This paper aims to highlight issues on differences in definitions and terminologies of specific learning disabilities used in Malaysia compared to those used in some other countries based on published and unpublished materials on learning disabilities/specific learning disabilities. In Malaysia, a broad generic definition of ‘learning disabilities’ is adopted and this approach post challenges in providing support and services for those with this disabilities. Lack of standardized and culturally sensitive measurements and the limited number of professionals with specialized training to deal with identification of those with specific learning disabilities are other challenges faced in this country. This paper advocates a review of the current definitions of specific learning disabilities to one that can better guide planning and provision of appropriate services to the target group in Malaysia.
Definition, learning disabilities, specific learning disabilities
As well as generally being considered as symbols of national and country identity, gardens fulfill various functions within society such as being aesthetically beautiful, satisfying human needs, and also functioning as places for various activities. In accordance with this, the Malaysian government in her newly launched National Landscape Policy put forth a vision to achieve “The Most Beautiful Garden Nation” by the year 2020, reflecting a desire to develop a distinctive landscape identity for the country. Due to this, the National Landscape Department of Malaysia suggested developing a garden identity as an indispensable part of this vision because even though the country has great potential in the development of parks and gardens, an exclusive garden identity is still lacking. This paper aims to justify that the development of a garden identity could enhance national and landscape identities for the country. It is also presumed that such development faces several challenges. Moreover, the study intends to highlight Malaysia’s great potential for developing its gardens. A review of existing literature along with Malaysia’s new landscape policy was thus undertaken, and findings were then triangulated by conducting face-to-face interviews with Malaysian local landscape architects. Consequently, the importance of creating a unique garden identity corresponding with Malaysia’s new landscape policy was confirmed. Furthermore, challenges (which mainly relate to political, social, cultural, and economic viewpoints) and potentials for such development were recognised. The results can ultimately be utilised to contribute to the formation of gardens with distinct Malaysian identities.
This paper outlines encouraging and discouraging factors in developing an English language learning environment for rural pupils with Asian backgrounds. This is achieved by first establishing a theoretical background to govern the research exploration. This research utilized social cognitive theory of learning as guidance in the current research explorations. Specifically, the study sample is drawn from six rural schools in Sabah, Malaysia (Southeast Asia). The study utilizes a mixed-method approach whereby findings are triangulated through interviews, observations, and questionnaires. The study reveals that majority of the schools visited lacked the necessary resources indicating a serious problem that hinders learning of the English language in rural schools. Conclusions consider the impact of certain environmental drawbacks on pupils’ English language proficiency and the verdict that the existing environment has a negative impact on Asian rural pupils’ language development. Further, it is emphasized that environmental issues in Asia require a deep grasp of the subject as well as various multi-disciplinary approaches, whose perspectives provide the basis for the functions of different environmental aspects.
Rural pupils, English language, learning environment, achievement
Assessment is a crucial part of education as it provides information to be used as feedback to support the teaching and learning process. Oral assessment is conducted at both primary and secondary schools in Malaysia. Previous researches highlight that students are unable to score well in their oral assessment. Therefore, the aim of this study is to examine the effectiveness of sharing assessment criteria, the Guiding Grid (GG), with students to improve oral performance among them. This study was conducted with Form Four students from an urban school. The students’ oral assessments were conducted three times and their scores were recorded. The first assessment was done without sharing the GG with the students. Before the second assessment the researchers shared the GG verbally. Finally, 12 students who scored below the satisfactory level were given the printed GG and were assessed for the third time. The findings show a marked improvement in students’ oral performance after the sharing of GG, orally as well as in print form. There is a significant improvement on the 12 selected students’ oral performance when the printed GG was shared with them. This study also explores students’ opinions on sharing the GG with them.
