Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 107

Cognitive and Language Sciences

A Self Organized Map Method to Classify Auditory-Color Synesthesia from Frontal Lobe Brain Blood Volume

Absolute pitch is the ability to identify a musical note without a reference tone. Training for absolute pitch often occurs in preschool education. It is necessary to clarify how well the trainee can make use of synesthesia in order to evaluate the effect of the training. To the best of our knowledge, there are no existing methods for objectively confirming whether the subject is using synesthesia. Therefore, in this study, we present a method to distinguish the use of color-auditory synesthesia from the separate use of color and audition during absolute pitch training. This method measures blood volume in the prefrontal cortex using functional Near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and assumes that the cognitive step has two parts, a non-linear step and a linear step. For the linear step, we assume a second order ordinary differential equation. For the non-linear part, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to create an inverse filter of such a complex system as the brain. Therefore, we apply a method based on a self-organizing map (SOM) and are guided by the available data. The presented method was tested using 15 subjects, and the estimation accuracy is reported.

Circadian Clock and Subjective Time Perception: A Simple Open Source Application for the Analysis of Induced Time Perception in Humans

Subjective time perception implies connection to cognitive functions, attention, memory and awareness, but a little is known about connections with homeostatic states of the body coordinated by circadian clock. In this paper, we present results from experimental study of subjective time perception in volunteers performing physical activity on treadmill in various phases of their circadian rhythms. Subjects were exposed to several time illusions simulated by programmed timing systems. This study brings better understanding for further improvement of of work quality in isolated areas. 

Study of Syntactic Errors for Deep Parsing at Machine Translation

Syntactic parsing is vital for semantic treatment by many applications related to natural language processing (NLP), because form and content coincide in many cases. However, it has not yet reached the levels of reliable performance. By manually examining and analyzing individual machine translation output errors that involve syntax as well as semantics, this study attempts to discover what is required for improving syntactic and semantic parsing.

Absence of Developmental Change in Epenthetic Vowel Duration in Japanese Speakers’ English
This study examines developmental change in the production of epenthetic vowels by Japanese learners of English in relation to acquisition of L2 English speech rhythm. Seventy-two Japanese learners of English in the J-AESOP corpus were divided into lower- and higher-level learners according to their proficiency score and the frequency of vowel epenthesis. Three learners were excluded because no vowel epenthesis was observed in their utterances. The analysis of their read English speech data showed no statistical difference between lower- and higher-level learners, implying the absence of any developmental change in durations of epenthetic vowels. This result, together with the findings of previous studies, will be discussed in relation to the transfer of L1 phonology and manifestation of L2 English rhythm.
Co-Articulation between Consonant and Vowel in Cantonese Syllables

This study investigates C-V and V-C co-articulation in Cantonese monosyllables of the CV, VC or CVC structure, with C = one of the three stop consonants [p, t, k] and V = one of the three corner vowels [i, a, u]. Five repetitions of each test syllable on a randomized list were elicited from Cantonese young adult speakers in their early-20s. A research tool, EMA AG500, was used to record the synchronized audio signals and articulatory data at three different locations of the tongue – tongue tip, tongue middle, and tongue back – and the positions of the upper and lower lips during the test syllables. The main findings based on the articulatory data collected from two male Cantonese speakers are as follows: (i) For the syllable-initial [p-], strong co-articulation is observed when [p-] preceding the high vowel [i] or [u], but not the low vowel [a]. As for the syllable-final [-p], it is strongly co-articulated with the preceding vowel, even when the vowel is [a]. (ii) The co-articulation between the initial [t-] and the following vowel of any type is weak. In the syllable-final position, the degree of co-articulatory resistance of [-t] is also large when following the vowel [u], but [-t] is largely co-articulated with the preceding vowel when the vowel is [i] or [a]. (iii) The strength of co-articulation differs when the initial [k-] precedes the different types of vowel. A stronger co-articulation between [k-] and [i] than between [k-] and [u], and the strength of co-articulation is much reduced between [k-] and [a]. However, in the syllable-final position, there is strong co-articulation between [-k] and the preceding vowel [a]. (iv) Among the three types of stop consonants in the syllable-initial position, the decreasing degree of co-articulatory resistance (CR) is [t-] > [k-] > [p-], and the degree of CR is reduced during all three types of stop in the syllable-final position. In general, the data on co-articulation between consonant and vowel in the Cantonese monosyllables are similar to those in other languages reported in previous studies.

