the use of two sets containing new relations, being one generated automatically and the other manually mapped by the domain expert. The applied evaluation metrics were precision, recall, f-score, and confidence interval. The results obtained demonstrate that the applied method in the field of Oil Production and Extraction (E&P) is effective, which suggests that it can be used to improve the quality of terminological mappings. The procedure, although adding complexity in its elaboration, can be reproduced in others domains.

Keywords: linked data, ontology matching, SKOS, mapping enrichment, semantic web

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232 Recent Advances in the Valorization of Goat Milk: Nutritional Properties and Production Sustainability

Authors: A. M. Tarola, R. Preti, A. M. Girelli, P. Campana

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Goat dairy products are gaining popularity worldwide. In developing countries, but also in many marginal regions of the Mediterranean area, goats represent a great part of the economy and ensure food security. In fact, these small ruminants are able to convert efficiently poor weedy plants and small trees into traditional products of high nutritional quality, showing great resilience to different climatic and environmental conditions. In developed countries, goat milk is appreciated for the presence of health-promoting compounds, bioactive compounds such as conjugated linoleic acids, oligosaccharides, sphingolipids and polyammines. This paper focuses on the recent advances in literature on the nutritional properties of goat milk and on innovative techniques to improve its quality as to become a promising functional food. The environmental sustainability of different methodologies of production has also been examined. Goat milk is valued today as a food of high nutritional value and functional properties as well as small environmental footprint. It is widely consumed in many countries due to high nutritional value, lower allergenic potential, and better digestibility when compared to bovine milk, that makes this product suitable for infants, elderly or sensitive patients. The main differences in chemical composition between a cow and goat milk rely on fat globules that in goat milk are smaller and in fatty acids that present a smaller chain length, while protein, fat, and lactose concentration are comparable. Milk nutritional properties have demonstrated to be strongly influenced by animal diet, genotype, and welfare, but also by season and production systems. Furthermore, there is a growing interest in the dairy industry in goat milk for its relatively high concentration of prebiotics and a good amount of probiotics, which have recently gained importance for their therapeutic potential. Therefore, goat milk is studied as a promising matrix to develop innovative functional foods. In addition to the economic and nutritional value, goat milk is considered a sustainable product for its small environmental footprint, as they require relatively little water and land, and less medical treatments, compared to cow, these characteristics make its production naturally vocated to organic farming. Organic goat milk production has becoming more and more interesting both for farmers and consumers as it can answer to several concerns like environment protection, animal welfare and economical sustainment of rural populations living in marginal lands. These evidences make goat milk an ancient food with novel properties and advantages to be valorized and exploited.

Keywords: Bioactive Compounds, Sustainable Production, Nutritional Quality, goat milk

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231 Parallel Querying of Distributed Ontologies with Shared Vocabulary

Authors: Sharjeel Aslam, Vassil Vassilev, Karim Ouazzane

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Ontologies and various semantic repositories became a convenient approach for implementing model-driven architectures of distributed systems on the Web. SPARQL is the standard query language for querying such. However, although SPARQL is well-established standard for querying semantic repositories in RDF and OWL format and there are commonly used APIs which supports it, like Jena for Java, its parallel option is not incorporated in them. This article presents a complete framework consisting of an object algebra for parallel RDF and an index-based implementation of the parallel query engine capable of dealing with the distributed RDF ontologies which share common vocabulary. It has been implemented in Java, and for validation of the algorithms has been applied to the problem of organizing virtual exhibitions on the Web.

Keywords: SPARQL, semantic indexing, distributed ontologies, parallel querying, shared vocabulary

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230 Assessment of the Illustrated Language Activities of the Portage Guide to Early Education

