Friday, April 3, 2009

POSTING 6: Blog Questionnaire

Hey all!
Looks like I have finally come to the peak of the mountain –Posting 6!
What a relieve it is to finally reach the summit. After all my hard work, time and sweat, I still feel that it is all for a worthy cause. I have truly learnt a lot. Right from posting 1, I have learnt many new phrases, words and information that was somewhat so foreign to me last time.

In this last post for out course SKBP 1023, we are asked to fill a questionnaire. I love questionnaires because it lets the people voice out their view and opinions about a matter arising.
So, here goes:

Age : 20 years old
Tutorial Group : Group 2
Lecturer : Dr. Hajjah Zaini Amir

1. Do you enjoy blogging?
Yes, I really do enjoy blogging. The main reason that I enjoy blogging is that I always have so much to say based on my reading and also my research on the Net. Thus, what better way to voice out my views than by blogging? I also love blogging because it let’s everyone be a reporter for a day! For example, stating their take on recent issues, sharing thoughts and ideas on how to improve something or merely just letting the world know what their endeavours were.

2. Based on your experience what is the benefit of blogging?
There are many benefits of blogging. Based on my own personal experience, I have noticed that I make sure that, before I post my blog, I will skim through what I have written to find for spelling errors, grammatical mishaps and also fragments. By doing this, I learnt how to use the English Language more creatively. Other than that, blogging also helped me to improve my writing skills. I have always loved to write and by blogging, it enhanced my skills even further.

3. Do you need more assistance to set up your blog ?
I didn’t need any more assistance to set up my blog as the steps to create a blog was to the point and did not cause any sort of confusion to me. I only needed some help in changing my blog’s template to a more creative one that was not under Blogger.

4. Do you have any memorable/favorite topic in your blog?
My all time favourite topic on my blog is on Posting 1 (Reading For Information) which I blogged on Barack Obama, America’s first Black President. Being an avid follower of this very interesting figure, I wanted to get as much information as I can about him. Thus, that prompted me to blog on him on Posting 1. This is also because I wanted to share my take on him as America’s fresh new face.

5. List 5 advantages of blogging for you
- Improved my writing skills
- Helped me read more articles in order to find more information to blog on
- Blogging created a whole new avenue for me to constantly use different phrases
and words so that my blog won’t be too dry or boring to the reader.
- Blogging helps keep me aware of the current issues that happen around me so that
I too can give in my views and opinions about the matter.
- Blogging has made me more tech-savvy, as I constantly update my blog by adding
new features in it using the Internet

6. List 5 disadvantages of blogging
- Some bloggers tend to voice out their frustrations on blogs which can cause major
- Plagiarism might be rampant. As bloggers tend to plagiarise information from
other websites and making it their own
- Time-consuming
- Blogging can cause the increase in rumours and untrue facts about people and the
country. Mainly caused by unethical bloggers
- Most people normally have nothing interesting to say on their blogs

7. Will you continue blogging after the course?
Yes, I will continue blogging after the course. I will set up a new blog that enables me to blog on just about everything that happens all around me. Blogging is something that I find enriching. Thus, in order to keep the blogging ‘fire’ burning, I will for sure continue on with this very interesting past time.

8. Do you think that blogging improve your writing?
There is definitely not a doubt with this statement. Blogging has really improved my writing ability. Blogging is something that you do every day, thus, when you do something continuously, for sure you will get better at it. Like one of Leona Lewis’s latest hits goes “I’ll all get better in Time’’

9. Do you think that we should continue with blogging activity for the next batch of students?
Yes, in my opinion, the blogging activity should be continued for the next batch of students. Blogging is something that is related to the use of the Internet. Taking to account that students of today are mostly tech-savvy, I don’t see why that blogging should not be inculcated in the curriculum.

10. Will you recommend your friend to blog?
Since I have a great admiration for blogging, I would of course encourage my friends to blog. Why keep your views and ideas to yourself when you can let the world see your opinions? –that’s what I think. Better still, the information that you post, can prove to be useful to others.

11. Can you teach a friend to set up his or her blog?
Yes,It’s not a daunting task at all. The very first step is to log into and create an account.The steps are clear and to the point. While I was creating my account for the first time, I felt nervous as I didn't know what to do. But, by following the simple steps in the site, I quickly got the hang of it. I only had a little trouble changing the template of my blog to a template that was not available in Blogspot. I got my template from with the kind assistance of my dear friend Najiha. Thus, by acquiring the assistance of my friend, I now know how to change my template in a fast and easy manner. Thus, I can proudly say that I can teach a friend to set up his or her own blog based on my experience creating my own.

In conclusion, I would like to thank DR. Zaini for all her kind words of encouragement throughout this course. I have always looked forward for the ICT tutorial on Tuesdays 8am-10am as it was a time for us to explore the world through the big I -The Internet! I can honestly say that I have learnt a lot and I do hope that what I have learnt in this course will be put for good use in the future. This course is really beneficial as I have learnt a lot under one roof. It helped me to foster new skills as I journeyed on. Thank you so much DR. Zaini!!
Till we meet again, Take Care!!