The beginning of the new millennium (the year 2000 to 2010) has witnessed a dramatic increase in the political cartoons’ research. By their nature, political cartoons constitute a specific genre of political reporting in that they are pictorial representations which depict political and social issues and events, as well as the parties involved, in an immediate and condensed form. The genre is characterised by humorous depiction of events, exploiting the ability of irony and satire to unravel, ridicule and attack in a playful, witty and artful fashion (Test, 1991). They project a particular point of view (El Refaie, 2009) and enlighten readers on public issues while exposing wrong practices (Akande, 2002). Due to the increasing research on political cartoons, this study reviews previous studies conducted in the area from the beginning of the millennium (2000) to the year 2010 that marks the first decade of the 21st century millennium. It is hoped that the review will highlight how the genre contributes to social and political commentary and to provide an inspiration for further research in political cartoons.
Political cartoons, First Decade, Century Millennium, Media, Messages
Creating an enjoyable classroom session is considered an essential goal of teaching (Dornyei, 2001) as this can help to enhance learning outcome (Hamilton 2010; Klein, Noe & Wang 2006; Oxford & Shearing 1994). This article reflects a case study in which attempts were made to turn the classroom into not only a delightful place for language learning, but also a stage for personal enjoyment and performance for college students. The diversity in the input and outcome was achieved via the use of various materials as warmers and different types of assessment activities. Observation showed that our students truly enjoyed these activities and they manifested improved creativity, confidence and language skills development. Implications and suggestions for other class contexts were also discussed.
This paper seeks to explore the motives of the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf region vis-a-vis the energy resources of the region. Studying geopolitical codes helps reveal the intentions behind a state’s foreign policy through defining national interests, threats, actions and justification. Examining the U.S. code suggests the importance of oil as a vital strategic interest for the country. It defines the preservation of the U.S. hegemonic position as an ultimate goal for its presence in the Persian Gulf. In this respect, the threat of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi government to three vast fields of energy reservoirs in the Persian Gulf made it necessary to affect regime change so as to protect the free flow of oil to the West and this was done through the control and preservation of the U.S. hegemonic position.
U.S. geopolitical code, Persian Gulf’s energy resources, the Bush Administration, pre-emptive war, U.S. hegemonic position
The purpose of this study was to explore the perception of 295 lecturers on learning organization dimensions and demographic variables in technical and vocational colleges in four provinces of Fars, Khuzestan, Boushehr, and Kohgilouyeh and Boyerahmad in Iran. Data was collected using a questionnaire and analyzed utilizing SPSS which included the use of descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings showed that respondents’ perceptions were rated from moderate to high in learning organization dimensions with significant differences based on the type of employment, academic rank and education level. No significant differences were observed in gender and marital status towards learning organization dimensions. The relevant literature shows few studies regarding learning organization dimensions and demographic variables locally and internationally. Therefore, the findings can be evaluated as useful information and guidance for educational administrators and leaders in utilizing learning organization dimensions in the management of educational institutions.
Demographic Variables, Learning organization Dimensions, Technical and Vocational Colleges
Today, access to various audiovisual programs such as cartoons has become very easy through the development of audiovisual technologies such as CD and DVD players. In the same line, many studies have emphasized on the psychological values of utilizing cartoons in language learning. Accordingly, the present study aims at investigating the effect of exposure of cartoons on language proficiency at the intermediate level. To this end, a language proficiency test was administered to 90 language learners. Then, a smaller population of 40 language learners were selected as intermediate language learners and randomly divided into two groups, i.e. group one and group two. During the experiment, group one was instructed via the use of cartoons. In contrast, group two was instructed by a sample of selected audiovisual programs rather than cartoons. At the end of the study which lasted for 6 weeks, both groups took another sample language proficiency test to find out whether or not if any changes happened regarding their language proficiency. The results of the post-test showed that the first group participants who had exposure to cartoons had lesser language proficiency improvement in comparison to the second group of participants who had exposure to non-cartoons programs. This proved that the quality of the language input should be given initial importance.
