Angptl2 is a multifaceted protein, displaying both physiological and pathological functions, in which scientific and clinical interest is growing exponentially within the past few years. Its physiological functions are not well understood, but angptl2 was first acknowledged for its pro-angiogenic and antiapoptotic capacities. In addition, angptl2 can be considered a growth factor, since it increases survival and expansion of hematopoietic stem cells and may promote vasculogenesis. Finally, angptl2 has an important, but largely unrecognised, physiological role: in the cytosol, angptl2 binds to type 1A angiotensin II receptors and induces their recycling, with recovery of the receptor signal functions. Despite these important physiological properties, angptl2 is better acknowledged for its deleterious pro-inflammatory properties and its contribution in multiple chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, metabolic disorders and many other chronic diseases. This review aims at presenting an updated description of both the beneficial and deleterious biological properties of angptl2, in addition to its molecular signalling pathways and transcriptional regulation. The multiplicity of diseases in which angptl2 contributes makes it a new highly relevant clinical therapeutic target.
Mytilopsis leucophaeata naturally occurs in oligo- to mesohaline estuaries along the Atlantic coast of the USA and Mexico. In Brazil, M. leucophaeata was first recorded in 2004 in estuaries adjacent to the Port of Recife (Pernambuco State, north-eastern Brazil). Here, we present the second record of the species in Brazil, and the first for the south-eastern region, in the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon (Rio de Janeiro State). This lagoon, located within a major urbanized area of Rio de Janeiro City, is highly affected by coastal development, but used for various nautical sports. The imminence of the Olympic Games, to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, requires specific attention to the importance of monitoring and controlling this new invasive species. Action has to be taken to prevent its dispersal to other estuarine and lagoon ecosystems of Rio de Janeiro State due to movement of boats and sport equipment.
Inspired by the unexpected results of a standardized questionnaire survey of Swiss university students’ motivation and attitudes toward English, the paper discusses the influence of global and local contexts on language learners’ motivation and identity. As a result of the unprecedented spread of English as a foreign language (Crystal, 2003; Graddol, 2006), and, more importantly, the underlying social and economic issues that it reflects, elements of the global context intermingle with local realities to create new learning experiences, unaccounted for by traditional research paradigms. Individuals find themselves at the convergence of multiple contexts that affect and are in turn affected by their language attitudes and identity as well as sense of self. The intricate relationships between contexts and individuals continue to gain emphasis in current approaches to language learning motivation (cf. Dörnyei, MacIntyre, & Henry, 2015), which position L2 learnin in a new light, questioning the power and relevance of different motivational categories and also these of a generalizable theoretical model. The quantitative study presented in this paper explores interrelationships among key elements of the L2 motivational self system (Dörnyei, 2009) and a number of motivational factors on the one hand, contrasting them against the economic and social background of the Swiss context on the other. The findings of the project reveal that such repositioning of the participants in the multicultural, plurilingual environment of Geneva and its socioeconomic reality was indeed essential to the interpretation of the results since the extraordinary strength of external and societal factors in participants’ motivational profile gained meaning only in the light of the particularities of the local context. Therefore, the paper showcases the potential of a broader perspective on L2 motivation and the importance of learner-context relationships.
This study focuses on the impact of different variables on the nature of language performance in the context of task-based instruction. Characteristics of tasks are discussed, and then a framework is offered that can organize the nature of task-based instruction and relevant research. The framework is used to generate predictions regarding the effects of three different tasks (Personal Information Exchange, Narrative, and Decision-Making) and three different implementation conditions for each task (unplanned, planned but without detail, detailed planning) on the variables of fluency, complexity, and accuracy. The study reports strong effects of planning on fluency and clear effects also on complexity, with a linear relationship between degree of planning and degree of complexity. However, a more complex relationship was discovered between planning and accuracy, with the most accurate performance produced by the less detailed planners. In addition, interactions were found between task type and planning conditions, such that the effects of planning were greater with the Narrative and Decision-Making tasks than with the Personal Information Exchange task. The results are discussed in terms of an attentional model of learning and performance and highlight the importance of tradeoff effects between the goals of complexity and accuracy in the context of the use of limited capacity attentional resources. The study contributes to the development of cognitive models of second language performance and addresses a number of pedagogic issues.
