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Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Latest Invention: Cell Phone that Can Help Managers Watch Employees' Every Step

KDDI Corporation, Japanese telecommunications operator, has come up with a technology that can track the movement of a person and transmit the collected information back to the main office.

The technology works by evaluating the movement of accelerometers, which are, by the way, found in nearly every cell phone. According to the researchers, the technology can identify different types of activities, including walking and climbing.

The potential target market for the company's latest invention includes managers and employment agencies.

Philip Sugai, director of the mobile consumer lab at the International University of Japan considers that the technology represents a very important invention. He explains: "For example, when applied to the issue of telemedicine, or other situations in which remotely monitoring or accessing an individual's personal movements is vital to that service." At the same time Mr. Sugai admits that there may be negative consequences when the technology is applied to track employee movements, informs BBC.

By taking advantage of analytical software, the latest invention from the Japanese researchers can detect more sophisticated behavior. Thus it will be able to match models of common movements. Philip Sugai says that if, for instance, the KDDI mobile phone is attached to a cleaning worker's waist, it will be possible to tell the difference between such activities as walking, sweeping and emptying a rubbish bin.

It is worth mentioning that the main goal of the Japanese company is to increase efficiency and allow managers to evaluate the performance of their workers when not at the office.
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Your Eyes Are Your Way to Find the Truth

Essential Eye Care

Your eyes are one of the most delicate parts of your body and they need extra special care. We sit staring at computer screens for hours and as a result our eyes suffer tremendous strain. Here are a few simple and low cost measures you can implement to protect your eyes.

Exercise Your Eyes Regularly
Make a conscious effort to blink your eyes rapidly in quick succession. When we stare at a computer screen, we "forget" to blink which causes unnecessary strain on our eyes.

You can also close your eyes and roll your eyeballs clockwise as well as anticlockwise. This exercises the optic nerve which strengthens your eyes.

Cup your palms around your eyes so that you can see "velvet". This rests your eyes and helps them to relax.

Provide Relief to Your Eyes
Look away from the computer screen and focus on objects that are far away. This will help you focus better and it provides visual relief to your eyes.

"Water" your Eyes
Splashing water on your eyes relaxes them and also helps cleanse your eyes of dust and accumulated gunk.

Also Read:
Looking after your eye sight
Contact lens vs. glaucoma
Eye disease: causes, symptoms and treatment
Panda eyes

Don't forget to drink plenty of water as this helps to flush away toxins. It also helps reduce under eye puffiness, especially if you work in an air conditioned environment.

Take "Tea Breaks"
Don't throw away your tea bags after you use them. Put them in the refrigerator for a few hours and apply the cold tea bags to your eyes. This helps soothe your eyes and it also helps reduce fatigue and puffiness.

Eat Right
The best vitamins for maintaining sharp vision are Vitamins A, C and E. You can get them from fruit and vegetables like:
- Carrots
- Tomatoes
- Cucumbers
- Citrus fruit and other fresh fruit
- Spinach and other types of green leafy vegetables

You can also consider eating poultry as well as butter, milk, cream and other dairy products. Avoid using inferior quality make up and make sure you get adequate rest every day.

While you cannot reverse the damage you have already done to your eyes, these tips might help prevent further injury and vision loss.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


The cause of baldness

There may be hope of finding a treatment for men who fall victim to premature hair loss. In fact, a team of researchers from Columbia, Rockefeller and Stanford Universities (USA) believes it has identified the gene that is in part responsible for male baldness, a problem due to a process of hair follicle miniaturisation.

Also Read:
0% Damage and 100% Nourishment with Natural Hair Conditioners
A touch of brilliance for brown hair
For really great hair!
Hair Extension: Type and Management

This discovery could also lead to the development of new therapies intended to eliminate unwanted body hair once and for all.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


eMachines, PowerFul Yet Affordale Computers from Acer
Computers, Gadgets, Tech News, Technology 1 Comment »

The beauty of having computers is that it makes almost everything easy, from office work to saving your favorite files like movies, photos or important documents. Whether in or out of the home or office, computers have become indispensable companions, but you gain an enviable advantage if the computer is an , top-quality yet highly affordable devices from Acer, a globally trusted brand.


With nary a fuss or whimper, eMachines products like the eMD620 notebook and the EL1200 desktop are slowly getting into the general psyche of people on the lookout for fully functional yet light-on-the-wallet personal laptops.

The eMD620, operating with the popular Linux operating system, is powered by an AMD Athlon 64 2650e (1.6 GHz, 512KB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB) processor running side-by-side with the ATI Radeon X1200 Graphics chipset for powerful processing performance.

Add to that a 1GB DDR2 667 memory that can be upgraded to a more powerful 4GB level and you have a laptop that can compete head-on with other more powerful brands in the market.

Plus, with a 160GB SATA hard drive, you have enough storage space for important files like office documents, videos and images.