Lifelong learning has been closely related to the development of human capital from an economic perspective. The focus of this research study is the social and cultural motivating and facilitating factors that might have contributed to the life long learning experience as perceived by the interviewees. Fifteen participants, who have worked as educators or who are currently teaching in various educational settings, which include primary, secondary and tertiary levels, took part in this study. The themes that emerged, from a phenomenological in-depth qualitative interview approach, were analyzed using the constant comparison method. The findings reveal that the process of life long learning experience encompasses various stages, namely dissatisfaction, reflection, decision making, overcoming obstacles, and on-going growth. Both system support from a wider context and micro family support were found to be essential. Various facilitative factors from the local culture were revealed. A model of lifelong learning for school teachers was identified.
The main objective of this study is to examine the determinants of consumers’ willingness-to-pay for monorail transportation in Penang (Malaysia). Cross sectional primary survey data with a total of 498 respondents is used for the analysis via a censored regression model. The results demonstrate that habit of recycling, experience in using urban rail-based transportation and problems of insufficient cark parks have the significant effects on the willingness-to-pay for a trip of monorail to travel to work. Whereas, age, gender, ethnicity, income, education and personal perspective on public transportation system are found to have no significant impact on the willingness-to-pay for a trip of monorail to travel to work. Based on these findings, several policies are recommended.
Congestion, monorail, transportation, willingness-to-pay, Malaysia
This study investigated the job satisfaction among school counsellors in secondary schools in mid-western Nigeria. The study adopted a survey research design. The participants were 121 secondary school counsellors drawn from secondary schools in mid-western Nigeria. A questionnaire titled “Counsellor’s Job Satisfaction Questionnaire (CJSQ)” was used to collect data for this study. The results indicated that the majority of the secondary school counselors are satisfied with their jobs. Also, promotion was the best single factorr predicting job satisfaction. In addition, job dimension variables such as promotion, job tenure, salary, social support and supervision significantly correlated with job satisfaction among school counsellors. Based on these findings, it was recommended that school counsellors’ job satisfaction could be further enhanced and sustained by government and school administrators by paying adequate attention to the welfare of counsellors in terms of regular promotion, enhanced remunerations, guaranteed job security, adequate social support system and provision of well equipped counselling centres for counselling practice.
Job satisfaction, secondary school counsellors, best counselling practices, career advancement, career counselling
This study investigates the acquisition of the verb movement parameter in English by adult Arabic-speaking learners of English as a Second Language (ESL)1. English and Arabic differ in the settings they adopt for the verb movement parameter. English is [-strong], while Arabic is [+strong]. Accordingly, the placement of the verb with respect to negation, adverbs and floating quantifiers (FQs) in English are considered difficult to acquire for adult Arabic ESL learners. In order to examine the nature of adult Arabic ESL learners’ interlanguage (IL) grammar at the L2 ultimate attainment level as well as the extent to which the adult Arabic ESL learners can reset the verb movement parameter and correctly place the verb with respect to negation, adverbs and FQs in finite and non-finite contexts with lexical and auxiliary verbs, an oral production task was conducted with 77 adult Arabic ESL learners who were subdivided into three proficiency levels (lower-intermediate, upper-intermediate and advanced). The results reveal that the Arabic ESL learners, even at ultimate attainment level, have great difficulty in resetting the parameterized property associated with the verb movement. These results support the Failed Functional Features Hypothesis (FFFH) (Hawkins and Chan, 1997) which proposes that post-childhood adult L2 learners are unable to reset parameters from their L1 values to the L2 settings where these differ from the L1 settings.
Second Language Acquisition, verb movement parameter, Failed Functional Features Hypothesis, Adult L1 Arabic speakers, Negation, Adverbs, Floating Quantifiers
Restorative justice has been widely practiced across countries, but it is still a relatively new concept in Malaysia. Its implementation in the nation is desired, however, there are issues of culture, shyness, and the people’s preference of conflict resolution methods that can interfere with its effectiveness. This paper seeks to explore the individual degree of collectivism/individualism and shyness of the Malaysian people and the kinds of conflict resolution practice that they prefer. The findings showed that the sample is collectivistic and individualistic in general, but they are more collectivistic when it comes to decision making relating to criminal cases. Although the sample appears to be shyer, they seem to be less shy in criminal context. Restorative justice programs also seem to be a good fit in Malaysia since authority is a preferred way of resolving conflict, although they also prefer negotiation and mediation; and both are important elements in programs such as victim-offender mediation.