An Approach for Vocal Register Recognition Based on Spectral Analysis of Singing
Recognizing and controlling vocal registers during singing is a difficult task for beginner vocalist. It requires among others identifying which part of natural resonators is being used when a sound propagates through the body. Thus, an application has been designed allowing for sound recording, automatic vocal register recognition (VRR), and a graphical user interface providing real-time visualization of the signal and recognition results. Six spectral features are determined for each time frame and passed to the support vector machine classifier yielding a binary decision on the head or chest register assignment of the segment. The classification training and testing data have been recorded by ten professional female singers (soprano, aged 19-29) performing sounds for both chest and head register. The classification accuracy exceeded 93% in each of various validation schemes. Apart from a hard two-class clustering, the support vector classifier returns also information on the distance between particular feature vector and the discrimination hyperplane in a feature space. Such an information reflects the level of certainty of the vocal register classification in a fuzzy way. Thus, the designed recognition and training application is able to assess and visualize the continuous trend in singing in a user-friendly graphical mode providing an easy way to control the vocal emission.
Knowledge Required for Avoiding Lexical Errors at Machine Translation
This research aims at finding out the causes that led to wrong lexical selections in machine translation (MT) rather than categorizing lexical errors, which has been a main practice in error analysis. By manually examining and analyzing lexical errors outputted by a MT system, it suggests what knowledge would help the system reduce lexical errors.
Emergentist Metaphorical Creativity: Towards a Model of Analysing Metaphorical Creativity in Interactive Talk

Metaphorical creativity does not constitute a static property of discourse. It is an interactive dynamic process created online. There has been a lack of research concerning online produced metaphorical creativity. This paper intends to account for metaphorical creativity in online talk-in-interaction as a dynamic process that emerges as discourse unfolds. It brings together insights from the emergentist approach to the study of metaphor in verbal interactions and insights from conceptual blending approach as a model for analysing online metaphorical constructions to propose a model for studying metaphorical creativity in interactive talk. The model is based on three focal points. First, metaphorical creativity is a dynamic emergent and open-to-change process that evolves in real time as interlocutors constantly blend and re-blend previous metaphorical contributions. Second, it is not a product of isolated individual minds but a joint achievement that is co-constructed and co-elaborated by interlocutors. The third and most important point is that the emergent process of metaphorical creativity is tightly shaped by contextual variables surrounding talk-in-interaction. It is grounded in the framework of interpretation of interlocutors. It is constrained by preceding contributions in a way that creates textual cohesion of the verbal exchange and it is also a goal-oriented process predefined by the communicative intention of each participant in a way that reveals the ideological coherence/incoherence of the entire conversation.