Recent research on pragmatic and syntactic development in bilingual 2-year-olds has shown that these children have differentiated language systems. However, it remains to be shown whether their grammars develop autonomously or interdependently from 2 years onward. The present study investigates the potential interference between the grammars of French-English bilingual children, aged 2-3 years. We examined their acquisition of functional categories, specifically the properties of INFL (finiteness and agreement) and negation, as these grammatical properties differ in both adult French and English and child French and English. Our results indicate that the bilingual children show no evidence of transfer, acceleration, or delay in acquisition, and support the hypothesis that their grammars are acquired autonomously. Some implications of these findings for the debate on continuity in the emergence of functional categories are discussed.
This paper provides an overview of sequencing in SLA. It contends that much of language acquisition is in fact sequence learning (for vocabulary, the phonological units of language and their phonotactic sequences: for discourse, the lexical units of language and their sequences in clauses and collocations). It argues that the resultant longterm knowledge base of language sequences serves as the database for the acquisition of language grammar. It next demonstrates that SLA of lexis, idiom, collocation, and grammar are all determined by individual differences in learners' ability to remember simple verbal strings in order. It outlines how interactions between short-term and long-term phonological memory systems allow chunking and the tuning of language systems better to represent structural information for particular languages. It proposes mechanisms for the analysis of sequence information that result in knowledge of underlying grammar. Finally, it considers the relations between this empiricist approach and that of generative grammar.
Unlike other areas of second language study, which are primarily concerned with acquisitional patterns of interlanguage knowledge over time, most studies in interlanguage pragmatics have focused on second language use rather than second language learning. The aim of this paper is to profile interlanguage pragmatics as an area of inquiry in second language acquisition research, by reviewing existing studies with a focus on learning, examining research findings in interlanguage pragmatics that shed light on some basic questions in SLA, exploring cognitive and social-psychological theories that might offer explanations of different aspects of pragmatic development, and proposing a research agenda for the study of interlanguage pragmatics with a developmental perspective that will tie it more closely to other areas of SLA.
This study examines the generalizability of claims by Reber (1989, 1993) about the implicit learning of artificial grammars to the context of adult second language acquisition (SLA). In the field of SLA Krashen (1981, 1982, 1985, 1994) has made claims parallel to those of Reber regarding the differential effectiveness of conscious learning of rules and unconscious incidental acquisition of rules. Specifically addressed are Reber's and Krashen's claims that (a) implicit learning is more effective than explicit learning when the stimulus domain is complex, and (b) explicit learning of simple and complex stimulus domains is possible if the underlying rules are made salient. One hundred four adult learners of English as a second language were randomly assigned to implicit, incidental, rule-search, or instructed computerized training conditions. Speed and accuracy of judgments of novel tokens of easy and hard rule sentence types presented during training were used as dependent measures. Results do not support the first of Reber's and Krashen's claims but do support the second. Implicit learners do not outperform other learners on complex rules, but instructed learners outperform all others in learning simple rules. Analyses of the effectof sentence type and grammaticality on learning suggest a transferappropriate processing account of the relationship among consciousness, rule awareness, training, and transfer task performance.
This study explores whether pragmatic fluency can best be acquired in the classroom by provision of input and opportunity for communicative practice alone, or whether learners profit more when additional explicit instruction in the use of conversational routines is provided. It is hypothesized that such instruction raises learners' awareness of the functions and contextual distributions of routines, enabling them to become more pragmatically fluent. Two versions of a communication course taught to advanced German learners of English for 14 weeks are examined, one version providing explicit metapragmatic information, the other withholding it. Samples of tape-recorded conversations at various stages of the courses are used to assess how students' pragmatic fluency developed and whether and how the development of fluency benefits from metapragmatic awareness.
This paper examines how the cognitive notion of attention has been employed in SLA and how it is understood in cognitive science. It summarizes recent research on attention from cognitive and neuroscience approaches. Some reformulations of problems raised in SLA research related to attention are proposed. Current research offers detailed ideas about attention and its component processes. These ideas, elaborated theoretically and empirically in cognitive neuroscience, may help untangle some important but difficult issues in SLA. Early, coarse-grained conceptions of attention, such as the limited-capacity metaphor or the automatic versus controlled processing dichotomy, are recast into an integrated human attention system with three separate yet interrelated networks: alertness, orientation, and detection. This finer grained analysis of attention is employed in a model of the role of attention in SLA.