Do you want to know how to create your own blog? Watch this video!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

POSTING 5: Concordance

Good day everyone! In this posting we are required to blog on Concordance.We are asked to post two articles on Concordance and it's benefits to Language Learners. Have you heard what concordance is? well, no worries if you have never come across this word, because in this posting, there will be a full explanation on what concordance is all about! To get a gist on what concordance is all about, take a look at the pictures first.Still unsure?

Oh well, without much ado, let me begin by adding my two articles together with my reflections

Article 1:

(Data-Driven Language Learning) by Betsy Kerr

What is concordancing?
o a type of computerized text analysis, long used by corpus linguists and literary scholars, employing a corpus and a concordancer.

An electronically-formatted text or set of texts, that represents a certain type of real-world languge use, written or oral (transcription of recordings)

A computer program that generates a CONCORDANCE, a list of all occurrences of a given word or expression in the given corpus, with the context in which it occurs.

Concordancing allows us to:
1.Look at authentic language samples and zero in on a particular feature, whether
it be lexical or grammatical, and to discover the patterns which characterize the
use of that item in discourse.
2.Compare patterns in different types of discourse: spoken vs. written; literary,
journalistic, administrative texts; etc.
3.Take the burden off the teacher or the reference grammar to 'know the answer', by
engaging the learner in discovering how the language works.


1.As a grammar reference, for the teacher's own personal language learning (Web
search, Google).
2.For research that can guide the development of pedagogical materials
(textbooks): what features should be taught when? Example: variant interrogative
forms in conversation.
3.Actual concordances can be used as the basis for exercises and activities:
o Students are asked to formulate generalizations on the basis of the data.
o With relevant items deleted (in selected, rearranged concordance lines), the
concordance can be used as a fill-in-the-blank exercise.
4.Students can do their own research with a concordancer or Web search engine.

My feedback:
In this article by Betsy Kerr, it tells us about concordance, corpus, a concordancer, what concordancing allows us to do and the specific uses of concordance. To be truthful, this is the first time I am coming across the word ‘concordance’ but, after reading this article which is point-by-point form, really helped me to fully understand more about concordance. I find most interesting in this article is that it tells us the specific uses of concordance. I only know that concordance is used find how many times does a word occur in a passage. Which I thought was really boring. But, there is actually more to it than just that. It’s actually very interesting, because students can formulate generalizations on the basis of the data and students can also do their own research with a concordancer or Web search engine. From what I have came to know, there is also a various software’s on the Net whereby students and teachers can download for a free 30 day trial. This, in my point of view, is very useful, as students and teachers can make full use of for 30 days before they decide on purchasing it.

Article 2:


Concordancers search texts stored on computer and display all the occurrences of a selected word or phrase. To understand how a concordancer works, look at an example of a keyword in context (KWIC) display for the word local from a collection of texts published in the South China Morning Post. What do you think you could say about the meaning of the word 'local' in this context?
Task 1 - Applications for language teaching
When language learners use concordancers:
•They discover rules of usage and grammar for themselves
•The learn that language is complex and that rules are seldom 100% true
•They learn to rely on their own judgement rather than the teacher
Concordancing is also a good way to train learners to pay attention to patterns of usage in their everyday reading.
Some teachers also use concordancers to prepare printed worksheets for their students. Take a look at an example worksheet on Internet Neologisms written by Tim Johns at the University of Birmingham. Can you work out the meaning of spam from this worksheet?
You can find more examples of printed handouts based on concordance output in Tim John's Virtual Data-driven Learning Library.
Task 2 - What you need
In order to do concordancing, you need two things:
•A concordancer. Later in this session, we will use WordSmith Tools, which is installed in the lab.
•A corpus of texts. Later in this session we will use two corpora called the SCMP corpus and the HKBooks corpus. This has also been installed in the lab.
Use the software links to work out how to get a copy of WordSmith Tools. Use the links in the readings for this session to explore sources of text.
Task 3 - Web concordancing
It is also possible to do concordancing through the web. Try to search for a word that interests you at one of the sites below. Can you work out what kind of texts you are searching?
Virtual Language Centre
BNC On-line
Task 4 - Using WordSmith Tools: basic functions
WordSmith Tools is one of the best concordancing packages on the market. The first step in using WordSmith Tools is to understand the kinds of questions you can answer with it.
Using WordSmith Tools to improve your English grammar is a handout used to train students to use Wordsmith Tools in a 50 minute session. It explains how to formulate answerable questions and contains 10 sample questions about English grammar that you can try to answer for yourself.
How to use WordSmith Tools explains some of the main functions of Wordsmith Tools.
Keep both of these documents open on your screen and try to answer some of the 10 sample questions using the SCMPCorp and HKBooks corpora installed in the lab.
Task 5 - Using WordSmith Tools: advanced functions
You can also use WordSmith Tools to:
•produce a list of all the words in a text or corpus with their frequencies
•compare wordlists for different texts and corpora
To try out these functions, a number of smaller files have been installed in the lab.
•Holmes.txt - The full text of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
•Scandal.txt - The text of the story 'A Scandal in Bohemia' from this book
•Jack.txt - The text of the story 'Jack and the Beanstalk' from The Red Fairy Book (1894)
•Essay1.txt - the text of a first year HKU student examination essay
•Essay2.txt - the text of another HKU student essay on the same topic
Use these files to experiment with wordlists.
Task 6 - Preparing files for a concordancer
Concordancers do not work with any kind of file. Most concordancers only work with plain text files (files without text formatting). To see what a plain text file looks like, take a look at jack.txt.
Most files can be converted to plain text. For example, any Microsoft Word document can be saved as plain text by using the Save as command on the menu and selecting Text only in the Save as type box. To experiment, open the file abnorm2.doc and save it as a plain text file on your desktop. Close the file and then open it again with Microsoft Word. Notice what happens to the heading.
Web pages can also be saved as plain text files using the Save as command in your browser. To experiment, save this page as a text file on your desktop. Double-click the file icon on the desktop to see what it looks like.
A corpus is a collection of texts of a similar type. Notice that WordSmith Tools is able to search many files at once provided they are in the same folder. A convenient way to build up a corpus is place each text in a separate file within the same folder. This means that the user can search all the files at once or search them one by one.

