There is considerable agreement among linguists that theme acts as a cohesive device in texts. It plays a major role in message organization and in enabling it to be communicated and understood clearly. Although one issue in writing is how writers apply this cohesive device in their writing, the question of how theme manifestation is affected by the writers’ disciplinary or linguistic background has received little attention. Therefore, this paper aims to review the issue of theme in cross-disciplinary and cross-linguistic studies. The reviewed studies supported the earlier claim that theme application is packed differently across different disciplines and linguistics.
This study examined the relationship between religion and happiness as espoused by 358 undergraduate Iranian Muslim students (165 men, 193 women). Participants completed Farsi versions of the Oxford Happiness Inventory, the Depression-Happiness Scale and the Religious Orientation Scale. Analysis confirmed a significant positive association between religion and happiness among the sample of Iranian Muslim students. Scores on the Religious Orientation Scale were significantly related to those on the Oxford Happiness Inventory (r = 0.34, P < .001), as were scores with the Religious Orientation Scale and the Depression-Happiness Scale (r = 0.29, P < .001).
This study is to determine the effectiveness of the Learning Station Method (LSM) in the Special Education Programme for students with learning disabilities. LSM is a teaching and learning method equipped with effective teaching materials that emphasise ‘hands-on experience’ and learning through play. This method is an alternative method to the traditional teaching and learning method that is currently being implemented in Special Education Programmes in Malaysia as it provides students with opportunities for experiential learning and is also conducted according to students’ individual ability and interests. The objective of this study is to determine the effectiveness of LSM in increasing students’ interest in learning, mastery of the skills taught and changes in students’ behaviour. This study is quasi-experimental with control and treatment groups, using pre- and post-tests. Sixteen students who were diagnosed with developmental delay were recruited for this study. They were from the Special Education Learning Disabilities Programme in Astana Primary School, Kuching. Data were analysed with SPSS. Research findings showed that LSM was successful in increasing students’ interest, mastery of skills taught and positive behaviour. Therefore, this study will help the Ministry of Education and special education teachers to plan and implement better the Learning Station Method to make it more effective in developing the mental, physical and social skills of students with special needs.
learning disabilities, Learning Station Methods (LSM), learning stations (KSP), teaching using traditional method, process of teaching and learning
This paper presents the findings of a study into the relationship between parents’ jobs and the work values of apprentices. The findings were examined in the context of the positive relationship between work commitment and productivity of skilled workers and the need to understand influences on the work values of apprentices. The findings showed that the work values of apprentices were influenced by the kind of jobs each parent held. The importance of particular work values to apprentices differed significantly according to either their mother or father’s job. ANOVA and Post Hoc analyses showed that the parents’ role in their children’s work values depended on the work value examined. The findings support literature specifically on intergenerational transmission of values, the occupational linkage hypothesis and the social learning theory on the influence of parents’ occupation and children’s values. They also show the importance for industry to focus on, and provide support to young apprentices in improving their commitment to work and help raise their productivity levels. The paper offers some suggestions on the kind of focus and support that can be offered.
Apprentices, work values, parents’ jobs, work commitment, job satisfaction
This paper reports the results of a mixed-method study which was conducted to investigate whether Malay ESL learners who were, at the time the study was conducted, first-year Diploma in Computer Science students in a public university in Malaysia could improve their receptive vocabulary knowledge incidentally while reading silently in the classroom. A quasi experiment and a focus group interview were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data, respectively. The following were the two main research questions of the study: a) What is the effect of focused in-class reading with writing activity on the students’ receptive vocabulary knowledge at the 2,000 word-family level? b) What are the students’ perceptions of these activities in improving their vocabulary knowledge? The study concluded that a short period of focused in-class reading and writing activity conducted consistently can improve L2 learners’ receptive vocabulary knowledge. Although both the experimental and control groups showed significant improvement in their receptive vocabulary knowledge at the 2000-word level, the vocabulary growth for the experimental group was higher than for the control group. In addition, the participants perceived focused in-class reading with writing activity as beneficial in improving their general vocabulary knowledge.