Display quality is also courtesy of the ATI Radeon Xpress 1200 graphics chip with 1919MB of HyperMemory for crisp, clear and trouble-free display capability through the eMD620’s 14.1-inch WXGA high-brightness TFT LCD screen, regardless of lighting conditions.

Connectivity is also less worry for the eMD620 user with its wireless LAN 802.11b/g and Wi-Fi certified network feature, perfect for those communicating with their team on the field or with their loved ones on a leisure day after work or during weekends that’s perfectly complemented by the built-in Acer webcam.

Powerhouse personal computing in the home or office is also a guaranteed distinction if you are using the eMachines EL1200, which allows Linpus Linux operating system inside it.

The eMachines EL1200 also possesses an AMD Athlon processor with an NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE chipset, and with up to 2GB of DDR2 667/800 MHz SDRAM of system memory, expect an invigorating and exhilarating computing functionality.

Video and audio capability is also an important facet of the eMachines EL1200’s full set of power features, starting with the NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE graphics solution that carries with it the NVIDIA nView Multi-Display for stunning images and the embedded high-definition audio with 5.1-channel surround sound support for a thorough auditory delight to complete the computing experience at home or at the office.

Stashing away important files — whether office documents, videos, images, and even games — is also not an issue with the eMachines EL1200, and credit goes to its 160GB SATA hard drive which can also extend to an enormous 320GB capacity.

There’s also the SuperMulti optical drive and the multi-in-one card reader that supports a slew of removable media and a wide gamut of input-output ports gives lesser headache when sticking in various media.

For more information, visit

Source : (NETWORKS)


One Report: Better Strategy through Integrated Reporting
Q&A with: Robert G. Eccles and Michael P. Krzus
Published: April 12, 2010
Feature: Research & Ideas

Stakeholders expect it. And smart companies are doing it: integrating their reporting of financial and nonfinancial performance in order to improve sustainable strategy. HBS senior lecturer Robert G. Eccles and coauthor Michael P. Krzus explain the benefits and value of the One Report method. Plus: book excerpt from One Report: Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Strategy.
Multinational Strategies and Developing Countries in Historical Perspective
Author: Geoffrey Jones
Published: April 8, 2010
Paper Release Date: March 2010
Feature: Working Papers

HBS professor Geoffrey Jones offers a historical analysis of the strategies of multinationals from developed countries in developing countries. His central argument, that strategies were shaped by the trade-off between opportunity and risk, highlights how three broad environmental factors determined the trade-off. The first was the prevailing political economy, including the policies of both host and home governments, and the international legal framework. The second was the market and resources of the host country. The third was competition from local firms. Jones explores the impact of these factors on corporate strategies during the three eras in the modern history of globalization from the nineteenth century until the present day. He argues that the performance of specific multinationals depended on the extent to which their internal capabilities enabled them to respond to these external opportunities and threats. The paper highlights in particular the changing nature of political risk faced by multinationals. The era of expropriation has, for the moment, largely passed, but multinationals now experience new kinds of policy risk, and new forms of home country political risk also, such as the Alien Tort Claims Act in the United States.
HBS Cases: Developing Asia's Largest Slum
Published: March 15, 2010
Feature: Lessons from the Classroom

In a recent case study, HBS assistant professor Lakshmi Iyer and lecturer John Macomber examine ongoing efforts to forge a public-private mixed development in Dharavi—featured in the film Slumdog Millionaire. But there is a reason this project has languished for years. From the HBS Alumni Bulletin.
HBS Cases: Looking Behind Google's Stand in China
Q&A with: John A. Quelch
Published: February 8, 2010
Feature: Lessons from the Classroom

Google's threat to pull out of China is either a blow for Internet freedom or cover for a failed business strategy, depending on with whom you talk. Professor John A. Quelch looks behind the headlines in a new case.
Does Product Market Competition Lead Firms To Decentralize?
Authors: Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen
Published: January 28, 2010
Paper Release Date: January 2010
Feature: Working Papers

There is a widespread sense that over the last two decades firms have been decentralizing decisions to employees further down the managerial hierarchy. Economists have developed a range of theories to account for delegation, but there is less empirical evidence, especially across countries. This has limited the ability to understand the phenomenon of decentralization. Nicholas Bloom, HBS professor Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen assembled a new data set on about 4,000 firms across 12 countries in Europe, North America, and Asia, and then measured the delegation of authority from central headquarters to local plant managers.
Private Equity and Industry Performance
Authors: Shai Bernstein, Josh Lerner, Morten Sørensen, and Per Strömberg
Published: January 13, 2010
Paper Release Date: December 2009
Feature: Working Papers