Authors: Ofelia A. Damag

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The study was focused on the development and assessment of the illustrated language activities of the 1996 Edition of the Portage Guide to Early Education. It determined the extent of appropriateness, applicability, time efficiency and aesthetics of the illustrated language activities to be used as instructional material not only by teachers, but parents and caregivers as well. The eclectic research design was applied in this study using qualitative and quantitative methods. To determine the applicability and time efficiency of the study, a try out was done. Since the eclectic research design was used, it made use of a researcher-made survey questionnaire and focus group discussion. Analysis of the data was done through weighted mean and ANOVA. The respondents of the study were representatives of Special Education (SPED) teachers, caregivers and parents of a special-needs child, particularly with difficulties in learning basic language skills. The results of the study show that a large number of respondents are SPED teachers and caregivers and are mostly college graduates. Many of them have earned units towards Master’s studies. Moreover, a majority of the respondents have not attended seminars or in-service training in early intervention for them to be more competent in the area of specialization. It is concluded that the illustrated language activities under review in this study are appropriate, applicable, time efficient and aesthetic for use as a tool in teaching. The recommendations are focused on the advocacy for SPED teachers, caregivers and parents of special-needs children to be more consistent in the implementation of the new instructional materials as an aid in an intervention program.

Keywords: Inclusion, Special Educational Needs, illustrated language activities, portage guide to early education

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229 Suicide Conceptualization in Adolescents through Semantic Networks

Authors: K. P. Valdés García, E. I. Rodríguez Fonseca, L. G. Juárez Cantú

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Suicide is a global, multidimensional and dynamic problem of mental health, which requires a constant study for its understanding and prevention. When research of this phenomenon is done, it is necessary to consider the different characteristics it may have because of the individual and sociocultural variables, the importance of this consideration is related to the generation of effective treatments and interventions. Adolescents are a vulnerable population due to the characteristics of the development stage. The investigation was carried out with the objective of identifying and describing the conceptualization of adolescents of suicide, and in this process, we find possible differences between men and women. The study was carried out in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. The sample was composed of 418 volunteer students aged between 11 and 18 years. The ethical aspects of the research were reviewed and considered in all the processes of the investigation with the participants, their parents and the schools to which they belonged, psychological attention was offered to the participants and preventive workshops were carried in the educational institutions. Natural semantic networks were the instrument used, since this hybrid method allows to find and analyze the social concept of a phenomenon; in this case, the word suicide was used as an evocative stimulus and participants were asked to evoke at least five words and a maximum 10 that they thought were related to suicide, and then hierarchize them according to the closeness with the construct. The subsequent analysis was carried with Excel, yielding the semantic weights, affective loads and the distances between each of the semantic fields established according to the words reported by the subjects. The results showed similarities in the conceptualization of suicide in adolescents, men and women. Seven semantic fields were generated; the words were related in the discourse analysis: 1) death, 2) possible triggering factors, 3) associated moods, 4) methods used to carry it out, 5) psychological symptomatology that could affect, 6) words associated with a rejection of suicide, and finally, 7) specific objects to carry it out. One of the necessary aspects to consider in the investigations of complex issues such as suicide is to have a diversity of instruments and techniques that adjust to the characteristics of the population and that allow to understand the phenomena from the social constructs and not only theoretical. The constant study of suicide is a pressing need, the loss of a life from emotional difficulties that can be solved through psychiatry and psychological methods requires governments and professionals to pay attention and work with the risk population.

Keywords: Adolescents, Suicide, speech analysis, semantic networks

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228 Promoting Social Advocacy through Digital Storytelling: The Case of Ocean Acidification

Authors: Chun Chen Yea, Wen Huei Chou

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Many chemical changes in the atmosphere and the ocean are invisible to the naked eye, but they have profound impacts. These changes not only confirm the phenomenon of global carbon pollution, but also forewarn that more changes are coming. The carbon dioxide gases emitted from the burning of fossil fuels dissolve into the ocean and chemically react with seawater to form carbonic acid, which increases the acidity of the originally alkaline seawater. This gradual acidification is occurring at an unprecedented rate and will affect the effective formation of carapace of some marine organisms such as corals and crustaceans, which are almost entirely composed of calcium carbonate. The carapace of these organisms will become more dissoluble. Acidified seawater not only threatens the survival of marine life, but also negatively impacts the global ecosystem via the food chain. Faced with the threat of ocean acidification, all humans are duty-bound. The industrial sector outputs the highest level of carbon dioxide emissions in Taiwan, and the petrochemical industry is the major contributor. Ever since the construction of Formosa Plastics Group's No. 6 Naphtha Cracker Plant in Yunlin County, there have been many environmental concerns such as air pollution and carbon dioxide emission. The marine life along the coast of Yunlin is directly affected by ocean acidification arising from the carbon emissions. Societal change demands our willingness to act, which is what social advocacy promotes. This study uses digital storytelling for social advocacy and ocean acidification as the subject of a visual narrative in visualization to demonstrate the subsequent promotion of social advocacy. Storytelling can transform dull knowledge into an engaging narrative of the crisis faced by marine life. Digital dissemination is an effective social-work practice. The visualization promoting awareness on ocean acidification disseminated via social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Social media enables users to compose their own messages and share information across different platforms, which helps disseminate the core message of social advocacy.