Focused in-class reading, receptive vocabulary, vocabulary growth, word family
The emergence of the literature component as a compulsory tested component of the Malaysian ESL syllabus for secondary schools is one of the most significant developments in ESL learning in recent years. One of the general aims of incorporating literature in an ESL classroom is to enhance students’ proficiency and enjoyment of the English language through literature. One of the biggest challenges in the ESL classroom is making learning meaningful, and project-based learning is but one of many ways to achieve this goal. The main focus of the Literature component in the Malaysian English curriculum is to fulfil academic requirements, but this does not preclude students’ enjoyment of the texts or the experience of engaging with literary texts. Literary texts are wonderful materials that can be explored and exploited in the ESL classroom, for instance, for the development of writing skills. This study is based on the precepts of Project-Based Learning, which hinges on Constructivist ideals looking towards long-term student centred, activity-based learning framed by sequential acquisition of discrete skills through holistic and realistic learning. This study will be exploring the acquisition of skills and language as part of holistic learning through the staging of a play. The most pertinent findings are that PBL as it is applied here allowed the students to focus on the impending stage production as both an outcome and a motivation to acquire skills. It found that as the curriculum requirements of reading, writing, listening and speaking were no longer abstract personal choices but rather skills the students were acquiring in the pursuit of completing the project, the students significantly improved in their commitment to acquiring and in the practice of language skills and holistic values such as self-confidence, team work and perseverance. The findings were most eloquently supported in the students’ own words in their journals as they tracked their progress and setbacks from the beginning of the year until the end of the project and the release of the results of their final exams. As writing is a difficult skill to master, this study supports both the concept of language acquisition in practice as well as fulfilling the school-based assessment skill building requirement in a cohesive construct that provides focus and reward for the students as well as breaks the monotony of conventional classroom teaching. At the very least, it offers teachers some of the possible strategies or activities using literary texts used in schools to develop English communication in the four areas, with special focus on writing skills. It also examines the students’ learning process in producing pieces of writing in response to reading a literary text, their response to performing as a post-writing activity, and the implications of using drama and plays as a post-writing activity. The ready-made year-end school performance for teachers provided in this paper is also a bonus.
Project based learning, teaching writing, facultative teaching and learning, performance learning, fun with literature teaching approach
Although the notion of self-efficacy has been applied to many domains, little is known regarding teacher efficacy in teaching family life. Self-efficacy in this study refers to teachers’ beliefs that their efforts can improve students’ moral characters and behaviors in relation to family life. In Malaysian secondary schools, aspects of family life are taught through five different subjects. Therefore, there is a need for studying teachers’ self-efficacy in teaching family life, which is the main purpose of this research. In this research, the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale, developed by Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy (2001), was used to measure teachers’ self-efficacy. Data was collected from 419 secondary school teachers who teach family life. Findings indicated that respondents had moderate self-efficacy for the overall teaching efficacy as well as three sub dimensions of efficacy. The implication of the study is discussed in the last part of the paper. Suggestions offered are hopefully to be considered to enhance and foster teacher efficacy in teaching family life.
Teachers’ efficacy beliefs, teachers’ sense of efficacy, Family Life Education
The Victorian era during the nineteenth century was marked by the Church of England and was greatly associated with “Victorian values,” strict rules, formal manners, rigidly defined roles and highly moralistic standards of behaviour. Considering the main religious thoughts of that period, this study examines the basic religious notions of the time which had an effect on Thomas Hardy and provoked him to question the existing religious and social forces of the time through Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891) and Jude the Obscure (1895). Due to his many bitter and tragic stories, most readers consider him a pessimist writer—a description that he himself does not agree. Rather, Hardy considers himself a ‘meliorist’; therefore, he cannot accept being a pessimist. It is significant to note the religious clues in his two mentioned novels, which help the reader to see a reflection of his inner beliefs and his religious outlook on his characters as well. This article, based for the most part on several quotations of the two novels, attempts to extrapolate religious and social problems of the Victorian age and the way Thomas Hardy responds to the so-called Victorian notions through considering his emphasis on repeating the consequences of these forces in the selected novels.