In response to the global financial crisis that began in 2007, governments worldwide are rethinking their approach to regulating financial institutions. Among the financial institutions that have fallen under the gaze of regulators have been private equity (PE) funds. There are many open questions regarding the economic impact of PE funds, many of which cannot be definitively answered until the aftermath of the buyout boom of the mid-2000s can be fully assessed. HBS professor Josh Lerner and coauthors address one of these open questions, by examining the impact of PE investments across 20 industries in 26 major nations between 1991 and 2007. In particular, they look at the relationship between the presence of PE investments and the growth rates of productivity, employment, and capital formation.
Published in 2009
The Global Agglomeration of Multinational Firms
Authors: Laura Alfaro and Maggie Chen
Published: December 23, 2009
Paper Release Date: December 2009, revised April 2010
Feature: Working Papers

(Paper formerly titled "The Global Networks of Multinational Firms.") When and why do multinationals group together overseas? Do they agglomerate in the same fashion abroad as they do at home? An answer to these questions is central to the long-standing debate over the consequences of foreign direct investment (FDI). It is critical to understand interdependencies of multinational networks and how multinationals influence one another in their activities at home and overseas. HBS professor Laura Alfaro and George Washington University professor Maggie Chen examine the global network of multinationals and study the significance and causes of multinational agglomeration. Their results provide further evidence of the increasing separation of headquarters services and production activities within multinational firms. The differential specialization of headquarters and subsidiaries leads to distinct patterns of agglomeration.
Mental Health in the Aftermath of Conflict
Authors: Quy-Toan Do and Lakshmi Iyer
Published: December 9, 2009
Paper Release Date: November 2009
Feature: Working Papers

Wars are detrimental to the populations and the economy of affected countries. Over and above the human cost caused by deaths and suffering during a time of conflict, survivors of conflict are often left in poor economic circumstances and mental-health distress even after the conflict ends. How large are these costs? How long does it take for conflict-affected populations to recover from the mental stress of conflict? What policies are appropriate to assist mental health recovery? While considerable attention has been paid to post-war policies with regard to recovery in physical and human capital, mental health has received relatively less attention. The World Bank's Quy-Toan Do and HBS professor Lakshmi Iyer review the nascent literature on mental health in the aftermath of conflict, discuss the potential mechanisms through which conflict might affect mental health, and illustrate the findings from their study of mental health in a specific post-conflict setting: Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Should Immigration Policies Be More Welcoming to Low-Skilled Workers?
Published: December 2, 2009
Feature: What Do YOU Think?
Forum: closed | 43 Comments posted

Immigration is a topic that stirs passions globally, judging from the responses to this month's column, says HBS professor Jim Heskett. Readers suggested ways to bring immigration policy into alignment with the reality of what is happening at borders and in workplaces around the world. (Online forum now closed. Next forum begins January 6.)
Walking Through Jelly: Language Proficiency, Emotions, and Disrupted Collaboration in Global Work
Authors: Tsedal Neeley, Pamela J. Hinds, and Catherine Durnell Cramton
Published: November 12, 2009
Paper Release Date: June 2009
Feature: Working Papers

As organizations increasingly globalize, individuals are required to collaborate with coworkers across international borders. Many organizations are mandating English as the lingua franca, or common language, regardless of the location of their headquarters, to facilitate collaboration across national and linguistic boundaries. What is the emotional impact of lingua franca adoption on native and nonnative speakers who work closely together and often across national boundaries? This study examines the communication experience for native and nonnative English speakers in an organization that mandates English as the lingua franca for everyday use, and the impact of the lingua franca on collaboration among globally distributed coworkers. HBS professor Tsedal Neeley and coauthors describe in detail how emotions and actions were intertwined and evolved recursively as coworkers attempted to release themselves from unwanted negative emotions and inadvertently acted in ways that transferred negative experiences to their distant coworkers. Their findings have implications for managers who are charged with overseeing internationally distributed projects.
Improving Accountability at the World Bank
Published: September 28, 2009
Feature: Research & Ideas

Its legitimacy and effectiveness on the line, the World Bank faces criticism from its constituents and the civil society organizations that serve them. What options and arguments for accountability make the most sense for global governance institutions like the World Bank? HBS professor Alnoor Ebrahim testified before the U.S. House of Representatives on paths to change.
Firsthand Experience and the Subsequent Role of Reflected Knowledge in Cultivating Trust in Global Collaboration
Authors: Mark Mortensen and Tsedal Neeley
Published: July 29, 2009
Paper Release Date: May 2009
Feature: Working Papers