Keywords: Visualization, Ocean acidification, Digital Storytelling, social advocacy

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227 Inductive Grammar, Student-Centered Reading, and Interactive Poetry: The Effects of Teaching English with Fun in Schools of Two Villages in Lebanon

Authors: Talar Agopian

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Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) is a common practice in many Lebanese schools. However, ESL teaching is done in traditional ways. Methods such as constructivism are seldom used, especially in villages. Here lies the significance of this research which joins constructivism and Piaget’s theory of cognitive development in ESL classes in Lebanese villages. The purpose of the present study is to explore the effects of applying constructivist student-centered strategies in teaching grammar, reading comprehension, and poetry on students in elementary ESL classes in two villages in Lebanon, Zefta in South Lebanon and Boqaata in Mount Lebanon. 20 English teachers participated in a training titled “Teaching English with Fun”, which focused on strategies that create a student-centered class where active learning takes place and there is increased learner engagement and autonomy. The training covered three main areas in teaching English: grammar, reading comprehension, and poetry. After participating in the training, the teachers applied the new strategies and methods in their ESL classes. The methodology comprised two phases: in phase one, practice-based research was conducted as the teachers attended the training and applied the constructivist strategies in their respective ESL classes. Phase two included the reflections of the teachers on the effects of the application of constructivist strategies. The results revealed the educational benefits of constructivist student-centered strategies; the students of teachers who applied these strategies showed improved engagement, positive attitudes towards poetry, increased motivation, and a better sense of autonomy. Future research is required in applying constructivist methods in the areas of writing, spelling, and vocabulary in ESL classrooms of Lebanese villages.

Keywords: Active Learning, constructivism, Learner Engagement, student-centered strategies

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226 Spatial Distribution of Ambient BTEX Concentrations at an International Airport in South Africa

Authors: Raeesa Moolla, Ryan S. Johnson

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Air travel, and the use of airports, has experienced proliferative growth in the past few decades, resulting in the concomitant release of air pollutants. Air pollution needs to be monitored because of the known relationship between exposure to air pollutants and increased adverse effects on human health. This study monitored a group of volatile organic compounds (VOCs); specifically BTEX (viz. benzene, toluene, ethyl-benzene and xylenes), as many are detrimental to human health. Through the use of passive sampling methods, the spatial variability of BTEX within an international airport was investigated, in order to determine ‘hotspots’ where occupational exposure to BTEX may be intensified. The passive sampling campaign revealed BTEXtotal concentrations ranged between 12.95–124.04 µg m-3. Furthermore, BTEX concentrations were dispersed heterogeneously within the airport. Due to the slow wind speeds recorded (1.13 m.s-1); the hotspots were located close to their main BTEX sources. The main hotspot was located over the main apron of the airport. Employees working in this area may be chronically exposed to these emissions, which could be potentially detrimental to their health.

Keywords: Air Pollution, Air quality, Volatile Organic Compounds, hotspot monitoring

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225 Taguchi Robust Design for Optimal Setting of Process Wastes Parameters in an Automotive Parts Manufacturing Company