For more information on applications of concordancing in language teaching, look at the readings for this session.

My feedback:
This article starts by stating what concordance is all about. It also shows different steps to identify what concordance is all about. I find this article very helpful, as it takes the reader from one level to another. When an article is stated in a chronological order, it’s always easier for the reader to grasp as much information as they can about the topic as it is stated clearly. In this article for example, first, it talks about the meaning of concordance then it moves on to its applications to language learning, moving on to the tools that you need to carry out concordance, web concordance, Using WordSmith Tools: basic and advanced functions, preparing files for a concordance and last but not least is reading for further reference. Thus, if feel that I can get a better view on concordance and also it’s applications to language learners just by reading this article. It’s not easy to find one article that has already been broken into many parts. But, finding this article really helped me to get another view on concordance. This article also provides links to other web pages so that readers can get to know more about the topic that they are reading on. This way, in my opinion, is a very good way to encourage readers to not only depend on one article but also widen their research pattern.


1.Concordance gives you the most effective, cost-efficient way to manage the high volume of documents—including emails and e-documents—generated during litigation.
2.Concordance also includes an exciting new way for litigators to instantly conduct
legal research, right from their discovery documents. Whether accessing documents from your desktop, laptop or the web, Concordance delivers award-winning,
industry-leading features that turn discovery as you know it, into discovery as
you want it.
3.Concordance discovery software is used on the largest cases being litigated
today. It can handle over 33 million records per database and allows up to 250
customizable fields per record.
4.Teachers can use a concordancer to find examples of authentic usage to
demonstrate features of vocabulary, typical collocations, a point of grammar or
even the structure of a text
5.Teachers can also generate exercises based on examples drawn from a variety of corpora, for example gap-filling exercises and tests.
6.Students can work out rules of grammar or usage and lexical features for
themselves by searching for key words in context. Depending on their level, they
can be invited to question some of the rules, based on their observation of patterns in authentic language.
7.Students can be more active in their vocabulary learning: depending on their
level, they can be invited to discover new meanings, to observe habitual
collocations, to relate words to syntax, or to be critical of dictionary entries.
8.Students can be invited to reflect on language use in general, based on their own explorations of a corpus of data, thus turning themselves into budding researchers.

In conclusion, concordance is a tool that not only helps teachers to inculcate a more exciting way in the teaching and learning process but also benefits the students as well. This is because of the many benefits that the use of concordance has.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

POSTING 4: Online Databases

Hey all! In this forth posting, we are required to find out what are the online databases that are suscribed by the TSL library. For instance, the meaning of EBSCHOST and Lisa Net plus, what is Dissertation Online (DOA) and lastly, we have to give a brief summary on two articles that we have found via the online databases that was suscribed by TSL. Well, without much ado,I'll proceed with my explanation.

EBSCHOHOST is one of the online databases that our varsity, the National University of Malaysia had subscribed in order to help students find information on various fields of study. Rather than spending hours searching through the internet, it's more effective to search the information through this online database. Searching through this site might be a bit difficult too, if we do not search for resources through it with a specific title, author, journal name, or subject terms. The subject that we want to search through EBSCHOST also needs to be precise in order to avoid obtaining the wrong information.

Lisa Net (CSA ILLUMINA) is also another online database that helps users in finding information. In addition, through Lisa Net, the seeker can find information through three methods which are: Quick Search, Advanced Search or Search Tools. Finding information through this site can be a bit tricky if the user does not know how to use it to find the information they need. In helping the user in finding information easily, this site provides search tips, technology search area and a date range of the information that the user wants to find.