How can workers better collaborate across vast geographical distances? Distributed collaboration—in which employees work with, and meaningfully depend on, distant colleagues on a day-to-day basis—allows firms to leverage their intellectual capital, enhance work unit performance, face ever-changing customer demands more fluidly, and gain competitive advantage in a dynamic marketplace. Research over the last decade, however, has provided mounting evidence that while global collaboration is a necessary strategic choice for an ever-increasing number of organizations, socio-demographic, contextual, and temporal barriers engender many interpersonal challenges for distant coworkers and are likely to adversely affect trust between and among workers across sites. In this paper that examines employee relations at a multinational organization, HBS professor Tsedal Beyene and MIT Sloan School of Management professor Mark Mortensen find that firsthand experience in global collaborations is a crucial means of engendering trust from shared knowledge among coworkers. Their findings reinforce the important role of others' perceptions in our own self-definition, and suggest a means of addressing some of the problems that arise in cross-cultural global collaborations.
Business Summit: Managing Human Capital—Global Trends and Challenges
Published: July 21, 2009
Feature: HBS Business Summit

Human capital needed for globalization is lacking. Progress is required in important areas such as elevating more women to leadership positions, according to panelists at the HBS Business Summit.
Business Summit: Ethics in Globalization
Published: July 17, 2009
Feature: HBS Business Summit

It is impossible to regulate against greed and ethical shortcomings. What can be done is to force greater transparency and accountability.
Business Summit: China in the Global Economy
Published: July 14, 2009
Feature: HBS Business Summit

While the global economic downturn will affect China's exports, the domestic economy is expected to remain strong, agreed panelists at the HBS Business Summit.
Why Do Countries Adopt International Financial Reporting Standards?
Authors: Karthik Ramanna and Ewa Sletten
Published: June 25, 2009
Paper Release Date: March 2009
Feature: Working Papers

Why do some countries adopt the European Union (EU)-based International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) when others do not? To expand our understanding of the determinants and consequences of IFRS adoption on a global sample, HBS professor Karthik Ramanna and MIT Sloan School of Management coauthor Ewa Sletten studied variations over time in the decision to adopt these standards in more than a hundred non-EU countries. Understanding countries' adoption decisions can provide insights into the benefits and costs of IFRS adoption.
What Does Slower Economic Growth Really Mean?
Published: June 5, 2009
Feature: What Do YOU Think?
Forum: closed | 44 Comments posted

Respondents to this month's column by HBS professor Jim Heskett came close to general agreement on the proposition that economic growth is not measured properly by GDP, calling for new indicators. Jim sums up. (Online forum now closed. Next forum begins July 6.)
Can a Continuously-Liquidating Tontine (or Mutual Inheritance Fund) Succeed where Immediate Annuities Have Floundered?
Author: Julio J. Rotemberg
Published: June 4, 2009
Paper Release Date: April 2009
Feature: Working Papers

The changeover from defined benefit to defined contributions retirement plans in the United States has created a vast group of individuals that faces (or will face) the difficult problem of using a lump sum of assets to provide consumption for a relatively long but uncertain number of years. Up to this point, however, consumers appear not to have embraced annuitization. HBS professor Julio J. Rotemberg suggests an alternative instrument that, like immediate annuities, provides longevity insurance and postpones income until old age. In the proposed Mutual Inheritance Fund (MIF), a pool is formed by having individuals of a particular age buy shares in a mutual fund. The income from the underlying assets in the mutual fund is reinvested in the fund so that the value of the shares in an individual's name (and possibly also the number of these shares) grows over time. The basic idea behind the MIF is that the shares of pool members who die are liquidated, and the proceeds are then distributed in cash to the remaining members in proportion to the number of mutual fund shares that are currently in their name.
Barriers to Household Risk Management: Evidence from India
Authors: Shawn Cole, Xavier Giné, Jeremy Tobacman, Petia Topalova, Robert Townsend, and James Vickery
Published: May 15, 2009
Paper Release Date: April 2009
Feature: Working Papers

Insurance markets are growing rapidly in developing countries. Despite the promise of these markets, however, adoption to date has been relatively slow. Yet households often remain exposed to movements in local weather; regional house prices; prices of commodities like rice, heating oil, and gasoline; and local, regional, and national income fluctuations. In many cases, financial contracts simply do not exist to hedge these exposures, and when contracts do exist their use is not widespread. Why don't financial markets develop to help households hedge these risks? Why don't more households participate when formal markets are available? HBS professor Shawn Cole and coauthors attempt to shed light on these questions by studying participation in rural India in a rainfall risk-management product that provides a payoff based on monsoon rainfall. The results suggest that it may take a significant amount of time—and substantial marketing efforts—to increase adoption of risk-management tools at the household level.
Money or Knowledge? What Drives Demand for Financial Services in Emerging Markets?
Authors: Shawn Cole, Thomas Sampson, and Bilal Zia
Published: May 15, 2009
Paper Release Date: April 2009 (revised October 2009)
Feature: Working Papers

Why is there apparently limited demand for financial services in emerging markets? On the one hand, low-income individuals may not want formal services when informal savings, credit, and insurance markets function reasonably well, and the benefits of formal financial market participation may not exceed the costs. On the other hand, limited financial literacy could be the barrier: If people are not familiar or comfortable with products, they will not demand them. These two views carry significantly different implications for the development of financial markets around the world, and would suggest quite different policy decisions by governments and international organizations seeking to promote "financial deepening." HBS professor Shawn Cole and coauthors found that financial literacy education has no effect on the probability of opening a bank savings account for the full population, although it does significantly increase the probability among those with low initial levels of financial literacy and low levels of education. In contrast, modest financial subsidies significantly increase the share of households that open a bank savings account within the subsequent two months.