Authors: Charles Chikwendu Okpala, Christopher Chukwutoo Ihueze

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As a technique that reduces variation in a product by lessening the sensitivity of the design to sources of variation, rather than by controlling their sources, Taguchi Robust Design entails the designing of ideal goods, by developing a product that has minimal variance in its characteristics and also meets the desired exact performance. This paper examined the concept of the manufacturing approach and its application to brake pad product of an automotive parts manufacturing company. Although the firm claimed that only defects, excess inventory, and over-production were the few wastes that grossly affect their productivity and profitability, a careful study and analysis of their manufacturing processes with the application of Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) tool showed that the waste of waiting is the fourth waste that bedevils the firm. The selection of the Taguchi L9 orthogonal array which is based on the four parameters and the three levels of variation for each parameter revealed that with a range of 2.17, that waiting is the major waste that the company must reduce in order to continue to be viable. Also, to enhance the company’s throughput and profitability, the wastes of over-production, excess inventory, and defects with ranges of 2.01, 1.46, and 0.82, ranking second, third, and fourth respectively must also be reduced to the barest minimum. After proposing -33.84 as the highest optimum Signal-to-Noise ratio to be maintained for the waste of waiting, the paper advocated for the adoption of all the tools and techniques of Lean Production System (LPS), and Continuous Improvement (CI), and concluded by recommending SMED in order to drastically reduce set up time which leads to unnecessary waiting.

Keywords: Waste, Lean Production System, signal to noise ratio, single minute exchange of dies, Taguchi robust design

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224 Optimizing the Capacity of a Convolutional Neural Network for Image Segmentation and Pattern Recognition

Authors: Yalong Jiang, Zheru Chi

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In this paper, we study the factors which determine the capacity of a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) model and propose the ways to evaluate and adjust the capacity of a CNN model for best matching to a specific pattern recognition task. Firstly, a scheme is proposed to adjust the number of independent functional units within a CNN model to make it be better fitted to a task. Secondly, the number of independent functional units in the capsule network is adjusted to fit it to the training dataset. Thirdly, a method based on Bayesian GAN is proposed to enrich the variances in the current dataset to increase its complexity. Experimental results on the PASCAL VOC 2010 Person Part dataset and the MNIST dataset show that, in both conventional CNN models and capsule networks, the number of independent functional units is an important factor that determines the capacity of a network model. By adjusting the number of functional units, the capacity of a model can better match the complexity of a dataset.

Keywords: Character Recognition, CNN, capsule network, capacity optimization, data augmentation; semantic segmentation

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223 A Social Cognitive Investigation in the Context of Vocational Training Performance of People with Disabilities

Authors: Majid A. AlSayari

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The study reported here investigated social cognitive theory (SCT) in the context of Vocational Rehab (VR) for people with disabilities. The prime purpose was to increase knowledge of VR phenomena and make recommendations for improving VR services. The sample consisted of 242 persons with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) who completed questionnaires. A further 32 participants were Trainers. Analysis of questionnaire data was carried out using factor analysis, multiple regression analysis, and thematic analysis. The analysis suggested that, in motivational terms, and consistent with research carried out in other academic contexts, self-efficacy was the best predictor of VR performance. The author concludes that that VR self-efficacy predicted VR training performance.

Keywords: Self-efficacy, Social Cognitive Theory, people with disabilities, vocational rehab, proxy efficacy

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222 Understanding Barriers to Sports Participation as a Means of Achieving Sustainable Development in Michael Otedola College of Primary Education

Authors: Osifeko Olalekan Remigious, Osifeko Christiana Osikorede, Folarin Bolanle Eunice, Olugbenga Adebola Shodiya

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During these difficult economic times, nations are looking for ways to improve their finances, preserve the environment as well as the socio-political climate and educational institutions, which are needed to increase their economy and preserve their sustainable development. Sport is one of the ways through which sustainable development can be achieved. The purpose of this study was to examine and understanding barriers to participation in sport. A total of 1,025 students were purposively selected from five schools (School of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Languages, School of Education, School of Sciences and School of Vocational and Technical Education) in Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED). A questionnaire, with a tested reliability coefficient of 0.71, was used for data collection. The collected data were subjected to the descriptive survey research design. The findings showed that sports facilities, funding and lecture schedules were significant barriers to sports participation. It was recommended that sports facilities be provided by the Lagos State government.