Thomas Hardy, Christianity, Victorian era, Evangelicalism, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure
Leech and Short (1981, p.74) argues that every analysis of style is an attempt to find the artistic principles behind an author’s choice of language. Hence, this article focuses on the stylistic that exist in English-Arabic translation texts of the British Broadcasting Corporation‘s (BBC) political news. It attempts to find the nature of the stylistic changes as proposed by Vinay and Darbelnet (1995) and also to show how the differences in the order of sentence constituents and the points of grammars of the Source Texts (ST) and Target Texts (TT) contribute to the stylistic and the semantic changes. This paper deals with the sequences of the sentence constituents, some elements of grammar such as tenses, prepositions and adverbs, and the semantic changes that have consequently taken place in the Arabic translation. The paper makes use of the stylistic ideas of Ghazala (1995) as well as X’ Theory by Culicover (1997) to capture the syntactic changes. The analysis of the data shows the following: (a) The semantic changes are attributable to the differences on points of grammar (tenses, prepositions and adverbs) the differences in the weltanschauung (world-view) of the speakers of the ST and the TT arising from different cultural emphasis and differences in some socio-linguistics elements; and (b) The stylistic changes are essentially arising from differing language structures.
Grammar, syntax, semantics, changes, style and translation
Entrepreneurial leadership is a particular leadership behaviour that enables leaders to face the challenges of their tasks and roles in the current environment of organisations. Education scholars believe that this type of leadership empowers educational leaders to meet the diverse needs of students as well as the ever-changing demands of the school environment. However, many questions have been raised on how to measure entrepreneurial leadership behaviour in educational settings and in particular among school principals. The main purpose of this study was to determine Malaysian secondary school principals’ entrepreneurial leadership behaviour through teachers’ perspectives using the Entrepreneurial Leadership Questionnaire. A total sample of 300 school teachers were asked to rate the frequency of entrepreneurial leadership behaviour in their school principals. The data was analysed using Structural Equation Modelling. The results indicated that the questionnaire is highly valid and reliable to measure school principals’ entrepreneurial leadership behaviour. Furthermore, entrepreneurial leadership is a multi-dimensional construct that can be explained by five leadership behaviours including general entrepreneurial leader behaviour, explorer behaviour, miner behaviour, accelerator behaviour and integrator behaviour. Implications of the findings are also discussed in this paper.
Entrepreneurial leadership, leadership behaviour, school principals, school teachers, Malaysia
This concept paper seeks to discuss the issues of the measurement of Malaysian university graduates’ generic skills as an indicator of their employability in the real world job market. Despite the heated discussions and arguments among stakeholders on the problem of rampant unemployment of fresh university graduates, there is still a distinct absence of a valid screening tool to test the level of work readiness of the university students before they are awarded their scrolls. Starting July 2006, the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) instituted the implementation of seven generic skills to be incorporated into the tertiary curriculum in an effort to address and redress the shortcomings in graduate employability. This worthy effort however, has been stymied by the somewhat informal, subjective, and lackadaisical treatment of the generic skills component in the actual implementation. This, coupled with the absence of a validated exit screening tool, undermines all serious efforts to ensure that graduates are genuinely work ready. This concept paper proposes a model called Graduate Employability Model (GEM) as a framework that policy makers and higher education practitioners could use to generate a more stringent quantitative and summative quotient of the future graduates’ employability as indicated by their generic skills.
Online self-disclosure and online communication are two communication behaviours that, on the basis of prior research and theory, would appear to be related both to one another and to psychological need satisfaction. This study explored these relationships among a sample of 190 secondary school students drawn from a district in Malaysia. Respondents completed a questionnaire battery, which included measures of online self-disclosure, online communication and psychological need satisfaction. Quantitative data were then entered and analysed via Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The results demonstrated that adolescents disclosed more during same-sex interaction than opposite-sex interaction. The findings also showed a positive relationship between online communication and same-sex disclosure for adolescent girls, but not necessarily for boys. Hierarchical regression analyses confirmed that for male and female adolescents, same-sex disclosure, opposite-sex disclosure and online communication were found to be predictive of adolescents’ experiences of psychological need satisfaction in online friendships. No interaction effect was found between online self-disclosure and online communication on psychological need satisfaction. The contribution of this study is two-fold. First, currently, little research exists examining the association between online self-disclosure, online communication and psychological need satisfaction in a single published study. Second, we extend previous research with a more nuanced understanding of psychological need satisfaction embedded in the context of CMC.
