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Despite the prevalence of quantitative approaches in applied linguistics (AL) and second language acquisition (SLA) research (Gass, 2009), evidence indicates a need for improvement in analyzing and reporting SLA data (e.g., Larson-Hall & Plonsky, 2015). However, to improve quantitative research, researchers must possess the statistical knowledge necessary to conduct quality research. This study assesses AL and SLA researchers’ knowledge of key statistical concepts on a statistical knowledge test. One hundred and ninety-eight AL and SLA researchers from North America and Europe responded to 26 discipline-specific questions designed to measure participants’ ability to (a) understand basic statistical concepts and procedures, (b) interpret statistical analyses, and (c) critically evaluate statistical information. Results indicate that participants generally understood basic descriptive statistics, but performance on items requiring more advanced statistical knowledge was lower. Quantitative research orientation, number of statistics courses taken, and frequent use of statistics textbooks had positive influences on researchers’ statistical knowledge.
Gail Crowther examines Plath’s ambivalent response to religion by highlighting how the context of her religious upbringing lay at the root of her theological questionings. Crowther examines the impact of the Plath family’s Unitarian faith on Plath’s writing, her study of religion throughout her school and college education, and her adult position of reluctant atheism. Crowther shows how Plath’s writing disrupts Judeo–Christian ideas of patrilineage, instead putting Marian notions of love, care and redemption at the centre of her poems.
To determine the impact of pre-operative intratympanic gentamicin injection on the recovery of patients undergoing translabyrinthine resection of vestibular schwannomas.
This prospective, case–control pilot study included eight patients undergoing surgical labyrinthectomy, divided into two groups: four patients who received pre-operative intratympanic gentamicin and four patients who did not. The post-operative six-canal video head impulse test responses and length of in-patient stay were assessed.
The average length of stay was shorter for patients who received intratympanic gentamicin (6.75 days; range, 6–7 days) than for those who did not (9.5 days; range, 8–11 days) (p = 0.0073). Additionally, the gentamicin group had normal post-operative video head impulse test responses in the contralateral ear, while the non-gentamicin group did not.
Pre-operative intratympanic gentamicin improves the recovery following vestibular schwannoma resection, eliminating, as per the video head impulse test, the impact of labyrinthectomy on the contralateral labyrinth.
To examine when cochlear fibrosis occurs following a translabyrinthine approach for vestibular schwannoma resection, and to determine the safest time window for potential cochlear implantation in cases with a preserved cochlear nerve.
This study retrospectively reviewed the post-operative magnetic resonance imaging scans of patients undergoing a translabyrinthine approach for vestibular schwannoma resection, assessing the fluid signal within the cochlea. Cochleae were graded based on the Isaacson et al. system (from grade 0 – no obstruction, to grade 4 – complete obliteration).
Thirty-nine patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The cochleae showed no evidence of obliteration in: 75 per cent of patients at six months, 38.5 per cent at one year and 27 per cent beyond one year. Most changes happened between 6 and 12 months after vestibular schwannoma resection, with cases of an unobstructed cochlear decreasing dramatically, from 75 per cent to 38.5 per cent, within this time.
The progress of cochlear obliteration that occurred between 6 and 12 months following vestibular schwannoma resection indicates that the first 6 months provides a safer time window for cochlear patency.
In describing the difficulties of establishing a definition for the construct second language (L2) “speaking”, Fulcher (2014) notes that “speaking is the verbal use of language to communicate with others” (p. 23). Such a broad definition is of course limited, as what enables successful spoken communication is variable. For example, Fulcher lists the following considerations: pronunciation and intonation; accuracy and fluency; strategies for speaking; structuring speech; speaking in context; and interactional competence. Such variability is evident when considering how high-stakes language assessments (e.g., the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), instruments based on the Common European Framework of Reference, International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)) define speaking within their frameworks. For example, whereas the IELTS speaking rubric includes categories for Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, and Pronunciation, the TOEFL speaking rubrics emphasize General Description, Delivery, Language Use, and Topic Development.