Keywords: Sustainable Development, Sports Participation, MOCPED sports, state government

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221 Evaluating the Perception of Roma in Europe through Social Network Analysis

Authors: Giulia I. Pintea

Abstract:

The Roma people are a nomadic ethnic group native to India, and they are one of the most prevalent minorities in Europe. In the past, Roma were enslaved and they were imprisoned in concentration camps during the Holocaust; today, Roma are subject to hate crimes and are denied access to healthcare, education, and proper housing. The aim of this project is to analyze how the public perception of the Roma people may be influenced by antiziganist and pro-Roma institutions in Europe. In order to carry out this project, we used social network analysis to build two large social networks: The antiziganist network, which is composed of institutions that oppress and racialize Roma, and the pro-Roma network, which is composed of institutions that advocate for and protect Roma rights. Measures of centrality, density, and modularity were obtained to determine which of the two social networks is exerting the greatest influence on the public’s perception of Roma in European societies. Furthermore, data on hate crimes on Roma were gathered from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). We analyzed the trends in hate crimes on Roma for several European countries for 2009-2015 in order to see whether or not there have been changes in the public’s perception of Roma, thus helping us evaluate which of the two social networks has been more influential. Overall, the results suggest that there is a greater and faster exchange of information in the pro-Roma network. However, when taking the hate crimes into account, the impact of the pro-Roma institutions is ambiguous, due to differing patterns among European countries, suggesting that the impact of the pro-Roma network is inconsistent. Despite antiziganist institutions having a slower flow of information, the hate crime patterns also suggest that the antiziganist network has a higher impact on certain countries, which may be due to institutions outside the political sphere boosting the spread of antiziganist ideas and information to the European public.

Keywords: Applied Mathematics, Social Network Analysis, Oppression, Roma people

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220 Kinetics and Thermodynamics Adsorption of Phenolic Compounds on Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Mesoporous Material

Authors: Makhlouf Mourad, Messabih Sidi Mohamed, Bouchher Omar, Houali Farida, Benrachedi Khaled

Abstract:

Mesoporous materials are very commonly used as adsorbent materials for removing phenolic compounds. However, the adsorption mechanism of these compounds is still poorly controlled. However, understanding the interactions mesoporous materials/adsorbed molecules is very important in order to optimize the processes of liquid phase adsorption. The difficulty of synthesis is to keep an orderly and cubic pore structure and achieve a homogeneous surface modification. The grafting of Si(CH3)3 was chosen, to transform hydrophilic surfaces hydrophobic surfaces. The aim of this work is to study the kinetics and thermodynamics of two volatile organic compounds VOC phenol (PhOH) and P hydroxy benzoic acid (4AHB) on a mesoporous material of type MCM-48 grafted with an organosilane of the Trimethylchlorosilane (TMCS) type, the material thus grafted or functionalized (hereinafter referred to as MCM-48-G). In a first step, the kinetic and thermodynamic study of the adsorption isotherms of each of the VOCs in mono-solution was carried out. In a second step, a similar study was carried out on a mixture of these two compounds. Kinetic models (pseudo-first order, pseudo-second order) were used to determine kinetic adsorption parameters. The thermodynamic parameters of the adsorption isotherms were determined by the adsorption models (Langmuir, Freundlich). The comparative study of adsorption of PhOH and 4AHB proved that MCM-48-G had a high adsorption capacity for PhOH and 4AHB; this may be related to the hydrophobicity created by the organic function of TMCS in MCM-48-G. The adsorption results for the two compounds using the Freundlich and Langmuir models show that the adsorption of 4AHB was higher than PhOH. The values ​​obtained by the adsorption thermodynamics show that the adsorption interactions for our sample with the phenol and 4AHB are of a physical nature. The adsorption of our VOCs on the MCM-48 (G) is a spontaneous and exothermic process.

Keywords: Kinetics, Adsorption, mesoporous materials, phenol, isotherm, TMCS, P-hydroxy benzoic acid

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219 Sanitary Measures in Piggeries, Awareness and Risk Factors of African Swine Fever in Benue State, Nigeria

Authors: A. Asambe

Abstract:

A study was conducted to determine the level of compliance with sanitary measures in piggeries, and awareness and risk factors of African swine fever in Benue State, Nigeria. Questionnaires were distributed to 74 respondents consisting of piggery owners and attendants in different piggeries across 12 LGAs to collect data for this study. Sanitary measures in piggeries were observed to be generally very poor, though respondents admitted being aware of ASF. Piggeries located within a 1 km radius of a slaughter slab (OR=9.2, 95% CI - 3.0-28.8), piggeries near refuse dump sites (OR=3.0, 95% CI - 1.0-9.5) and piggeries where farm workers wear their work clothes outside of the piggery premises (OR=0.2, 95% CI - 0.1-0.7) showed higher chances of ASFV infection and were significantly associated (p < 0.0001), (p < 0.05) and (p < 0.01), and were identified as potential risk factors. The study concluded that pigs in Benue State are still at risk of an ASF outbreak. Proper sanitary and hygienic practices is advocated and emphasized in piggeries, while routine surveillance for ASFV antibodies in pigs in Benue State is strongly recommended to provide a reliable reference data base to plan for the prevention of any devastating ASF outbreak.