DOA- Dissertation online
It is a long essay on a particular subject, especially one written for a doctorate or similar degree; thesis (Barron).
It is also known as an extended usually written treatment of a subject; specifically: one submitted for a doctorate.

The online databases subscribed by the TSL library:


• Lisa Net
• Emerald Fulltext
• Oxford Journal
• ACM Digital Library
• Computer Database
• Datastream Advanced

There are many other databases subscribed by the TSL library. These are part of the many.

Article 1: Philippines Congress opens ICT center

In a move to computerize the entire operations of Congress, the House of Representatives in partnership with Microsoft Corp. Philippines opened an information and communications technology (ICT) e-Learning Center.

The ICT center is located at the ground floor of the House's main building near the session
hall at the Batasan Hills in Quezon City--dubbed as the ICT capital of the Philippines.

Mark Yambot, corporate affairs director of Microsoft Philippines, said the center has 16 personal computers equipped with Microsoft Windows operating systems and Microsoft Office applications.

A total of 30 employees in Congress were honored in the center's launching being the first graduates of the program "train-the-trainer" computer course at the National Computer Center. The majority of the graduates also received the Microsoft Office Specialist Certificate. The employees shall serve as trainers at the ICT center.

My Reflection:
This article discusses the move by one of the mega companies in the Philippines to inculcate the use of computers in their company. By inculcating the use of computers in the firm, they can move improve their productivity, as computers are vastly used around the globe. In my opinion, by introducing the use of computers as a vital tool in companies is a very intelligent way to not only improve productivity but, also to increase the percentage of workers that are computer literate. Equipped with Microsoft Windows applications, the workers can learn how to use this application to do their work in an effective manner thus cutting time into half. In A the end resulting not only the mushrooming of tech-savvy office personnel but it can also help build a nation that can be proud of the usage of computers in daily living.

Article 2: Bridging the Digital Gender Divide

Back to Contents of Issue: May 2002

Volunteer Group prepares women for the IT Front line.
by Catherine Pawasarat

MUCH TALK HAS BEEN made of this country's e-Japan initiative, aiming to secure Japan's place as a world leader in digital technology by 2005. But who exactly is on the ground, blazing this new Japanese discipline of intanetto-do, the 'way of the Internet?' If recent statistics on Japanese women's participation in information and communications technologies (ICT) are any indication, Hiroshi, Daisuke and their ilk are traveling the information highway bachelor-style.

In a survey of 20 countries, Japan trailed in last -- behind Italy and the Czech Republic -- for the percentage of women in its ICT workforce, with a wimpy 17 percent. By comparison, the corresponding percentages were 38 in the United States, and 32 in Germany and South Korea.

Regarding Internet use, Japanese women make up a modest 38 percent of surfers here; just one percent more than Chinese women, according to World Bank data. In the EU, 49 percent of Internet users are women, and it's 50 percent in the US. More ominously for Japan's e-prospects, only 5 percent of all ICT students in Japan today are women. In the EU and US, they make up 25 and 24 percent, respectively.

Without the brains, talent and determination of more Japanese women, is Japan going to be able to pull ahead in the digital age? Without women, are Japan's digital industries going to be any fun?

Cut to DigitalEve Japan. This burgeoning Tokyo-based, nonprofit group is out to bring some onna pawa 'woman power' to digital Japan. If DEJ has anything to say about it, more and more women here are going to have a fair shot at the 1.85 million IT jobs expected to be up for grabs by 2005. In such a tech-savvy country as Japan, how did women get left behind anyway? A lot of it has to do with the glass ceiling, still very much in place years after women's lib came and went in most other industrialized countries. "This is still a man's society. Lots of jobs for women are really only geared to last until they turn 35 years old, and this is usually decided by men," says Chiharu Kawai, a DEJ member who works with software localization at an American firm in Tokyo.

In February Digital Eve Japan recognized members' outstanding contributions with its DEVa awards. DEJ members voted Hokkaido-based New Zealand native Natalia Roschina as DEVa of the Year. While working in agriculture, Roschina enthusiastically helps other non-techie members make digital technology more relevant and useful in their lives. Roschina works to attract members in Hokkaido and boost online learning so that DEJ members every-where may use one of the best features of the Internet - its lack of geographical boundaries - to take part. "I'd like to get more involved in planning online DEJ events, so that any DEVa, regardless of where she is - Hokkaido or Okinawa, city or countryside - can participate and learn," says Roschina.
Unlike many of their other Asian sisters, Japanese girls never get the message that the scientific arts are a quick and sure way to success. "There's still no sense, for example, that a Japanese woman can be an engineer if she wants to," Kawai says.
DigitalEve's challenge in Japan is an issue of perception. "The main purpose of DEJ is to change women's consciousness about IT. Now a lot of women believe they can't take part in IT, and we want to transform this way of thinking," says Miki Oyama, a Web designer who's taught several DEJ workshops on Javascript and Flash.
What does DEJ do? Its Internet mailing list is the focal point: Here members (who include men) swap tips on everything from the latest digital releases to the ins and outs of HTML, remedies for a corrupted registry or comparisons of the best broadband services available.