Global Warming

All About Global Warming

Global warming is the term used to describe a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and its oceans, a change that is believed to be permanently changing the Earth’s climate forever.

While many view the effects of global warming to be more substantial and more rapidly occurring than others do, the scientific consensus on climatic changes related to global warming is that the average temperature of the Earth has risen between 0.4 and 0.8 °C over the past 100 years. The increased volumes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing, agriculture, and other human activities, are believed to be the primary sources of the global warming that has occurred over the past 50 years.

Scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate carrying out global warming research have recently predicted that average global temperatures could increase between 1.4 and 5.8 °C by the year 2100. Changes resulting from global warming may include rising sea levels due to the melting of the polar ice caps, as well as an increase in occurrence and severity of storms and other severe weather events.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Iceland volcano

Online conferencing takes off amid volcano chaos

Released on - Tuesday,20 April , 2010 -08:09
The volcanic eruption that has halted air travel in Europe for days has people turning to online teleconferences to conduct matters from business deals to weddings.
"We have seen an increase in the past few days in terms of video-calling because of the situation," a Skype spokesman told AFP on Monday.
"I've heard of executives stuck in the United States on the way back to London running their companies via Skype."
Reports getting back to the Internet telephone company include one of a couple stuck in Dubai while traveling to Britain to wed conducting the service in a hotel lobby using Skype video to include guests in London.
Cisco also said Monday that the disruption of flights in Europe due to a dangerous layer of ash spewed into the sky by a volcano in Iceland has led to a surge in interest in its "telepresence" technology for online meetings.
"We have seen a huge spike in usage," said Fredrik Halvorsen, newly minted vice president of Cisco's telepresence technology group.
"We have had all our demo centers and all our video rooms across the world populated by everything from big corporate clients to (small- or medium-size businesses) to government ministries."
Cisco used telepresence to hold a virtual press briefing announcing that on Monday it completed a 3.3-billion-dollar takeover of Norway-based teleconferencing firm Tandberg, of which Halvorsen was chief executive.
"I would have loved to have been in Europe with you guys," Cisco senior vice president of emerging technologies Marthin De Beer said during a virtual joint announcement with Halvorsen.
"Thanks to telepresence we are still able to do this, although it is two in the morning here and I don't know how we can fix that."
De Beer had his flight to Europe canceled and was in California-based Cisco's office in the city of San Jose while Halvorsen was in Norway.
While the eruption has stalled air travelers it promises to add momentum to businesses, governments and regular folks saving time, hassle and expense by simulating get-togethers using Internet gadgetry.
"A market transition is very often marked by a big external event or disruption," said Halvorsen.
The air travel dilemma prompted Cisco to launch a Fly Free program that lets businesses or governments with stranded key personnel have free use of the company's telepresence rooms.
"The Fly Free program is something we literally created on the fly as we saw a lot of need," Halvorsen said. "We think it is only the right thing to be doing."
Cisco has more than 700 specially-equipped telepresence rooms in 124 countries and the acquisition of Tandberg adds more facilities to that list.
Computer giant Hewlett-Packard told AFP that use of its Halo teleconferencing studios in Europe has surged and it is providing customers access on a "first-come, first-served" basis.
As with Cisco telepresence facilities, Halo studios are linked to one another to provide secure communications as well as enable collaboration using data shared online.
"As the world (has) seen earthquakes, H1N1 and other disasters, it has really made businesses pause to think how they can use technology to create a sustainable business model," De Beer said.
"What we are experiencing right now with one volcano eruption in Iceland disrupting not just flights but businesses around the world in a major way is an incredible example of how powerful this technology can be."