Keywords: awareness, african swine fever, Risk Factors, Sanitary measures, piggery

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218 Adaption Model for Building Agile Pronunciation Dictionaries Using Phonemic Distance Measurements

Authors: Akella Amarendra Babu, Rama Devi Yellasiri, Natukula Sainath

Abstract:

Where human beings can easily learn and adopt pronunciation variations, machines need training before put into use. Also humans keep minimum vocabulary and their pronunciation variations are stored in front-end of their memory for ready reference, while machines keep the entire pronunciation dictionary for ready reference. Supervised methods are used for preparation of pronunciation dictionaries which take large amounts of manual effort, cost, time and are not suitable for real time use. This paper presents an unsupervised adaptation model for building agile and dynamic pronunciation dictionaries online. These methods mimic human approach in learning the new pronunciations in real time. A new algorithm for measuring sound distances called Dynamic Phone Warping is presented and tested. Performance of the system is measured using an adaptation model and the precision metrics is found to be better than 86 percent.

Keywords: Machine Learning, natural language processing, Dynamic Programming, pronunciation variations

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217 The Difficulties Witnessed by People with Intellectual Disability in Transition to Work in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Adel S. Alanazi

Abstract:

The transition of a student with a disability from school to work is the most crucial phase while moving from the stage of adolescence into early adulthood. In this process, young individuals face various difficulties and challenges in order to accomplish the next venture of life successfully. In this respect, this paper aims to examine the challenges encountered by the individuals with intellectual disabilities in transition to work in Saudi Arabia. For this purpose, this study has undertaken a qualitative research-based methodology; wherein interpretivist philosophy has been followed along with inductive approach and exploratory research design. The data for the research has been gathered with the help of semi-structured interviews, whose findings are analysed with the help of thematic analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents of persons with intellectual disabilities, officials, supervisors and specialists of two vocational rehabilitation centres providing training to intellectually disabled students, in addition to that, directors of companies and websites in hiring those individuals. The total number of respondents for the interview was 15. The purposive sampling method was used to select the respondents for the interview. This sampling method is a non-probability sampling method which draws respondents from a known population and allows flexibility and suitability in selecting the participants for the study. The findings gathered from the interview revealed that the lack of awareness among their parents regarding the rights of their children who are intellectually disabled; the lack of adequate communication and coordination between various entities; concerns regarding their training and subsequent employment are the key difficulties experienced by the individuals with intellectual disabilities. Training in programmes such as bookbinding, carpentry, computing, agriculture, electricity and telephone exchange operations were involved as key training programmes. The findings of this study also revealed that information technology and media were playing a significant role in smoothing the transition to employment of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Furthermore, religious and cultural attitudes have been identified to be restricted for people with such disabilities in seeking advantages from job opportunities. On the basis of these findings, it can be implied that the information gathered through this study will serve to be highly beneficial for Saudi Arabian schools/ rehabilitation centres for individuals with intellectual disability to facilitate them in overcoming the problems they encounter during the transition to work.

Keywords: Intellectual Disability, transition services, rehabilitation centre

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216 A Corpus-Based Analysis on Code-Mixing Features in Mandarin-English Bilingual Children in Singapore

Authors: Xunan Huang, Caicai Zhang

Abstract:

This paper investigated the code-mixing features in Mandarin-English bilingual children in Singapore. First, it examined whether the code-mixing rate was different in Mandarin Chinese and English contexts. Second, it explored the syntactic categories of code-mixing in Singapore bilingual children. Moreover, this study investigated whether morphological information was preserved when inserting syntactic components into the matrix language. Data are derived from the Singapore Bilingual Corpus, in which the recordings and transcriptions of sixty English-Mandarin 5-to-6-year-old children were preserved for analysis. Results indicated that the rate of code-mixing was asymmetrical in the two language contexts, with the rate being significantly higher in the Mandarin context than that in the English context. The asymmetry is related to language dominance in that children are more likely to code-mix when using their nondominant language. Concerning the syntactic categories of code-mixing words in the Singaporean bilingual children, we found that noun-mixing, verb-mixing, and adjective-mixing are the three most frequently used categories in code-mixing in the Mandarin context. This pattern mirrors the syntactic categories of code-mixing in the Cantonese context in Cantonese-English bilingual children, and the general trend observed in lexical borrowing. Third, our results also indicated that English vocabularies that carry morphological information are embedded in bare forms in the Mandarin context. These findings shed light upon how bilingual children take advantage of the two languages in mixed utterances in a bilingual environment.

Keywords: English, code-mixing, Mandarin Chinese, bilingual children

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215 Teaching Contemporary Power Distribution and Industrial Networks in Higher Education Vocational Studies

Authors: Rade M. Ciric

Abstract:

The paper shows the development and implementation of the syllabus of the subject 'Distribution and Industrial Networks', attended by the vocational specialist Year 4 students of the Electric Power Engineering study programme at the Higher Education Technical School of Vocational Studies in Novi Sad. The aim of the subject is to equip students with the knowledge necessary for planning, exploitation and management of distributive and industrial electric power networks in an open electricity market environment. The results of the evaluation of educational outcomes on the subject are presented and discussed.

Keywords: Engineering Education, outcome evaluation, power distribution network, syllabus implementation

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214 Using Music in the Classroom to Help Syrian Refugees Deal with Post-War Trauma

Authors: Vartan Agopian

Abstract:

Millions of Syrian families have been displaced since the beginning of the Syrian war, and the negative effects of post-war trauma have shown detrimental effects on the mental health of refugee children. While educational strategies have focused on vocational training and academic achievement, little has been done to include music in the school curriculum to help these children improve their mental health. The literature of music education and psychology, on the other hand, shows the positive effects of music on traumatized children, especially when it comes to dealing with stress. This paper presents a brief literature review of trauma, music therapy, and music in the classroom, after having introduced the Syrian war and refugee situation. Furthermore, the paper highlights the benefits of using music with traumatized children from the literature and offers strategies for teachers (such as singing, playing an instrument, songwriting, and others) to include music in their classrooms to help Syrian refugee children deal with post-war trauma.

Keywords: Music, War, Children, Refugees, Syria

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213 Enhancing Sustainability Awareness through Social Learning Experiences on Campuses

Authors: Rashika Sharma

Abstract:

The campuses at tertiary institutes can act as a social environment for peer to peer connections. However, socialization is not the only aspect that campuses provide. The campus can act as a learning environment that has often been termed as the campus curriculum. Many tertiary institutes have taken steps to make their campus a ‘green campus’ whereby initiatives have been taken to reduce their impact on the environment. However, as visible as these initiatives are, it is debatable whether these have any effect on students’ and their understanding of sustainable campus operations. Therefore, research was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of sustainable campus operations in raising students’ awareness of sustainability. Students at two vocational institutes participated in this interpretive research with data collected through surveys and focus groups. The findings indicated that majority of vocational education students remained oblivious of sustainability initiatives on campuses.

Keywords: Vocational Education, Social Learning, campus learning, education for sustainability

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212 The Relevance of Sustainability Skills for International Students

Authors: Mary Panko, Rashika Sharma

Abstract:

Sustainability often appears to be an unfamiliar concept to many international students that enrol in a New Zealand technological degree. Lecturers’ experiences with classroom interactions and evaluation of assessments indicate that studying the concept enlightens and enhances international students understanding of sustainability. However, in most cases, even after studying sustainability in their degree programme, students are not given an opportunity to practice and apply this concept into their professions in their home countries. Therefore, using a qualitative approach, the academics conducted research to determine the change in international students understanding of sustainability before and after their enrolment in an Applied Technology degree. The research also aimed to evaluate if international students viewed sustainability of relevance to their professions and whether the students felt that they will be provided with an opportunity to apply their knowledge about sustainability in the industry. The findings of the research are presented in this paper.

Keywords: Vocational Education, international students, education for sustainability

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