Part of Speech Tagging Using Statistical Approach for Nepali Text
Part of Speech Tagging has always been a challenging task in the era of Natural Language Processing. This article presents POS tagging for Nepali text using Hidden Markov Model and Viterbi algorithm. From the Nepali text, annotated corpus training and testing data set are randomly separated. Both methods are employed on the data sets. Viterbi algorithm is found to be computationally faster and accurate as compared to HMM. The accuracy of 95.43% is achieved using Viterbi algorithm. Error analysis where the mismatches took place is elaborately discussed.
Towards a Computational Model of Consciousness: Global Abstraction Workspace
We assume that conscious functions are implemented automatically. In other words that consciousness as well as the non-consciousness aspect of human thought, planning and perception, are produced by biologically adaptive algorithms. We propose that the mechanisms of consciousness can be produced using similar adaptive algorithms to those executed by the mechanism. In this paper, we present a computational model of consciousness, the ”Global Abstraction Workspace” which is an internal environmental modelling perceived as a multi-agent system. This system is able to evolve and generate new data and processes as well as actions in the environment.
The Morphology of Sri Lankan Text Messages
Communicating via a text or an SMS (Short Message Service) has become an integral part of our daily lives. With the increase in the use of mobile phones, text messaging has become a genre by itself worth researching and studying. It is undoubtedly a major phenomenon revealing language change. This paper attempts to describe the morphological processes of text language of urban bilinguals in Sri Lanka. It will be a typological study based on 500 English text messages collected from urban bilinguals residing in Colombo. The messages are selected by categorizing the deviant forms of language use apparent in text messages. These stylistic deviations are a deliberate skilled performance by the users of the language possessing an in-depth knowledge of linguistic systems to create new words and thereby convey their linguistic identity and individual and group solidarity via the message. The findings of the study solidifies arguments that the manipulation of language in text messages is both creative and appropriate. In addition, code mixing theories will be used to identify how existing morphological processes are adapted by bilingual users in Sri Lanka when texting. The study will reveal processes such as omission, initialism, insertion and alternation in addition to other identified linguistic features in text language. The corpus reveals the most common morphological processes used by Sri Lankan urban bilinguals when sending texts.
Creativity in the Use of Sinhala and English in Advertisements in Sri Lanka: A Morphological Analysis
Sri Lanka has lived with the English language for more than 200 years. Although officially considered a link language, the phenomenal usage of English by the Sinhala-English bilingual has given rise to a mixed code with identifiable structural characteristics. The extensive use of the mixed language by the average Sri Lankan bilingual has resulted in it being used as a medium of communication by creative writers of bilingual advertisements in Sri Lanka. This study analyses the way in which English is used in bilingual advertisements in both print and electronic media in Sri Lanka. The theoretical framework for the study is based on Kachru’s analysis of the use of English by the bilingual, Muysken’s typology on code mixing theories in colonial settings and Myers-Scotton’s theory on the Matrix Language Framework Model. The study will look at a selection of Sinhala-English advertisements published in newspapers from 2015 to 2016. Only advertisements using both Sinhala and English are used for the analysis. To substantiate data collected from the newspapers, the study will select bilingual advertisements from television advertisements. The objective of the study is to analyze the mixed patterns used for creative purposes by advertisers. The results of the study will reveal the creativity used by the Sinhala –English bilingual and the morphological processes used by the creators of Sinhala-English bilingual advertisements to attract the masses.
The Role of Planning and Memory in the Navigational Ability

Navigational ability requires spatial representation, planning, and memory. It covers three interdependent domains, i.e. cognitive and perceptual factors, neural information processing, and variability in brain microstructure. Many attempts have been made to see the role of spatial representation in the navigational ability, and the individual differences have been identified in the neural substrate. But, there is also a need to address the influence of planning, memory on navigational ability. The present study aims to evaluate relations of aforementioned factors in the navigational ability. Total 30 participants volunteered in the study of a virtual shopping complex and subsequently were classified into good and bad navigators based on their performances. The result showed that planning ability was the most correlated factor for the navigational ability and also the discriminating factor between the good and bad navigators. There was also found the correlations between spatial memory recall and navigational ability. However, non-verbal episodic memory and spatial memory recall were also found to be correlated with the learning variable. This study attempts to identify differences between people with more and less navigational ability on the basis of planning and memory.

Arabic Light Stemmer for Better Search Accuracy
Arabic is one of the most ancient and critical languages in the world. It has over than 250 million Arabic native speakers and more than twenty countries having Arabic as one of its official languages. In the past decade, we have witnessed a rapid evolution in smart devices, social network and technology sector which led to the need to provide tools and libraries that properly tackle the Arabic language in different domains. Stemming is one of the most crucial linguistic fundamentals. It is used in many applications especially in information extraction and text mining fields. The motivation behind this work is to enhance the Arabic light stemmer to serve the data mining industry and leverage it in an open source community. The presented implementation works on enhancing the Arabic light stemmer by utilizing and enhancing an algorithm that provides an extension for a new set of rules and patterns accompanied by adjusted procedure. This study has proven a significant enhancement for better search accuracy with an average 10% improvement in comparison with previous works.
RussiAnglicized© Slang and Translation: A Clockwork Orange Tick-Tock

Slang argot plays a fundamental role in Burgess’ teenage special sociolect in his novel A Clockwork Orange, offered a wide variety of instances to be analyzed. Consequently, translation of the notions and keeping the effect would be of great importance. Burgess named his interesting RussiAnglicized©-slang word as Nadsat, stands for –teen, mostly derived from Russian and Cockney rhyming. The paper discusses the lexical origin and Persian translation of his weird slang words illustrating a teenage-gang argot. The product depicts creativity but mistranslation that leads to the loss of slang meaning load and atmosphere in the target text.