Monday, April 19, 2010


As for the first, I would like to thank a friend of mine named Chahine for his initiative in talking about “Peuplade” in a classroom presentation when we were 1st year MA students. I think it is really beneficial for all of us and especially for me because I discovered a new way of communication between people and specifically in this context about ‘French neighbors’ meeting in a web site called ‘Peuplade’. In addition, I learnt about the ‘Second Life’ which is as he said a software where we can find real people manipulating virtual avatars that reflect those people in terms of their personality, daily behaviors, hobbies, and many other things. What I am going to add is not really a criticism but it is somehow a simple reflection or a comment and of course the door is open for him and others to give their opinion on it as what I will say may not seem true for some people.
In my opinion, Peuplade or the Second Life is the product (result) of globalization. The creation of these web sites in itself and their objective seems to me as an implication of the modern and developed life on the community. These sites are signs of the shift of the society from a traditional one, in which people used to see each other face to face; neighbors do not hesitate to help each other, individuals used to talk a lot and have important gossips about so many subjects i.e. the family, the job, entertainment, hobbies, TV programs, health, education,…etc, to a modern society in which even the mentality of the individuals has changed. People still not visiting each other regularly and some times they spend months and months far away without caring about their relatives.
However, we should admit that the society is taking change gradually and we can not stop it. In this case, it is better to look at the positive side of the phenomenon. In the article that was under scrutiny, it was mentioned that those French people are some meters far from each other, yet they go on Peuplade in order to talk together. Personally, I think that this web site offers them the possibility to subscribe without demanding their age or sex to prevent any kind of racism or discrimination thus to encourage them to integrate in a virtual community in which they are able to talk freely and may be use the “asl” language which is a simple form of communication allowing ‘chatters’ to ask about the age, sex and location of their interlocutors.
Moreover, this site is an opportunity for individuals, on the one hand, to hide what they want to hide about their personal life i.e. people will enjoy a great deal of intimacy and, on the other hand, they have the chance to reveal many things which can intimidate them in the actual life. Also, we should highlight the fact that there are people who can not move outside their homes such as ‘handicaps’ and others who work or study so it is a good chance for them to mix with other people in the world.
To end up, we are aware that the society is undergoing radical changes and the old community is taking other forms. It is also true that the way people communicate has changed but we must acknowledge that there are benefits of the new world in which everybody can share an idea with someone else or adopt a point of view and defend it without being offended, therefore, we can talk about a new society that believes in diversity and intercultural exchange .

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Neurolinguistics: Language and The brain

Research Proposal undertaken by:
Adnen Mansouri
Topic of the research1:
Nowadays, Science of the human brain has progressed to the extend that it studied many important issues which have been for a long time a mystery and something absurd.
Scientists and Experts in the field allocated many years of research for the exploration of the relationship between the human brain and language processing.
Neurolinguistics is a science which is concerned with the brain functions as they pertain to language behaviour, and the neural mechanisms underlying the comprehension, production and abstract knowledge of the language and the way language is spoken and written.
Topic of the research2:
Some people suffer from problems either due to an accident that affected their mental and cognitive ability to process language, or due to an innate syndrome affecting the anatomical composition of their brain.
Those people suffering from brain damage or deficit are called APHASICS i.e. they suffer from total or partial damage of the brain capacities. Despite the fact that their ability to process information is not perfect, this faculty is really interesting and need to be explored.
This field is an intersection of different and varied disciplines such as Neurology, Linguistics, Cognitive Science, Psychology, Experimental Psychology, Educational Psychology and other disciplines.
Fall of the research1:

There is much relevant literature that expresses the need for focused and deep research on this domain.
“An important challenge for coming years will be to find whether the brain areas that are implicated in language studies turn out to have distinctive properties at the neuronal level that allow them to explain the special properties of human language.” Language and the brain, Philips & Sakai (2005), pp.169
Many TV documentaries treat the subject of mental aphasics frequently. They investigate the problems which affect the human brain engendering a language disorder.
Fall of the research2:
The appearance of new types of Neuro-problems related to language processing affecting a great number of people in the world.
Many Experimental and Educational Psycholinguists and Neurologists undertook varied researches and experiments on the domain of Neurolinguistics and brain-mind relationship and claimed that deficits at the level of the brain-language connection can be due to varied reasons, therefore, they explain the growing need for exploration on this field.
Statement of the Problem:
Does language acquisition depend heavily on the wellformedness of the human brain?
Statement of the Sub-Problems:
How brain damage can be responsible for human disorder?
How aphasics process language?
What problems do they face when they come to deal with language input and output?
Are aphasic patients able to reach a developed stage in learning a language?
Statement of the hypotheses:
Hypothesis: Language acquisition depends on a good functioning of the human brain.
Language acquisition increases by a good functioning of the brain.
Language acquisition decreases even by a good functioning of the brain.
Language acquisition is not affected by the functioning of the brain.
Delimitation of the research:
This research will be limited to the problems of aphasics when they come to process their mother tongue, whereas second or foreign languages fall outside the realm of this study.
Significance of the research:
Brain-language relationship is so complicated and research on this field started 150 years ago, so it is worth studying this domain deeply due to the constant need for reliable explanations.
This study will just attempt to give an idea about the internal parts of the human brain which disable aphasics from well processing information, and it will focus on how language disorder manifests itself morphologically and phonologically.
This research may add an idea about the neural, psychological and language relationship of complementarities.
There is a possibility of finding a path for a remedy for Tunisian Arabic Aphasics.