Through 18 interviews with German mother tongue speakers living in Malaysia, we investigate the impact of a foreign language on the individual’s identity. In this context, the study relies on the Social Identity Theory and Social Categorisation Theory which focus on language and identity. The researchers were of the view that the use of a foreign language serves as a substitute for the mother tongue in the construal of identity only to a certain extent. This phenomenon becomes most apparent in situations where the competency of the language is crucial for the respondent involved in communication. Depending on the importance of the situation the respondents experience a different level of achievement/ failure in expressing their identity. At the same time, the respondents evaluate identity of their communication partner by rating their language skills. Our findings further indicate that language makes a linkage between personal and social identities which is reflected in the feelings and behaviour of respondents in situation, when they cannot understand the language others use around them. Additionally the individual’s identity perception does not seem to be influenced by the length of stay in Malaysia, nor by a long/short term relationship with a non-German speaking partner. The mother tongue however becomes replaceable, provided the respondent gained the knowledge in a certain area in a foreign language. In this case, the individual will have difficulty to communicate about that particular area in his mother tongue except with practice.
Identity, foreign language, German native speakers, language and identity,multilingualism
The community in the Kelantan River Basin is still confronted by the problem of ineffectiveness of flood management system despite the government’s efforts to come up with various approacheson flood management systems to assist flood victims. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the level of residents’ satisfaction towards the implementation of flood management system. This study is quantitatively designed which utilized a questionnaire distributed to 160 respondents selected by stratified cluster simple one-stage sampling technique. The statistical technique used is mean comparison and one-way ANOVA to explain the residents’ perceptions among the districts involved with regards to the efficiency of the implemented flood management system. Based on the outcome of the study, the mean value related to the level of satisfaction of flood victims showed a decreasing pattern from before, during and after flood occurrences. For example, the mean comparative study reveals that the residents of Tanah Merah district recorded the highest dissatisfaction level for the three periods (before 3.04, current 2.95 and after 2.02) in comparision to other districts. The results illustrate a low efficiency level in flood management before flood occurrence. For instance, the community is still not quite satisfied with the effectiveness of warning system, action time intervals and current announcement time intervals regarding latest developments in flood situation with all these variables not achieving significant level of 0.05. The same applies to the situation on after flood effects such as in terms of dispensing flood assistance, controlling of infectious diseases and actions toward each resident’s complaints. Thus, government have to reconsider about the level of residents’ satisfaction to current flood management systems namely before, during and after floods occurrence and systematic planning in flood management system reflects proactive cooperation among relevant parties in preparation for flood disaster.
Satisfaction level, flood management system, river basins
This study examines the psychometric properties of Australian Inventory of Family Strengths (AIFS) in a sample of 200 rural Malay families in Malaysia. The exploratory factor analysis of AIFS revealed 3-factor solution and were labelled as Shared Values, Togetherness and Respectful Communication. The overall scale had a high degree of internal consistency (a = 0.96). Results indicate that the three factors were moderately correlated. The validity of AIFS was also satisfying in terms of the actual data matching the expected correlation between family strengths measure and the variables of children’s social competence and self-esteem. The results of this study imply that the construct of family strength and its measurement from the West can be helpful and applicable in understanding the characteristics of family strength of rural Malay families in Malaysia.
Job satisfaction is directly related to a number of positive outcomes at work and in certain other aspects of life. In the past few years, job satisfaction among the armed forces has received much attention, but the results of research have been contradictory, in view of the lack of psychometrically robust instrument. Due to its multidimensional orientation, Job Satisfaction Survey has been widely used to assess job satisfaction across different types of job. Although JSS is a promising measure, it has never been validated in the armed forces context. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the Malay version of the Job Satisfaction Survey (Spector, 1965) using data from Malaysian military personnel . With this is mind, a group of male navy personnel from selected navy bases were recruited to be respondents. Through exploratory factor analyses (EFA), results yielded a five-subscale model with 28 items, namely: recognition, affection, fairness, expectation, and workload. In addition, the validity and stability of the five-dimensional structure of the scale were evident in this study using confirmatory factor analyses (CFA). In summary, this study confirmed the psychometric properties of the scale and can further be used to measure job satisfaction in the armed force setting.