For hands-on experience, the group offers monthly three-hour workshops on specific digital skills. These include the likes of optimizing Macromedia Fireworks, making the most of an Excel spreadsheet, creating digital video or understanding database design theory.

"Women who don't work in IT get way behind in technology. Helping them is really meaningful work," says Aki Shiozawa, an IT consultant who also manages the DEJ mailing list. Shiozawa works with computer systems for business, but says she's attracted to DEJ for what it can teach her in digital design.
Monthly DigitalEVEnings let members network, and practice Japanese and English language skills. This summer DEJ offers a series of workshops for IT beginners, starting with how to buy a computer and moving through the basics of MS Office and getting online. Judging by DEJ's growing membership, the group is filling a genuine need. After launching in February 2001 with 90 members, it boomed to 400 within a year. Around 40 percent of the members are Japanese, and the other 60 percent represent about a dozen different nationalities.

"Through translated Web content, Japanese-language workshops and other means, we're working to change the ratio so that the majority of members are Japanese," says DEJ co-leader Kristen Elsby, an information architect at the UN University in Tokyo. There's no question that more digital skills will open doors for women in Japan, especially since, amidst Japan's economic woes, IT jobs still outstrip IT-savvy workers. Japanese men -- especially those on the e-Japan initiative team -- might want to drop DigitalEve Japan an email and say thanks or, better yet, find out what they can do to help. Otherwise, Japan's IT workplace might continue to have the air of an accidental men's club. @

My Feedback:
This article tells us about the woman of Japan and the use of computers in daily living. It has come to know that most Japanese women are not as tech-savvy as their other Asian counterparts and not to mention the ladies in the US and the EU. The statistics are quite shocking as Japan is one of the most IT-savvy countries in the world. But, in order to overcome this pressing-issue, Digital Eve Japan (DEJ) was introduced. DEJ concentrates on helping Japanese women to become more tech-savvy, be it in rural and urban areas of Japan. In Japan, woman are regarded as inferior to man that’s why most women only work till they are 35. Furthermore, being computer illiterate, makes them more vulnerable in losing their jobs at an early age. But, with the help of DEJ, there is hope for Japanese women to rise up and walk side by side with their other half’s.

In conclusion, this task on finding out the various databases and also articles related to e-learning was indeed a daunting but fun experience for me. Being let lose into the TSL library without the supervision of our lecturers really made me feel discouraged and annoyed as I felt lost when I could not find what I was looking for. But, after much seeking and continuously asking the TSL lab assistants, I got the hand of it. It was actually something very simple and straight-forward. Thus, making me learn a valuable lesson -never depend on others but, strive to be independent!


Hey there everyone..
Just thought of uploading some recent pictures on my blog
it was taken during our college dinner party!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

POSTING 3:The Similarities and Differences between the Search Engines like Google Scholar, Yahoo!, and Eric Digest

Hello, everyone, I'm Rowena. Today I'm going to blog on the various search engines like Google Scholar,, Yahoo! and Eric Digest. So, do sit back, relax and enjoy reading my blog!

Before I proceed, I would like to wish a good day to Dr. Zaini.
This third posting is to blog on, the similarities and differences between the search engines like Google Scholar, Yahoo!, and Eric Digest. but, before we get any further, we should first know what are the different search engines all about. Well, it is as follows:

Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YAHOO) is an American public corporation with headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, (in Silicon Valley), and provides Internet services worldwide. The company is perhaps best known for its web portal, search engine, Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Mail, news, and social media websites and services. Yahoo! was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994 and was incorporated on March 1, 1995.On January 13, 2009, Yahoo appointed Carol Bartz, former executive chairman of Autodesk, as its new chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors.According to Web traffic analysis companies (including, comScore,Alexa Internet,Netcraft,and Nielsen Ratings,the domain attracted at least 1.575 billion visitors annually by 2008. The global network of Yahoo! websites receives 3.4 billion page views per day on average as of October 2007. It is the second most visited website in the U.S., and in the world. is a "smart" metasearch engine — every time you type in a query Mamma simultaneously searches a variety of engines, directories, and deep content sites, properly formats the words and syntax for each, compiles their results in a virtual database, eliminates duplicates, and displays them in a uniform manner according to relevance. It's like using multiple search engines, all at the same time. Created in 1996 as a master's thesis, helped to introduce metasearch to the Internet as one of the first of its kind. Due to its quality results, and the benefits of metasearch, Mamma grew rapidly through word of mouth, and quickly became an established search engine on the Internet.'s ability to gather the best search results available from top search sources and to provide useful tools to its users has resulted in its receiving multiple Honourable Mentions in the Best Metasearch category in the annual Search Engine Watch Awards.