Literature overview:
This part is based on many chapters taken from various books of Psychology and Cognitive Neurology.
Psycholinguists and Neuroscientists relied on many techniques to collect reliable data about the brain and the internal parts related to language functions.
The collection of information about the location of language faculties in the brain is just the beginning of the investigation uncovering the specific properties of the brain regions responsible for language processing.
Classic and Modern Aphasiology are two different views describing the anatomy of damaged brains and their relation with language.
Here are some commentaries:
The first thing, I will begin essentially by the collection of data from different sources; our library, some books and articles borrowed from our teachers and friends, and of course the internet.
I will rely on one or two doctors specialising in the domain of Neurology.
I contacted a Technician specialised in the same field who accepted to grant me access to make observations on a real case of brain damaged patients during their treatment. I should emphasise that this will be in a private clinic with the agreement of all parties. These observations will offer me a bulk of quantitative data which I will carefully analyse it later on to discover the intricacies of brain-language relationship.
I think the reliance on specialists is very beneficial for my research as I can formulate a concrete and reliable idea about the domain and its implications.
Unfortunately, I can’t rely on a scientific laboratory for more reliable and proved findings because this is not possible in our country due to the lack of equipments and available laboratories.
I have previous scientific background as I got a Baccalaureate in Experimental Sciences, and since that time I feel interested in this field of research.
I formulated a good idea about this domain and I feel that I have the capacity and ability to understand it and present something quite good and interesting.
I know good techniques which may help me to undertake an online search for valuable and reliable data.
My parent works in a private clinic and he can manage to grant me access to some aphasic patients. (with the permission of the administrators and the patients themselves.)
Schedule for completion:
From 1st September 2009 to 30 September 2010.
First 3 months: collection of the necessary data.
Next 3 months: I will prepare the chapter of “literature review”.
By the end of February, I start dealing with the case study for about 3 months, and I would be writing its commentary part.
Now I have 4 months left, 3 of which would be for the completion of the whole research thesis whereas the remaining month would be for the verification, correction, preparation of the final draft, and organising my presentation and speech.
Finally, we should not forget the crucial role of the supervisor in the accomplishment of the research; his or her coordination would be of great importance. So, I will be in touch with my supervisor on a regular basis to get the necessary hints and guidance.
Language Acquisition, Online books, journals for academic research, plus bibliography tools.
Language Disorders, Answers to your questions on ADHD, Learning & Communication Disorders.
Language and the brain, McGraw-Hill Yearbook, Philips & Sakai (2005), pp. 166-169.
Linguistics: The Cambridge Survey, Language: Psychological and Biological Aspects Frederick J.Newmeyer (1988), Cambridge University Press; Chapter8: Neurolinguistics: an overview of language-brain relations in aphasia, Sheila E. Blumstein, pp. 210-236, Chapter9: The biological basis for language, David Copland, pp. 237-255.
Psycholinguistics, Michael Garman (1990), Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics.
Language change: Progress or Decay? Jean Atchison (1991), 2nd edition, Cambridge Approaches to Linguistics, Part4: Beginnings and endings; Chapter12: Development and breakdown, pp. 165-179.
The internet.

Please if you have any comments, recommendations or questions, I am ready to hear you..!!!!