The growing availability of mobile technologies has contributed to an increase in mobile-assisted language learning in which learners can autonomously study a second language (L2) anytime or anywhere (e.g. Kukulska-Hulme, Lee & Norris, 2017; Reinders & Benson, 2017). Research investigating the effectiveness of such study for L2 learning, however, has been limited, especially regarding large-scale commercial L2 learning apps, such as Duolingo. Although one commissioned research study found favorable language learning outcomes (Vesselinov & Grego, 2012), limited independent research has reported issues related to learner persistence, motivation, and program efficacy (Lord, 2015; Nielson, 2011). The current study investigates the semester-long learning experiences and results of nine participants learning Turkish on Duolingo. The participants showed improvement on L2 measures at the end of the study, and results indicate a positive, moderate correlation between the amount of time spent on Duolingo and learning gains. In terms of perceptions of their experiences, the participants generally viewed Duolingo’s flexibility and gamification aspects positively; however, variability in motivation to study and frustration with instructional materials were also expressed.
Lying on the north-west coast of Sri Lanka, the ancient port of Mantai was ideally situated as a ‘hub’ for trade between East and West from the first millennium BC onwards. Excavations at the site were interrupted by civil war in 1984, delaying publication of these results and leading to the underestimation of Mantai's importance in the development of Early Historic Indian Ocean trade. Renewed excavations in 2009–2010 yielded extensive archaeobotanical remains, which, alongside an improved understanding of the site's chronology, provide important new insights into the development of local and regional trade routes and direct evidence for early trade in the valuable spices upon which later empires were founded.
Recovery Colleges are opening internationally. The evaluation focus has been on outcomes for Recovery College students who use mental health services. However, benefits may also arise for: staff who attend or co-deliver courses; the mental health and social care service hosting the Recovery College; and wider society. A theory-based change model characterising how Recovery Colleges impact at these higher levels is needed for formal evaluation of their impact, and to inform future Recovery College development. The aim of this study was to develop a stratified theory identifying candidate mechanisms of action and outcomes (impact) for Recovery Colleges at staff, services and societal levels.
Inductive thematic analysis of 44 publications identified in a systematised review was supplemented by collaborative analysis involving a lived experience advisory panel to develop a preliminary theoretical framework. This was refined through semi-structured interviews with 33 Recovery College stakeholders (service user students, peer/non-peer trainers, managers, community partners, clinicians) in three sites in England.
Candidate mechanisms of action and outcomes were identified at staff, services and societal levels. At the staff level, experiencing new relationships may change attitudes and associated professional practice. Identified outcomes for staff included: experiencing and valuing co-production; changed perceptions of service users; and increased passion and job motivation. At the services level, Recovery Colleges often develop somewhat separately from their host system, reducing the reach of the college into the host organisation but allowing development of an alternative culture giving experiential learning opportunities to staff around co-production and the role of a peer workforce. At the societal level, partnering with community-based agencies gave other members of the public opportunities for learning alongside people with mental health problems and enabled community agencies to work with people they might not have otherwise. Recovery Colleges also gave opportunities to beneficially impact on community attitudes.
This study is the first to characterise the mechanisms of action and impact of Recovery Colleges on mental health staff, mental health and social care services, and wider society. The findings suggest that a certain distance is needed in the relationship between the Recovery College and its host organisation if a genuine cultural alternative is to be created. Different strategies are needed depending on what level of impact is intended, and this study can inform decision-making about mechanisms to prioritise. Future research into Recovery Colleges should include contextual evaluation of these higher level impacts, and investigate effectiveness and harms.
. NGC 300 X-1 and IC 10 X-1 are currently the only two robust extragalactic candidates for being Wolf-Rayet/black hole X-ray binaries, the Galactic analogue being Cyg X-3. These systems are believed to be a late product of high-mass X-ray binary evolution and direct progenitors of black hole mergers. From the analysis of Swift data, the orbital period of NGC 300 X-1 was found to be 32.8 h. We here merge the full set of existing data of NGC 300 X-1, using XMM-Newton, Chandra and Swift observations to derive a more precise value of the orbital period of 32.7932 ± 0.0029 h above a confidence level of 99.99%. This allows us to phase connect the X-ray light curve of the source with radial velocity measurements of He II lines performed in 2010. We show that, as for IC 10 X-1 and Cyg X-3, the X-ray eclipse corresponds to maximum of the blueshift of the He II lines, instead of the expected zero velocity. This indicates that for NGC 300 X-1 as well, the wind of the WR star is completely ionised by the black hole radiation and that the emission lines come from the region of the WR star that is in the shadow. We also present for the first time the light curve of two recent very long XMM-Newton observations of the source, performed on the 16th to 20th of December 2016.
Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) regimes for HIV are associated with raised levels of circulating triglycerides (TGs) in western populations. However, there are limited data on the impact of ART on cardiometabolic risk in sub-Saharan African (SSA) populations.
Pooled analyses of 14 studies comprising 21 023 individuals, on whom relevant cardiometabolic risk factors (including TG), HIV and ART status were assessed between 2003 and 2014, in SSA. The association between ART and raised TG (>2.3 mmol/L) was analysed using regression models.
Among 10 615 individuals, ART was associated with a two-fold higher probability of raised TG (RR 2.05, 95% CI 1.51–2.77, I2 = 45.2%). The associations between ART and raised blood pressure, glucose, HbA1c, and other lipids were inconsistent across studies.
Evidence from this study confirms the association of ART with raised TG in SSA populations. Given the possible causal effect of raised TG on cardiovascular disease (CVD), the evidence highlights the need for prospective studies to clarify the impact of long term ART on CVD outcomes in SSA.
This study critically examined the previously reported partial independence between second language (L2) accentedness (degree to which L2 speech differs from the target variety) and comprehensibility (ease of understanding). In prior work, comprehensibility was linked to multiple linguistic dimensions of L2 speech (phonology, fluency, lexis, grammar) whereas accentedness was narrowly associated with L2 phonology. However, these findings stemmed from a single task (picture narrative), suggesting that task type could affect the particular linguistic measures distinguishing comprehensibility from accentedness. To address this limitation, speech ratings of 10 native listeners assessing 60 speakers of L2 English in three tasks (picture narrative, IELTS, TOEFL) were analyzed, targeting two global ratings (accentedness, comprehensibility) and 10 linguistic measures (segmental and word stress accuracy, intonation, rhythm, speech rate, grammatical accuracy and complexity, lexical richness and complexity, discourse richness). Linguistic distinctions between accentedness and comprehensibility were less pronounced in the cognitively complex task (TOEFL), with overlapping sets of phonology, lexis, and grammar variables contributing to listener ratings of accentedness and comprehensibility. This finding points to multifaceted, task-specific relationships between these two constructs.
The upper mass limit of stars remains an open question in astrophysics. Here we discuss observations of the most massive stars (greater than 100 solar masses) in the local universe and how the observations fit in with theoretical predictions. In particular, the Large Magellanic Cloud plays host to numerous very massive stars, making it an ideal template to study the roles that environment, metallicity, and multiplicity play in the formation and evolution of the most massive stars. We will discuss the work that is instrumental in laying the groundwork for interpreting future observations by James Webb of starburst regions in the high redshift universe.
We present a deep imaging and spectroscopic survey of the Local Group starburst galaxy IC10 using Gemini North/GMOS to unveil the global Wolf-Rayet population. It has previously been suggested that for IC10 to follow the WC/WN versus metallicity dependence seen in other Local Group galaxies, a large WN population must remain undiscovered. Our search revealed 3 new WN stars, and 5 candidates awaiting confirmation, providing little evidence to support this claim. We also compute an updated nebular derived metallicity of log(O/H)+12=8.40 ± 0.04 for the galaxy using the direct method. Inspection of IC10 WR average line luminosities show these stars are more similar to their LMC, rather than SMC counterparts.
The blue compact dwarf galaxy NGC 5253 hosts a very young starburst containing twin nuclear star clusters. Calzetti et al. (2015) find that the two clusters have an age of 1 Myr, in contradiction to the age of 3–5 Myr inferred from the presence of Wolf-Rayet (W-R) spectral features. We use Hubble Space Telescope (HST) far-ultraviolet (FUV) and ground-based optical spectra to show that the cluster stellar features arise from very massive stars (VMS), with masses greater than 100 M⊙, at an age of 1–2 Myr. We discuss the implications of this and show that the very high ionizing flux can only be explained by VMS. We further discuss our findings in the context of VMS contributing to He ii λ1640 emission in high redshift galaxies, and emphasize that population synthesis models with upper mass cut-offs greater than 100 M⊙ are crucial for future studies of young massive clusters.