The Impact of Grammatical Differences on English-Mandarin Chinese Simultaneous Interpreting

This paper examines the impact of grammatical differences on simultaneous interpreting from English into Mandarin Chinese by drawing upon an empirical study of professional and student interpreters. The research focuses on the effects of three grammatical categories including passives, adverbial components and noun phrases on simultaneous interpreting. For each category, interpretations of instances in which the grammatical structures are the same across the two languages are compared with interpretations of instances in which the grammatical structures differ across the two languages in terms of content accuracy and delivery appropriateness. The results indicate that grammatical differences have a significant impact on the interpreting performance of both professionals and students.

Peer Corrective Feedback on Written Errors in Computer-Mediated Communication

This paper aims to explore the role of peer Corrective Feedback (CF) in improving written productions by English-as-a- foreign-language (EFL) learners who work together via Wikispaces. It attempted to determine the effect of peer CF on form accuracy in English, such as grammar and lexis. Thirty-four EFL learners at the tertiary level were randomly assigned into the experimental (with peer feedback) or the control (without peer feedback) group; each group was subdivided into small groups of two or three. This resulted in six and seven small groups in the experimental and control groups, respectively. In the experimental group, each learner played a role as an assessor (providing feedback to others), as well as an assessee (receiving feedback from others). Each participant was asked to compose his/her written work and revise it based on the feedback. In the control group, on the other hand, learners neither provided nor received feedback but composed and revised their written work on their own. Data collected from learners’ compositions and post-task interviews were analyzed and reported in this study. Following the completeness of three writing tasks, 10 participants were selected and interviewed individually regarding their perception of collaborative learning in the Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) environment. Language aspects to be analyzed included lexis (e.g., appropriate use of words), verb tenses (e.g., present and past simple), prepositions (e.g., in, on, and between), nouns, and articles (e.g., a/an). Feedback types consisted of CF, affective, suggestive, and didactic. Frequencies of feedback types and the accuracy of the language aspects were calculated. The results first suggested that accurate items were found more in the experimental group than in the control group. Such results entail that those who worked collaboratively outperformed those who worked non-collaboratively on the accuracy of linguistic aspects. Furthermore, the first type of CF (e.g., corrections directly related to linguistic errors) was found to be the most frequently employed type, whereas affective and didactic were the least used by the experimental group. The results further indicated that most participants perceived that peer CF was helpful in improving the language accuracy, and they demonstrated a favorable attitude toward working with others in the CMC environment. Moreover, some participants stated that when they provided feedback to their peers, they tended to pay attention to linguistic errors in their peers’ work but overlook their own errors (e.g., past simple tense) when writing. Finally, L2 or FL teachers or practitioners are encouraged to employ CMC technologies to train their students to give each other feedback in writing to improve the accuracy of the language and to motivate them to attend to the language system.

Age and Second Language Acquisition: A Case Study from Maldives
The age a child to be exposed to a second language is a controversial issue in communities such as the Maldives where English is taught as a second language. It has been observed that different stakeholders have different viewpoints towards the issue. Some believe that the earlier children are exposed to a second language, the better they learn, while others disagree with the notion. Hence, this case study investigates whether children learn a second language better when they are exposed at an earlier age or not. The spoken and written data collected confirm that earlier exposure helps in mastering the sound pattern and speaking fluency with more native-like accent, while a later age is better for learning more abstract and concrete aspects such as grammar and syntactic rules.
A Study on Bilingual Semantic Processing: Category Effects and Age Effects

The present study addressed the nature of bilingual semantic processing in Mandarin Chinese and Southern Min and examined category effects and age effects. Nineteen bilingual adults of Mandarin Chinese and Southern Min, nine monolingual seniors of Mandarin Chinese, and ten monolingual seniors of Southern Min in Taiwan individually completed two semantic tasks: Picture naming and category fluency tasks. The instruments for the naming task were sixty black-and-white pictures, including thirty-five object pictures and twenty-five action pictures. The category fluency task also consisted of two semantic categories – objects (or nouns) and actions (or verbs). The reaction time for each picture/question was additionally calculated and analyzed. Oral productions in Mandarin Chinese and in Southern Min were compared and discussed to examine the category effects and age effects. The results of the category fluency task indicated that the content of information of these seniors was comparatively deteriorated, and thus they produced a smaller number of semantic-lexical items. Significant group differences were also found in the reaction time results. Category effects were significant for both adults and seniors in the semantic fluency task. The findings of the present study will help characterize the nature of the bilingual semantic processing of adults and seniors, and contribute to the fields of contrastive and corpus linguistics.