The rapid change in technology among organizations motivates the need for researchers and practitioners to form new practices by understanding, re-examining and integrating the key determinants of obsolete practices. In the same way, this study aims to compositely examine the role of leadership, concurrent engineering (CE) and teamwork in a Malaysian semiconductor manufacturing firm. A total of 226 survey responses were collected back from the 2100 surveys distributed and analysed using correlation and multiple linear regression analyses. The results showed that the relationship between leadership-CE-teamwork and engineering performance was stronger than that of the other individually-tested relationships. Though best practices in leadership are important for achieving a team’s goal, a more flexible and cooperative leadership may be formed with the integration of CE, teamwork and leadership. Top management should consider exploring more opportunities in all these components for improved engineering performance and synergy among engineering teams. Tactical strategies based on various leadership styles, team member competencies and CE approaches should also be formulated to strengthen the flexibility of current leadership styles. The results can be potentially used as general guidelines for the engineering management practice and research in engineering firms.
Academics are seen as guardians of knowledge, disseminators of knowledge and creators of new knowledge. However, due to the expectation of Malaysia to be a regional hub for international higher education, it consequently burdens the academics especially in private higher learning education. Stress occurs among academics and stimulates them to leave. This situation is dangerous as it impacts on the institution and the student itself directly and indirectly. Therefore, this study attempts to investigate turnover intention from the perspective of job demand, job control and social support. 201 academics from private HLE were participated in this research and the empirical tests revealed that job control determine the level of turnover intention as well as social support on turnover intention. The regression estimation shows that social support was significantly reflected in turnover intention among academics.
Turnover intention, private HLE, academics, job demand, job control, social support
This present study seeked to investigate the teaching styles adopted by the science teachers and their student intrinsic motivation in order to be persistence in learning the subject. Using the response from student experiences, the 5Es instructional model by Bybee (1996) has been adopted for the theoretical framework in the study. The purpose of the study was to validate the 5Es model and intrinsic motivation. 452 samples from selected secondary school students in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia have been collected to provide the responses for self constructed questionnaires in the structural equation modeling analysis. The findings provide the implications toward empirical evidence of theory, teaching practice and appropriate interventions that can be addressed for future research.
Science teaching, instructional technology, constructivist learning, instructional design model
Does systems thinking facilitate the acquisition of important skills in solving ill-defined problems? This exploratory study seeks to investigate whether an association exists between problem-solving and informal systems-thinking skills. A survey methodology that included a paper and pencil test was used to gather data. Four performance tasks designed and adapted to local context were employed to measure both sets of skills. Following that, the performance of each respondent was scored based on an analytical scoring rubric. Both descriptive and inferential data analysis involving comparisons of the populations and checking for correlations were carried out. Findings indicated that the respondents performed poorly in all the tasks. The mean score for systems thinking was found to be lower than that of problem solving. These skills were analysed according to three pre-selected demographics. Interestingly, the data indicated that there was a positive but moderate association between problem-solving and systems-thinking skills. The limitations and some general recommendations for future research were also discussed.