3.Eric digest
The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, produces a large international database of journal and non-journal education literature. The ERIC online system provides the public with a centralized ERIC Web site for searching the ERIC bibliographic database as well as for submitting materials so they can be considered for inclusion in the database. ERIC provides access to bibliographic records of journal and non-journal literature indexed from 1966 to the present. ERIC also contains a growing collection of full-text materials in Adobe PDF format including the legacy ERIC Digests.The ERIC collection includes bibliographic records (citations, abstracts, and other pertinent data) for more than 1.2 million items indexed since 1966, including: journal articles, books, research syntheses, conference papers, technical reports, policy papers, and other education-related materials Prior to January 2004, the ERIC network consisted of sixteen subject-specific clearinghouses, adjunct and affiliate clearinghouses, and a number of support components. Each of the sixteen clearinghouses recommended materials for inclusion in the ERIC database, but also maintained additional extensive resources available by contacting the clearinghouse. As of January 2004, the ERIC clearinghouses were closed as part of reorganization by ERIC's parent agency, the U.S. Department of Education. Some clearinghouses have transferred their operations to other institutions; others have shut down entirely.

4.Google Scholar
Google Scholar is a freely-accessible Web search engine that indexes the full text of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines. Released in beta in November 2004, the Google Scholar index includes most peer-reviewed online journals of the world's largest scientific publishers. It is similar in function to the freely available Scirus from Elsevier, CiteSeer, and getCITED. It is also similar to the subscription-based tools, Elsevier's Scopus and Thomson ISI's Web of Science. Google Scholar nonetheless claims to cover more websites, journal sources and language. Its advertising slogan — "Stand on the shoulders of giants" — is a nod to the scholars who have contributed to their fields over the centuries, providing the foundation for new intellectual achievements.
Google Scholar arose out of discussion between Alex Verstak and Anurag Acharya, both of whom were then working on building Google's main web index. In 2006, in response to release of Microsoft's Windows Live Academic Search, a potential competitor for Google Scholar, a citation importing feature was implemented using bibliography managers (such as RefWorks,RefMan, EndNote, and BibTeX). Similar features are also part of other search engines, such as CiteSeer and Scirus. In 2007, Acharya announced that Google Scholar had started a program to digitize and host journal articles in agreement with their publishers; an effort separate from Google Book Search, whose scans of older journals do not include the metadata required for identifying specific articles in specific issues.After recognizing all the four search engines, now it's time to move on to the next question that is to find out their similarities and differences.

My Take on the Similarities and Differences between the Four Search Engines:

In my opinion, the similarities between, Google Scholar, and Eric digest is that they all are search engines that provide me with adequate information. For instance, when searching of information on the net, I have the opportunity to use these search engines to find various materials on different or similar topics at the same time. In addition, with the different materials found from different sources, I can use it to compare and contrast in order to finally pick the best. These four search engines provide me with information that is relevant and to the point. These four search engines also have opened many doors in the global village that we live in today, just by a click of the mouse, we can be transported to worlds of information.

However, there are differences too between these four search engines. For example,
in comparison with Google Scholar and, each of these sites serve similar functions and share many comparable characteristics. However, despite these similarities, Google is a better example of a well designed and useful Web site. I say this because of it's interface, layout, and design of the pages. Google offers a very clean and simplistic interface, whereas Yahoo! is busy and cluttered. Simplicity is one of the best estimators of whether a Web site is aesthetically pleasing, and a simple design should always be used to avoid complexity and confusion to the user. When a user is not bombarded with excessive text and images, they will feel more at ease and comfortable while using your Web site. Ultimately, a simplified interface means that the Web site will be accessible to all types of people with different skill levels, thus increasing the potential for a significant user return.

The differences between and Eric Digest on the other hand are that, the information in, and Eric digest is more towards academic purposes. These two Web pages play an important and useful role in the educational field. Students and teachers alike can make full use of the information provided at these search engines in order to ensure the learning or teaching process become more interesting and active. is a search engine that is nicknamed "The Mother of All Search Engines" searches Web sites, MP3 files, images, video, and news. It also Offers affiliates and partner programs. Its display is also simple and people can easily find information on it as it is not confusing to the searcher. In addition, compare to Eric Digest, we can get more hits here. Eric Digest on the other hand, is a site that provides full-text access to thousands of ERIC Digests in many education areas including teaching, learning, special education and home schooling. But, in my opnion, Eric Digest is more confusing than all the other search engines. I find it very detailed and hard to grasp. If I were to choose among the search engines, I would not search for information via Eric Digest unless it has something that is academically related.

Apart form that, the differences between and and Google Scholar and Eric Digest is that in and, they classify their web pages in an organized set of categories such as images, video, jobs, news and so on. This makes the searching task become easy and efficient. Besides that, classification will also create a neat look for the web page. But in contrast to Google Scholar and Eric Digest, their web pages only provide the search text. This might cause some information seekers to not have any idea for their searching purposes. Especially for first time users of the Internet. Thus, causing them to face difficulties while searching for the information they need. Comparing with the and, the method they used can help the beginner to use the search engines.