Particular Features of the First Romanian Multilingual Dictionaries

The Romanian multilingual dictionaries – also named polyglot, plurilingual or polylingual dictionaries, have known a slow yet constant development starting with the end of the 17th century, when the first such work is attested, to the present time, when we witness a considerable increase of the number of polyglot dictionaries, especially the terminological ones. This paper aims at analyzing the context in which the first Romanian multilingual dictionaries were issued, as well as and the organization and structure particularities of the first lexicographic works of this type. The irretrievable loss of some of these works as well as the partial conservation of others renders the attempt to retrace the beginnings of Romanian lexicography extremely difficult. The research methodology is part of a descriptive and analytical approach based on two types of sources, subject to contrastive analysis: the notes made by the initiators of lexicographic projects and the testimonies of their contemporaries, respectively, along with the specialized studies regarding the history of the old Romanian lexicography. The analysis of the contents has indicated that these dictionaries lacked a scientific apparatus in the true sense of the phrase, failed to obey unitary organizational criteria, being limited, most of the times, to mere inventories of words, where the Romanian term was assigned its correspondent in other languages. Motivated by practical reasons, the first multilingual dictionaries were aimed at the clerics their purpose being to ensure the translators’ fidelity towards the original religious texts, regarded as sacred.

The Intonation of Romanian Greetings: A Sociolinguistics Approach

In a language the inventory of greetings is dynamic with frequent input and output, although this is hardly noticed by the speakers. In this register, there are a number of constant, conservative elements that survive different language models (among them, the classic formulae: bună ziua! (good afternoon!), bună seara! (good evening!), noapte bună! (good night!), la revedere! (goodbye!) and a number of items that fail to pass the test of time, according to language use at a time (ciao!, pa!, bai!). The source of innovation depends both of internal factors (contraction, conversion, combination of classic formulae of greetings), and of external ones (borrowings and calques). Their use imposes their frequencies at once, namely the elimination of the use of others. This paper presents a sociolinguistic approach of contemporary Romanian greetings, based on prosodic surveys in two research projects: AMPRom, and SoRoEs. Romanian language presents a rich inventory of questions (especially partial interrogatives questions/WH-Q) which are used as greetings, alone or, more commonly accompanying a proper greeting. The representative of the typical formulae is Ce mai faci? (How are you?), which, unlike its English counterpart How do you do?, has not become a stereotype, but retains an obvious emotional impact, while serving as a mark of sociolinguistic group. The analyzed corpus consists of structures containing greetings recorded in the main Romanian cultural (urban) centers. From the methodological point of view, the acoustic analysis of the recorded data is performed using software tools (GoldWave, Praat), identifying intonation patterns related to three sociolinguistics variables: age, sex and level of education. The intonation patterns of the analyzed statements are at the interface between partial questions and typical greetings.

Developing Kazakh Language Fluency Test in Nazarbayev University

The Kazakh Language Fluency Test, based on the IELTS exam, was implemented in 2012 at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan. We would like to share our experience in developing this exam and some exam results with other language instructors. In this paper, we will cover all these peculiarities and their related issues. The Kazakh Language Fluency Test is a young exam. During its development, we faced many difficulties. One of the goals of the university and the country is to encourage fluency in the Kazakh language for all citizens of the Republic. Nazarbayev University has introduced a Kazakh language program to assist in achieving this goal. This policy is one-step in ensuring that NU students have a thorough understanding of the Kazakh language through a fluency test based on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The Kazakh Language Fluency Test exam aims to determine student’s knowledge of Kazakh language. The fact is that there are three types of students at Nazarbayev University: Kazakh-speaking heritage learners, Russian-speaking and English-speaking students. Unfortunately, we have Kazakh students who do not speak Kazakh. All students who finished school with Russian language instruction are given Kazakh Language Fluency Test in order to determine their Kazakh level. After the test exam, all students can choose appropriate Kazakh course: Basic Kazakh, Intermediate Kazakh and Upper-Intermediate Kazakh. The Kazakh Language Fluency Test consists of four parts: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. They are taken on the same day in the abovementioned order.