Adnen Mansouri


1.1 Research Topic
As a result of the ever expanding globalization process, and with an understanding of the place that English currently holds as the lingua-franca used in international and intercultural communication settings, there is an immediate need to modify, or in some cases scrap previously relied upon second and foreign language teaching methodologies employed in language instruction around the world. A new, more holistic approach to language learning and teaching is needed to better foster understanding and processing of the English language and allow for more mutually beneficial inter-individual communication. Therefore, an English teacher plays an important role in teaching English at all levels. When s/he teaches English obviously s/he has to follow some methods. There are five methods in English language teaching such as Grammar Translation Method (GTM), Direct Method (DM), Audio-Lingual Method (ALM), Situational Language Teaching (SLT), and Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). Among all, Communicative Language Teaching is one of the new approaches to language teaching. The aim of this approach is to develop learner's four basic language skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking) in English. I have selected the topic "The difficulties of language processing facing Tunisian learners of English in a CLT classroom" as my thesis dissertation because at present most of the learner's problems in our country consist in reaching a developed stage in his or her four skills and precisely having a balance between his or her communicative fluency and accuracy. So I want to know the causes behind the problem of language processing and to what extend CLT environment contributes to it.
1.2 Research Question
The purpose of my research is to find an answer to the following question:
What are the problems of language processing facing Tunisian learners of English in a CLT classroom?
To know the problem of language processing, I undertook a field work allowing me to have a corpus of valuable data helping me to detect the intended problem. The theoretical questions and the whole methodology are included in the methodology chapter. In order to answer my question, I conducted a qualitative research. I observed and recorded some students of 1st and 2nd year Fundamental English in our university.
1.3 Rationale behind conducting this research
There are many reasons why I have chosen this topic as my center of interest. At present, English has achieved the prestige of being an international language. Nowadays, many people consider it as the global language. In this modern age, it is essential for all citizens of the world to learn this universal language to stay connected in the global village. As Tunisia is a bilingual country, Tunisians learn English in addition to French and other languages in order to relate well with people from other countries, to manage their business, to do diplomatic jobs, for higher education studies, and to do multiple issues which require the English language. Besides, the Ministry of Higher Education in our country introduced the English as a compulsory subject in the curriculum. For instance, now the English is taught even in primary school which was not the case in previous years. In fact, Tunisia is not isolated from the rest of the world and relies on well planned educational policies which enable her to be considered as one of the developing countries in the domain of education and teacher trainings. For this reason, in Tunisia the principals are aware of the new English era challenges and the importance of having new generation of students, educators and academics who master this global language. But it is a matter of great sorrow that most of the students in our country are unable to use the English effectively in difficult communicative situations. As a result, CLT had been introduced in Tunisia in the late 1990s. The ultimate target of this approach is to develop learners' communicative skills. After introducing CLT in the educational system of our country, the students still fail to communicate effectively in English even after having the BA degree. What are the reasons behind their failure? Are they the only ones responsible for it?
No doubt those methods and approaches of teaching are largely responsible for the problems of students' language processing problems. If the teaching methodologies and syllabi were suitable for the learners, they must have been benefited so much. It depends on the role of CLT in diminishing and eliminating these problems. An approach which is not motivating for learners and does not urge them to speak and develop their communicative skills is unlikely to inspire learners to work hard in the classroom and take the initiative outside the class. On the other hand, a tentative method which suits the learners and helps the teacher to play his role as a language learning facilitator, is more likely to create engaged learners who are therefore more likely to succeed both inside and outside the class. I have seen from my own experience how those teachers who struggled to apply a suitable method for us and it is very likely that I learned a great deal in their classes. So the difficulties of language processing depend to a great deal on a suitable learning environment favored by Communicative Language Teaching.
1.4 The summary of this research
This research has been divided into five chapters briefly described below.
First of all, chapter1 is the introduction to the thesis and the reasons behind selecting this topic. Secondly, chapter2 contains the historical background and the literature review. It discusses the opinions and views of previous researchers on the same topic. Then, chapter3 elaborates the methodology utilized to conduct my research and it is discussed in detail along with the information about the participants and the instruments used to elicit information. After that, chapter4 deals with the results of my research and the interpretations based on it. Finally, chapter5 is the concluding chapter including a summary of the results and concluding remarks on the research.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


                                                                 Curriculum Vitae

I am willing to give total support the organization that I am in, with the skills and capability that I have, in order to achieve organization’s goals and create mutual benefits.


Name:                                        ADNEN MANSOURI
Address:                                    SFAX
Country:                                    TUNISIA
Telephone:                                ......
Cell phone:                                ......

Date of Birth:                            12/26/1983
Place of Birth:                            SFAX
Citizenship:                                TUNISIAN
Gender:                                      MALE        
Marital Status:                          SINGLE


--> University:




--> Secondary School:




* (1ST NOVEMBER 2004-15TH DECEMBER 2004) I had the opportunity to do my internship as the final component of my studies in Business English (UNDER-GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN BUSINESS ENGLISH STUDIES) in a company acting as a Maritime Intermediary (TRANSIT SHIPPING AND FORWARDING TUNISIAN COMPANY-STTAT) in SFAX during six weeks. I worked in the different departments of the company and I gained an excellent experience in the maritime field. In addition I managed to write an internship report that summarises all what I obseved and did in this company.

* (15TH AUGUST 2006-31ST AUGUST 2006) I successfully attended the English Language Training in The Language Village of Nabeul, Tunisia, and I received a Certificate of Participation.

* (22nd JULY 2008-26TH JULY 2008) I contributed to a training in Sousse focusing on the culture of the enterprise and the first steps in Business creation.


*(1st OCTOBER 2009- 15th JUNE 2010) Temporary Replacement Teacher at The Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, Sfax.
*(15th JUNE 2008-30th JULY 2008) I worked in a company specialised in web site creation, software development and e-commerce. My task consisted in translating new created web sites either in our company or in other companies from French to English  and vice versa. In addition, with help of my boss, I was responsible for helping and answering the questions of the clients who find problems with their web sites.


*Computer Skills: Word, Excel, Access, Power Point, Front Page, Internet explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari
*I did some on-line courses during the first semester of the 4th year and during the 1st year MA. The learned subjects were SOCIOLINGUISTICS, RESEARCH METHODOLOGY and CAR (Computer Assisted Research).
*I am a member in a research unit -GRAD- at the Faculty of Letters and human Science, Sfax: September 2008-todate


GERMAN (beginner)
ITALIAN   (beginner)


I like team work, sport, surfing on the internet, travelling, lifestyle and intercultural exchange and relate well with a wide variety of people. I am responsible, competent, flexible, adaptable, reliable and sociable.