Keywordacademic achievement, gender, higher education, problem solving, systems thinking
Background: The sexual identity of gay men is placed as the polar opposite of heterosexuality and as such is studied as a deviance from the norm. This study is focused on the experience of stigma by gay men in Penang as part of identity development. Method: A total of 33 gay men were identified using the snowballing method. Qualitative data via in-depth interviewing was the method of data collection. Respondents signed a consent form approved by the Ethics Committee of Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia. Each respondent was then given a pseudonym to ensure confidentiality of the respondents’ identity.. Each respondent was interviewed separately at a date, time and venue of their convenience and were asked identical open ended questions. Each interview was audio recorded, transcribed and analysed using content analysis matrix. Results: Stigma had positively or negatively affected the sexual identity of the respondents interviewed. At best stigma brought respondents’ strength and courage and at its worst, it has brought out fear and recrimination. The common types of stigma reported by respondents were name-calling, the creation of “in-group” and “out-group” situations, bullying (being ridiculed) and religious prejudice. The stigma faced by the respondents had not resulted in activism and to an extent forced some of the respondents to conform (at least when in public) to society’s expectations. Conclusion: Stigma had assisted in the development of sexual identity of the respondents. Sadly, it is stigma and not a more positive experience of socio-cultural interaction that had assisted in the development of sexual identity.
Bullying, Gay Men, In-group, Out-group, Sexual Identity, Stigma.
When the Chinese migrated to Malaya en masse in the 19th century, they brought along with them their religious belief. Many aspects of the Chinese Religion are still maintained and practiced by the Chinese in Malaysia today. However, after years of interaction with people from other ethnic origins in Malaysia, the Chinese has synthesized local elements into their belief system. Empirically, the worship of Datuk Gong is one of them. The worship originated from the Datuk Keramat cult, which was popular among the Malays in Malaysia. This paper attempts to explain why the Chinese in Malaysia accepted local elements such as the worship of Datuk Keramat into their religion and the meaning of such acceptance. When the Chinese Malaysian transfigured certain elements found in their religion to accept the concept of Datuk Keramat, it shows their long-term commitment to make Malaysia their home. In order to achieve these objectives, observations and interviews at ten Datuk Gong temples in Peninsular Malaysia were made to collect relevant data. Data gathered shows the Chinese have transfigured their religious practice to facilitate their adaptation to live in a country, which was once foreign to them.
Datuk Gong, Chinese Religion, Syncretism, Shenism, Pragmatism.
Mathematics is recognized as an important subject in the school curriculum in Malaysia. It is a compulsory subject for many courses in matriculation, private colleges and universities. The purpose of this study is to identify the factors that influence the matriculation students in mathematical problem solving. Bayesian Network, a data mining technique, is used in this study to analyse the causal relationships. Bayesian network is a probabilistic graphical model which converts variables and their dependent relationships into nodes and arcs respectively. We compare the resultant networks using the different constraint and score based algorithms to identify the main factors affecting students in problem solving of mathematics. We found that students in Penang Matriculation College faced problem solving in mathematics owing to their problem with mathematical symbols. Hence, the students have no confidence in answering mathematics problems especially in questions related to their understanding of mathematical symbols.
This study aimed at Evaluating the socioeconomic status (SES), physical activity (PA), physical fitness and sedentary activity in Iranian children aged 7-11 years. We analysed the following cross-section data from a selected sample of children (N=766) aged 7 to 11 years: age, anthropometric characteristics, SES, PA, ten physical fitness tests and sedentary activities. 29.4% and 31.3% of the children reported TV watching and video playing daily time (TVVPT) higher than 3 and 4 hours/day, respectively. Fat mass (FM) was significantly related to PA (r=-0.165; P<0.01), cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) (r=-0.793; P<0.01), and TVVPT (r=0.200; P<0.01), after controlling for age and SES. Although, the children by high-SES represented higher height, weight, body mass index, waist circumference, FM and fat free mass than the children by mid-SES and low-SES, but the differences were not significant among them. Although, PA was not different among the children by SES, however, the children by high-SES represented significant higher TVVPT than the children by mid-SES and low-SES (p<0.05); and had significant lower CRF than the children by mid-SES (p<0.05). The results of this study indicated higher sedentary activities and lower CRF in the children by high-SES in comparison to the children by mid-SES and low-SES. Furthermore, regarding the relationship between FM with PA, CRF and sedentary activity, increased PA and decreased sedentary behavior in children as much as possible should be considered.
Fat mass, body mass index, TV watching, cardiorespiratory fitness