Evaluation of Cognitive Benefits among Differently Abled Subjects with Video Game as Intervention
In this study, the potential benefits of playing action video game among congenitally deaf and dumb subjects is reported in terms of EEG ratio indices. The frontal and occipital lobes are associated with development of motor skills, cognition, and visual information processing and color recognition. The sixteen hours of First-Person shooter action video game play resulted in the increase of the ratios β/(α+θ) and β/θ in frontal and occipital lobes. This can be attributed to the enhancement of certain aspect of cognition among deaf and dumb subjects.
Behavioral and EEG Reactions in Native Turkic-Speaking Inhabitants of Siberia and Siberian Russians during Recognition of Syntactic Errors in Sentences in Native and Foreign Languages
The aim of the study is to compare behavioral and EEG reactions in Turkic-speaking inhabitants of Siberia (Tuvinians and Yakuts) and Russians during the recognition of syntax errors in native and foreign languages. Sixty-three healthy aboriginals of the Tyva Republic, 29 inhabitants of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, and 55 Russians from Novosibirsk participated in the study. EEG were recorded during execution of error-recognition task in Russian and English language (in all participants) and in native languages (Tuvinian or Yakut Turkic-speaking inhabitants). Reaction time (RT) and quality of task execution were chosen as behavioral measures. Amplitude and cortical distribution of P300 and P600 peaks of ERP were used as a measure of speech-related brain activity. In Tuvinians, there were no differences in the P300 and P600 amplitudes as well as in cortical topology for Russian and Tuvinian languages, but there was a difference for English. In Yakuts, the P300 and P600 amplitudes and topology of ERP for Russian language were the same as Russians had for native language. In Yakuts, brain reactions during Yakut and English language comprehension had no difference, while the Russian language comprehension was differed from both Yakut and English. We found out that the Tuvinians recognized both Russian and Tuvinian as native languages, and English as a foreign language. The Yakuts recognized both English and Yakut as foreign languages, but Russian as a native language. According to the inquirer, both Tuvinians and Yakuts use the national language as a spoken language, whereas they do not use it for writing. It can well be a reason that Yakuts perceive the Yakut writing language as a foreign language while writing Russian as their native.
Top-Down Influences to Multistable Perception: Evidence from Temporal Dynamics
We have studied the temporal characteristics of bistable perception of the stimuli of two types: one involves alterations in a perceived depth and another one has an ambiguous content. We used the Necker lattice and lines of shadowed circles ambiguously perceived either as spheres or holes as stimuli of the first type. The Winson figure (the Eskimo/Indian picture) was a stimulus of the second type. We have analyzed how often the reversals occurred (reversal rate) and for how long each of the two interpretations, or percepts, was observed during one presentation (stability durations). For all three ambiguous images the reversal rate and the stability durations had similar values, which provide another evidence for a significant role of top-down processes in multistable perception.
Effectiveness of Working Memory Training on Cognitive Flexibility
The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of memory training exercise on cognitive flexibility. The method of this study was experimental. The statistical population selected 40 students 14 years old, samples were chosen by available sampling method and then they were replaced in experimental (training program) group and control group randomly and answered to Wisconsin Card Sorting Test; covariance test results indicated that there were a significant in post-test scores of experimental group (p<0.005).
The Effects of the Inference Process in Reading Texts in Arabic
Inference plays an important role in the learning process and it can lead to a rapid acquisition of a second language. When learning a non-native language i.e., a critical language like Arabic, the students depend on the teacher’s support most of the time to learn new concepts. The students focus on memorizing the new vocabulary and stress on learning all the grammatical rules. Hence, the students became mechanical and cannot produce the language easily. As a result, they are unable to predicate the meaning of words in the context by relying heavily on the teacher, in that they cannot link their prior knowledge or even identify the meaning of the words without the support of the teacher. This study explores how the teacher guides students learning during the inference process and what are the processes of learning that can direct student’s inference.
Learner Awareness Levels Questionnaire: Development and Preliminary Validation of the English and Malay Versions to Measure How and Why Students Learn
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the English version and a Malay translation of the 21-item Learner Awareness Questionnaire for its application to assess student learning in higher education. The Learner Awareness Questionnaire, originally written in English, is a quantitative measure of how and why students learn. The questionnaire gives an indication of the process and motives to learn using four scales: survival, establishing stability, approval and loving to learn. Data in the present study came from 680 university students enrolled in various programmes in Malaysia. The Malay version of the questionnaire supported a similar four factor structure and internal consistency to the English version. The four factors of the Malay version also showed moderate to strong correlations with those of the English versions. The results suggest that the Malay version of the questionnaire is similar to the English version. However, further refinement to the questions is needed to strengthen the correlations between the two questionnaires.
Collocation Errors in English as Second Language (ESL) Essay Writing

