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  • The effects of extended planning time on candidates’ performance, processes and strategy use in the lecture listening-into-speaking tasks of the TOEFL iBT Test

    Inoue, Chihiro; Lam, Daniel M. K.; Educational Testing Service (Wiley, 2021-06-21)
    This study investigated the effects of two different planning time conditions (i.e., operational [20 s] and extended length [90 s]) for the lecture listening-into-speaking tasks of the TOEFL iBT® test for candidates at different proficiency levels. Seventy international students based in universities and language schools in the United Kingdom (35 at a lower level; 35 at a higher level) participated in the study. The effects of different lengths of planning time were examined in terms of (a) the scores given by ETS-certified raters; (b) the quality of the speaking performances characterized by accurately reproduced idea units and the measures of complexity, accuracy, and fluency; and (c) self-reported use of cognitive and metacognitive processes and strategies during listening, planning, and speaking. The results found neither a statistically significant main effect of the length of planning time nor an interaction between planning time and proficiency on the scores or on the quality of the speaking performance. There were several cognitive and metacognitive processes and strategies where significantly more engagement was reported under the extended planning time, which suggests enhanced cognitive validity of the task. However, the increased engagement in planning did not lead to any measurable improvement in the score. Therefore, in the interest of practicality, the results of this study provide justifications for the operational length of planning time for the lecture listening-into-speaking tasks in the speaking section of the TOEFL iBT test.
  • Prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus among pregnant women in Nigeria

    Ozim, C.; Mahendran, Rahini; Amalan, Mahendran; Puthussery, Shuby (Oxford University Press, 2020-09-30)
    Background Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection among pregnant women has been associated with a number of adverse maternal and infant outcomes. Nigeria accounts for about 10% of the HIV/AIDS burden worldwide and has the second highest incidence of new HIV infections among women globally. This study estimated the overall prevalence of HIV among pregnant women in Nigeria and examined variations across the geo-political zones of the country. Methods We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis. A comprehensive search was conducted using eight electronic databases and grey sources for studies published from 1·1·2008 to 31·8·2019. Primary studies reporting prevalence estimates of HIV among pregnant women diagnosed using a diagnostic/ screening test were identified, screened and appraised using a two-stage process. A meta-analysis was conducted with the primary outcome measure as proportion (%) of pregnant women identified as having HIV infection. Results Twenty three eligible studies involving 72,728 pregnant women were included in the meta-analysis. The overall pooled prevalence of HIV among pregnant women was 7·22% (95% CI: 5·64, 9·21). A high degree of heterogeneity (I2=97·2%) and publication bias (p = 0.728) was reported. Prevalence rate for South-East geo-political zone (17·04%, 95% CI: 9·01, 29·86) was higher compared to the overall prevalence. Conclusions Findings imply that 7 out of every 100 pregnant women in Nigeria are likely to have HIV infection. The magnitude of the issue highlight the need for targeted efforts at local, national and international levels towards prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Negotiating difference and belonging in families from mixed racial, ethnic and faith backgrounds in Britain: Implications for mental health

    Puthussery, Shuby; Caballero, Chamion; Edwards, Rosalind (Oxford University Press, 2008-09-30)
    Poster presentations: abstracts Key points * Mixed-parent couples in Britain were often in sustained relationships, and a high proportion were middle class. * The couples interviewed used three typical approaches to instil a sense of belonging in their children; particular approaches were not associated with particular racial or faith combinations: o Individual: children's sense of belonging was not seen as rooted in their mixed background. o Mix: children's mixed background was understood as a factual part of their identity; all aspects were emphasised. o Single: one aspect of children's mixed background was stressed. * Couples whose approach differed in giving their children a sense of belonging were not necessarily in conflict. For some, divergent approaches were complementary. Others saw difficulties between them as humanistic, political or personality choices. * Parents identified supportive or constraining resources and relationships in creating a sense of belonging, including neighbourhoods, schools, travel, languages, grandparents and children themselves. What some regarded as supportive, others saw as drawbacks. * Mixed-parent couples can be more concerned with other issues, such as children's safety and health, unity over discipline and financial security. * The researchers conclude that it is important that family support, health, education and social services do not make assumptions about mixed families. Families who seem to share a form of mixing can differ from each other. 'Mixedness' may be insignificant for some, compared to other issues. Mixed families would benefit from policies and practice that further tackle prejudice based on race and faith.
  • Born in the UK: Maternity and postnatal care needs of UK-born ethnic minority women

    Puthussery, Shuby; Twamley, Katherine; Mirsky, Judith; Macfarlane, Alison; Harding, Seeromanie; Baron, Maurina (Radcliffe Publishing Ltd, 2009-09-30)
  • Acceptability and effectiveness of multi-media delivery of an exercise programme among postpartum women with lumbo pelvic pain in Taiwan

    Tseng, Pei-Ching; Puthussery, Shuby; Pappas, Yannis; University of Bedfordshire (2016-03-02)
    Registration of study Background and study aims Lumbo Pelvic Pain (LPP) is a common problem among pregnant women and those that have given birth within the last year (postnatal). LPP may lead to sleep problems, depression, fatigue and anxiety, and a general inability to carry out activities that involve carrying or lifting. Various treatments have been used to reduce LPP in general including physical exercise although the effect of exercise programmes in treating back pain is yet to be fully understood among postnatal women. In any case, new mothers in many Asian countries, such as Taiwan, tend to reduce physical activity after birth in accordance with traditional practices. Mothers in Taiwan receive verbal advice on exercise to be followed in the postnatal period by health care professionals before their discharge from hospital. Most of the hospitals also provide the women with a leaflet containing details of an exercise programme to manage postpartum LPP commonly referred to as back pain. However, very little is known about the uptake of this exercise programme or its benefits for postnatal women. Technology has been increasingly used in health care to deliver various treatments and technology based delivery can improve the uptake of exercise among certain groups. How acceptable different methods of teaching the exercises, using digital or print media are and how they might affect how many postnatal women take up the exercise, adhere to it and complete an exercise programme has yet to be understood. Taiwan has a world-leading position in technology with 80% of all households owning personal computers and around 84% households with high speed internet connection. This study assesses the effectiveness of an exercise programme (the intervention) designed to strengthen abdominal and global muscles delivered using Digital Versatile Disc (DVD), Internet or leaflet, on LPP among postnatal women in Taiwan, and to compare exercise uptake, adherence and completion rates.

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