To make a long story short, I think that although the four different search engines have their own pro’s and cons, we have the opportunity to utilize them in every way possible. In the end of the day, all the information we get will be different and that’s when the magic starts, whereby we take what is needed and discard what we don’t need. In the end, we only get the best from the four very reliable sources.

Lastly, please sit back and enjoy the Video on how to use Google Scholar which I got from YouTube

Sunday, March 8, 2009

POSTING 2: Discuss How Blogging Can Assist Language Learners To Improve and Enhance Their Writing Skills

A very welcome to everyone reading my blog, especially, to Dr. Zaini. In my opinion,blogging can assist language learners to improve their writing skills in many ways.
Firstly, it can instill language awareness in the language learner. For example, when blogging, the writer is aware that people from all walks of life are going to read their post, and thus, this will make them more cautious of the content they post, the language that they use and also the grammatical use of the language. Silly mistakes and grammatical errors can really put off any reader, resulting in the reader not wanting to pursue reading the blog. Consequently, the language learner takes on ways and means to make sure that she exhibits a flair for the language that will raise the quality of her writing.
Secondly, blogging is something that a person does every day. A blog is also called an online diary whereby people can share their experiences and thoughts of the day. Blogging every day will certainly enhance writing skills among language learners. For instance, through the daily practice of writing on blogs, language learners can improve their writing ability. Writing can only be improved by practicing it every day. Just like the old saying ‘practice makes perfect’. As the language learner writes, she will certainly detect spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors and by correcting them, she will in a way, improve her writing skills because she has learnt from her own mistakes.
Thirdly, being language learners, they have a good grasp of the language, making them enabling them to play around with words. This will help them to produce a good piece of writing. After all, a good piece of work starts with the combination of words that make sentences. Good sentences help to produce good writing. Hence, equipped with the necessary skills, bloggers will for sure have no qualms with writing through blogs. Thus, as they write, their writing skills will develop unconsciously.
Fourthly, language learners can also improve their writing abilities by creating a simple draft. Before stating the blogging stint, spend five minutes brain-storming. The draft can be on paper or it can be in your mind. Set a timer, and write anything that comes to mind for five minutes. The only rule is that the blogger should not stop writing. This consequently will prompt the writer to write more. In addition, writing skills will be better and easier and not something that is very hard to do. The best part is that, a draft can help the language leaner to develop ideas quickly before they start typing it onto their blog.
Lastly, in order to improve their writing skills, language learners can instill in themselves the writing habit. For example, three times a day, they can do a timed writing of five minutes. Blogging is one of the ways to enhance the writing habit. All they have to do is to write on any topic that interests them. They have to start by describing things, and move on from there. If they do the five-minute procedure, three-times-a-day timed writings for two weeks, this will help the language learner to integrate writing into their daily lives thus making writing something they love doing. At the end of three weeks, they will certainly have developed a writing habit and this will help improve their writing ability.

These are the urls that I went to search for links that are related to blogging:

These are the links for the blogs that I like reading
This blog is on personal experiences of people that have traveled to many places around the globe. It really interests me because it tells me about places that i have never been before.
This is another interesting blog that showcases various foods that are really enticing to see and taste
In this blog, it's all about fashion. tells us about the do's and don't and also about celebrity fashion four pax
In this blog,it tells us a whole lot about health and well-being. I enjoy reading this blog because I can get to know more about keeping fit and healthy.