Adolescents, Computer-Mediated Communication, Psychological Need Satisfaction, Self-Determination Theory, Uses and Gratification Theory
This paper examines the firm’s leverage decision from a new perspective, namely human governance The sample covers 110 public listed companies in Bursa Malaysia for the period of 2002 to 2011. The objective of this study is to investigate the influences of human governance, namely CEO’s attributes (age, founder, tenure, duality, and gender) on a firm’s leverage decision through OLS regression models. The moderating effect of CEO ownership on the association between CEO personal characteristics and leverage was evaluated. From the analysis a negative relationship between CEO age, founder, gender and leverage decision and a positive impact between tenure and leverage decision was discovered. The study also shows that. CEOs owning shares in a company will more likely to take risks. The conclusion suggests that companies may increase their CEO share holdings so that CEO will align their personal interest with the ultimate goal of a company.
Human governance, leverage decision, Malaysia listed companies
This article showcases the unique position accorded to the terras tree (Eusideroxylon zwageri Teijsm. & Binn. Lauraceae) in the Berawan culture. We collaborated with the Berawan people of the Loagan Bunut region of Sarawak, to uncover the most important tree in their culture. In a group interview, the participants ranked the terras as the most important tree. The Identified Cultural Influence of Cultural Keystone Species (ICI) and the Use Value Index (UV) was found to be extraordinarily high at 35 and 6.05 respectively. The multidimensional use value of the tree, stemming from its hardy timber, could be the reason behind its cultural importance. We conclude that the terras tree should be protected even outside the national parks for its ecological and cultural value.
Coming from a community born primarily out of the indenture experience, the creative writings that have emerged from the communal compound of the Malaysian Indian diaspora almost inevitably touch on the poetics of loss of homeland and the struggle to reinvent identity in a new land. While there are the inescapable signifiers of trauma in the disillusionment of finding what was hoped to be a promised land, they are set to the rhythms of the new land. While the object of mourning may be unreachable, its semblances are seen in the new land and efforts are made to reinvent the object of loss, leading to a form of substitution. Allegiance to a land of memories becomes located more in its rituals and its religion and the attendant myths and metaphors, a spiritual homeland more than the imagined nation that could have been. Hence, historical remembrance is no more the core theme of Malaysian Indian diasporic experience as there are other various forms of representations of the Malaysian Indian diasporic consciousness. In the context of creative writings, it is also a fertile ground for the articulation of the creative imaginary. However, the terrain is multi-faceted and the following discussion will reveal a small section of the variations in the articulation and perception of the concept of the house, and its varying features as it dwells in the pages of three Malaysian Indian novelists, K. S. Maniam, Rani Manicka and Preeta Samarasan.
Diasporic memory, K. S. Maniam, Malaysian Indian writings, Preeta Samarasan, Rani Manicka
This paper is part of a larger study in which two frameworks were developed in order to analyse data sets gathered in a Malaysian undergraduate setting. The broader aim of the research is to study the degree of transferability of an interactive pedagogy developed by Western researchers in a Malaysian classroom setting. The first paper discussed how a framework was developed from Project Zero research findings. The subsequent paper will show how an analytical framework derived from the first and second (present) papers can be used to analyse data sets and provide answers to the research questions raised in the study. The focus of this second paper, however, is to develop one framework, for which literature by prominent researchers in classroom discourse is considered. This paper specifically deals with various aspects of classroom discourse ranging from the importance of language and the use of right language to stimulate student thinking to improving teaching and learning by employing suitable classroom discourse. This is followed by a table listing episodes of classroom interaction that research shows is relevant to enhance classroom learning.