In language learning, second language learners as well as Native speakers commit errors in their attempt to achieve competence in the target language. The realm of collocation has to do with meaning relation between lexical items. In all human language, there is a kind of ‘natural order’ in which words are arranged or relate to one another in sentences so much so that when a word occurs in a given context, the related or naturally co-occurring word will automatically come to the mind. It becomes an error, therefore, if students inappropriately pair or arrange such ‘naturally’ co–occurring lexical items in a text. It has been observed that most of the second language learners in this research group commit collocation errors. A study of this kind is very significant as it gives insight into the kinds of errors committed by learners. This will help the language teacher to be able to identify the sources and causes of such errors as well as correct them thereby guiding, helping and leading the learners towards achieving some level of competence in the language. The aim of the study is to understand the nature of these errors as stumbling blocks to effective essay writing. The objective of the study is to identify the errors, analyze their structural compositions so as to determine whether there are similarities between students in this regard and to find out whether there are patterns to these kinds of errors which will enable the researcher to understand their sources and causes. As a descriptive research, the researcher samples some nine hundred essays collected from three hundred undergraduate learners of English as a second language in the Federal College of Education, Kano, North- West Nigeria, i.e. three essays per each student. The essays which were given on three different lecture times were of similar thematic preoccupations (i.e. same topics) and length (i.e. same number of words). The essays were written during the lecture hour at three different lecture occasions. The errors were identified in a systematic manner whereby errors so identified were recorded only once even if they occur severally in students’ essays. The data was collated using percentages in which the identified numbers of occurrences were converted accordingly in percentages. The findings from the study indicate that there are similarities as well as regular and repeated errors which provided a pattern. Based on the pattern identified, the conclusion is that students’ collocation errors are attributable to poor teaching and learning which resulted in wrong generalization of rules.

Morphemic Analysis Awareness: Impact on ESL Students’ Vocabulary Learning Strategy

The research explored the effect of morphemic analysis awareness on ESL secondary school students’ vocabulary acquisition. The quasi-experimental study was conducted with 100 ESL secondary school students in two experimental groups (inflectional and derivational) and one control group. The students’ vocabulary acquisition was assessed through two measures: Morph-Analysis Test and Morph-Vocabulary Test in the pretest and posttest before and after an intervention programme. Results of ANCOVA revealed that both the experimental groups achieved a significant score in Morph- Analysis Test and Vocabulary-Morphemic Test. However, the inflectional group obtained a fairly higher score than the derivational group. Thus, the findings of the research are discussed in two main areas. First, individual instructions of two types of morphemic awareness have contributed significant results on inflectional and derivational awareness among the ESL secondary school students. Nevertheless, derivational morphology achieved a significant but relatively smaller amount of effect on secondary school students’ morphological awareness compared to inflectional morphology in this research. Second finding showed that the awareness of inflectional and derivational morphology was found significantly related to vocabulary achievement of ESL secondary school students. Nevertheless, inflectional morphemic awareness had higher significant effect on ESL secondary school students’ vocabulary acquisition. Despite these findings, the study implies that morphemic analysis awareness can serve as an alternative strategy for ESL secondary school students in acquiring English vocabulary.

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