To put it in a nutshell, the all time favorite blog that I like reading is the travel blog.
This blog tells us the experiences of people who have traveled to many exotic places around the globe. There are also many pictures of the places that they have been to that is very captivating to the eye. Their experiences are worth reading because it is interesting and inspiring. Thank you.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2009. The son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas, he is the first African-American to ascend to the highest office in the land
He is also the first new president since terrorists attacked New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, the first to use the Internet to decisive political advantage, the first to insist on handling a personal smartphone while in the White House. So striking was the novelty of his rise that he embraced it himself: as a candidate he called himself “a skinny kid with a funny name” and the theme for his campaign was “change.”
It was a theme with deep resonance for a country enmeshed in what was widely believed to be the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Abroad, many challenges loomed: the war in Iraq, the worsening conflict in Afghanistan, the repercussions from Israel's broad assault on Gaza, the threat of terrorism and the increasing signs that the economic woes that began on Wall Street had spread across the global economy.
Mr. Obama arrived at the White House with a resume that appeared short by presidential standards: eight years in the Illinois State Senate, four years as a senator in Washington. He had managed to wrest the Democratic nomination from a field of far more experienced competitors, most notably Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, whom he outlasted in what became an epic primary battle. And he defeated Senator John McCain, the Republican of Arizona, by an electoral margin of 365 to 173, while outpolling him by more than eight million votes.
During the campaign, Mr. Obama laid out a set of large promises that were solidly within the traditional agenda of the Democratic Party, with plans to offer health insurance to all and reduce carbon emissions at the top of the list. At the same time, he proposed moving toward what was sometimes called a post-partisan landscape, appealing to voters of all stripes to come together. As he took office, voters seemed cautiously optimistic, with high hopes for the Obama presidency mixed with a sense that complicated problems would take years to resolve.
Republicans attributed Mr. Obama's victory primarily to a dismal trifecta: the cratering economy, an incumbent president, George W. Bush, with near-record disapproval ratings and a series of stumbles by Mr. McCain's campaign. But even his opponents acknowledged that Mr. Obama had run a remarkable campaign, highly disciplined in its message, relentlessly focused on building a field organization that was second to none and unprecedentedly successful in fundraising, particularly over the Internet.
In the weeks after the election, the Obama team tried to bring the same level of focus to the transition, moving rapidly to name a large roster of nominees to posts large and small. He dipped deeply into the pool of Clinton-era officials, beginning with his former rival, naming Mrs. Clinton to be his secretary of state. While he resisted calls to involve himself publicly in many of the pressing issues of the moment, declaring repeatedly that "we only have one president at a time," Mr. Obama began negotiations with congressional leaders on a massive economic stimulus package and hit the road for campaign-style events to build support for the $825 billion bill introduced by the House on Jan. 15, 2009.

This piece of material that I found on the Internet is about the current US President Barack Obama. I am an avid follower of the now US President Barak Obama. I got interested in this fresh face during the US Presidential campaign last year. I remember hogging the television set just to watch this man of caliber and authenticity give his speech. His calm and collected demeanor really interested me. Even when people were shooting bad press at him, he never took that as a hindrance towards his aim to grab the seat at the White House. Obama is the first Black President to rule the United States of America. This just goes to show that America is now opening its doors to a whole new era that appeals to both the Whites and the Blacks. He is also a Democrat that had won the hearts of many republicans too. His great and productive ideas of change and betterment for the United States of America in my opinion was one of the reasons why he was elected as the President. He really appealed to the younger generation as he was young, insightful and promised to bring drastic changes to the United States of America.
Based on the text that I have found on the Internet on him, I found that he is a dedicated person who devotes his life to the safeguard of the country. He is a shining example of a man that is truly dedicated to his job at hand. Together with his wife Michelle Obama who is the First Lady, they make a powerful team that is destined to bring change to the United States of America. By reading this piece of information online about him, it really refreshed my mind about this very powerful man. I always thought that I knew this man in and out, but, the fact remains that there is so much that I have not known about him yet. Thus, to make myself clearer about this very interesting figure, I did spend some quality time surfing the net and found many links that can tell us a whole lot about Barack Obama. is one of the sites that I went to to search for information on Barack Obama

Last but certainly not least, based on my online reading for information on Barack Obama, I have somewhat gained a lot of information on this person. Barack Obama is a very interesting person to read about. Thus, it was good to spend some time reading about this man. Thanks to the Internet, I could get information on him at the tip of my fingers. Below is the link that I found the text that I posted on Obama erlier:

Thank You.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Short Introduction of Myself..

Welcome to my blog! I'm really happy that I now own a blog for myself. The last time I blogged was a year ago and it was under a group project. Blogging all over again really got me excited as it is something that is both captivating and enriching. In my opinion, blogging is a really cool way to express our views and opinions. What is more interesting is that, people of all walks of life have the chance to blog on anything when and where they want! -this just goes to show how technology has transformed based on the changing of times. In addition, more and more people can share their views and opinions about a subject matter this way. Ok, ok.. I know you are getting bored with me blabbering away about technology and all.. So please let me get back to what I am supposed to do. -Introducing myself :) My name is Rowena Francis but most of my friends call me Rowena. I am currently pursuing my degree in English Language Studies in the National University of Malaysia. I hail from a small town called Kluang which is located in the center of Johor. It is the town where I have been living for 21 years now. I am the youngest and the only daughter. I have two elder brothers Danny and Hetish who are studying to be a Doctor and a Banker respectively. My mother is a social worker and she cares a lot for the poor and the needy. I sometimes help her to distribute rations to the poor when I'm home for the holidays. She does it on a voluntary basis and she always says that it's all for a good cause. My father on the other hand, is a lecturer in a local university and because of his commitment and dedication to his work, it made me realize that teaching was going to be my courier option too. So after my STPM, I applied for TESL, but sadly however, I was not given a place. Surely it will be a lie if I say that I was not saddened by the fact that I was not given the chance to pursue my studies in that course. But everything turned 360 degrees when I met the lectures in my faculty and also in PPBL. They totally changed me and my narrow-minded perception that if I do not get TESL, I will be destined to be a failure in life. But as for now, I can say that the drive to study hard and be somebody in the future has really pushed me to be focused and not think of the past anymore. It's 5th gear all the way for me from now on!!! :)