The role of conversational interactions in the development of a second language has been central in the recent second language acquisition literature. While a great deal is now known about the way in which nonnative speakers interact with native speakers and other nonnative speakers, little is known about the lasting effects of these interactions on a nonnative's linguistic development. This paper specifically investigates the relationship among input, interaction, and second language production. Through data from native–nonnative speaker interactions in a direction-giving task, we show that both modified input and interaction affect task performance. However, only interaction has an effect on subsequent task performance.
This study replicates VanPatten and Cadierno (1993) in an attempt to determine whether or not explicit information given to learners receiving processing instruction is responsible for the beneficial effects of instruction. Fifty-nine subjects were divided into three groups: (1) one receiving processing instruction in object pronouns and word order in Spanish as in VanPatten and Cadierno (1993), (2) another receiving explanation only with no activities or practice, (3) and another receiving only the structured input activities with no explanation. A pretest/posttest assessment was used involving two tests, an interpretation test and a sentence-level production test. Results showed that the beneficial effects of instruction were due to the structured input activities and not to the explicit information (explanation) provided to learners.
In this paper we describe an experiment in explicit instruction that compares traditional form-focused instruction and what we call processing instruction. Traditional instruction involves explanation and output practice of a grammatical point. Processing instruction involves explanation and practice/experience processing input data, taking learner strategies in input processing as the starting point for determining what explicit instruction should look like. Pretest and posttest measures involving both a sentence-level interpretation (comprehension) task and a sentence-level production task were submitted to an analysis of variance. Results reveal significant gains in both comprehension and production for subjects who experienced processing instruction. For those experiencing traditional instruction, significant gains were made in production only.
This paper reports on a study that examines the pattern of interaction in child native speaker (NS)–nonnative speaker (NNS) conversation to determine if the NSs provide negative feedback to their NNS conversational partners. It appears that just as children are able to modify their input for their less linguistically proficient conversational partners in first language acquisition (Snow, 1977), so too are children able to modify their interactions for NNS peers in the second language acquisition process and, in doing so, provide negative feedback. Two forms of NS modification were identified in this study as providing reactive and implicit negative feedback to the NNS. These were (a) negotiation strategies, including repetition, clarification requests, and comprehension checks, and (b) recasts. The results indicated that NSs respond differentially to the grammaticality and ambiguity of their NNS peers' conversational contributions. Furthermore, NS responses (negotiate, recast, or ignore) appeared to be triggered by the type and complexity of NNS errors, although it was more likely overall that negative feedback would be used rather than the error ignored. Additionally, evidence suggested that negative feedback was incorporated by the NNSs into their interlanguage systems. This indicates that not only does negative evidence exist for child second language learners in these types of conversations, but that it is also usable and used by them in the language acquisition process.
This article reviews the second language research on age-related differences, as well as first language work needed to disambiguate some of the findings. Five conclusions are drawn. (a) Both the initial rate of acquisition and the ultimate level of attainment depend in part on the age at which learning begins, (b) There are sensitive periods governing language development, first or second, during which the acquisition of different linguistic abilities is successful and after which it is irregular and incomplete, (c) The age-related loss in ability is cumulative (not a catastrophic one-time event), affecting first one linguistic domain and then another, and is not limited to phonology, (d) The deterioration in some individuals begins as early as age 6—not at puberty as is often claimed, (e) Affective, input, and current cognitive explanations for the reduced ability are inadequate. The capacity for language development is maturationally constrained, and its decline probably reflects a progressive loss of neural plasticity, itself possibly associated with increasing myelination.
Psychologically speaking, all linguistic behavior is the overt manifestation of some type of underlying knowledge that is represented in the mind/brain of an individual. Exposure to linguistic data is necessary for growth of the system of knowledge. On the basis of only overt linguistic behavior, how can we ascertain whether the native and nonnative knowledge systems that people have are of distinct or similar types? Is there a (necessary) relationship between type of knowledge and type of linguistic exposure?The hypothesis to be defended is that negative data and explicit data result in a type of knowledge that is not to be equated with linguistic competence. The claim is not that negative and explicit data cannot give rise to knowledge; rather, the specific claim is that only positive data can effect the construction of an interlanguage grammar that is comparable to the knowledge system that characterizes the result of first language acquisition.