Monday, September 30, 2019

ESL and Koreans Essay

The goal of every language course is the individual student progress in terms of writing proficiency, reading and speech (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 73). This is done by constant feedback and encouragement from the teachers and the dedication of the students under the English as a Second Language (ESL) program Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 73). Developing the ability to grow independently with the support of the group exists in an environment of support and encouragement from within the group (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 73). There is a basic procedure teachers must use to be able to attain the best possible performance from their ESL students. There are also different tools that are available that could enhance the learning process. Technology and computers as well as pop culture have been trends that teachers use to reach out and connect with the ESL students. Korean students are actually well-educated and have the basic background when it comes to the English language. Theoretically, they are well-equipped. They are very academically inclined. The important thing that would be developed would be the application process of learning English as their second language. In Korea, they are used to speaking only in their native language. They do not speak in English to converse with other people. They only learn in their English classes. The need for ESL lessons when they are in other countries, like in Australia, is because they do not know how to put into practice the theoretical concepts they have of English. Teaching ESL Process A syllabus must be developed that included the principles and procedures needed to teach a small ESL class (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 88). The day-to-day planning of activities for the teachers should encompass the design of the curricula and the general principles that would be considered in constructing the syllabus (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 88). The goals should be translated into objectives and the syllabus would be the framework for the classroom instruction. Goals are the general statement of the curriculum’s purpose while the objectives actually reflect the particular knowledge and skills that the students would develop by the end of the course (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 88). The objectives that are set for the students must be precise and should focus on essential characteristics like performance, condition as well as criteria (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 88). For example, the instructional objectives are stated like â€Å"by the end of the course, the students would be aware of their writing style and identify where they need to be improved in† (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 89). The specific nature of such statements lie on the fact that these characteristics are observable (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 89). When instructional objectives are clearly stated the teachers would have an easier time when it comes to planning individual class periods (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 97). A way of putting it is like this: â€Å"Compose descriptive, narrative, and expository paragraphs† and in order to achieve this, the students must â€Å"compose a 250-word paragraph about one’s experiences in the country (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 97) A lesson plan can actually take different forms that depended on the time frame, the personal style and experience of the individual teacher (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 97). Despite the variety of formats a lesson plan may be, the important thing is for it to provide for a script for presenting materials in interacting with the students and the actual instruction for the activities in the ESL program (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 97). It can also serve as the link that connects the curriculum goals of the teachers with the students as well as the step-by-step chronology of the classroom activities (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 98). Lesson plans are practical and dynamic tools for meeting the student needs and achieving the instruction objectives (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 98). The important thing to see is the flexibility of the lesson plan. ESL classes are more customized and mapping out the complete instruction for the class can be futile since the teacher needs to get to know the students first to make the program adaptable (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 98). Knowing the Students To design a syllabus for a specific class, the teacher would have to assess the student’s needs first. This is so the teacher is enabled to identify and validate the needs so that priorities may be established. Factors like diverse background features, different skills, schemata and expectations from ESL students are important factors when it comes to planning the lesson for the students (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 73). It is very important to know what the prior educational experience of the Korean students has (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 77). The teacher must know if the Korean students had prior experience in studying with foreign schools or if it was the first time they have studied in school that speaks English as a native language. International students may find contrasting training instructions from the previous language training programs they have undergone (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 78). Information about the students’ educational history is valuable for the teacher. Aside from such educational background, teachers must also consider the current language proficiency and literacy (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 79). This can assess what areas they need to focus on and what areas they just need to review on. The immigration status of the students should also be considered as the international students generally intend to return to their own countries after they have completed their studies in Australia (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 80). This tells how much of the primary language environments they have been exposed to as well as how exposed they are to English because of staying in the country long enough (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 80). There is also such a thing as learner preferences, strategies and styles. The learner’s disposition towards classroom instruction and independent learning must be considered as it can be a determining factor as to brining out the best performance from the students (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 84). Language Needs The educational programs need to cover and address what the students bring with them (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). There is a need for teachers to carry on what the students have instead of focusing on what they lack (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). The key is banking on the students own experiences that involves their language and their culture and mix that with the new principle and concepts offered in the present class (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). This is because the teacher is merely connecting the constructs from the past experiences and stimulates the learning to make them comfortable with the new environment they are in (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). Second language learning is a difficult process because learning the first language had been a process that has been done since the first day of the child. It is quite harder to acquire a second language because of the difference of the language and the culture from what the person has already been used to (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). There is often much reservation when it comes to having to begin to learn language skills. It is very important to consider how the students may feel inferior because of such circumstance. Fluency, then, does not end inside the classroom. It must be developed even after the class and do so in basic conversations. Errors may actually indicate progress. They can be replaced with the appropriate forms even without teacher intervention when done in an informal atmosphere (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). Unit Plan Free Conversation A quarter of the time, in the first part, middle, or the end, should be devoted to free-flowing conversation. Conversation versus classroom instruction can build relationship between students and teachers that would enable them to work together trustingly and more efficiently throughout the course. Actual body languages, facial expressions, gestures, intonation, and other things serve as cues that help the student in understanding the context of speaking in English (Drucker 2003, p. 22). Academic English can actually provide less contextual cues (Drucker 2003, p. 22). Conversation builds relationships between the students and the teachers. Once the conversation gets going, they get to find out each other’s interests and preferences (Drucker 2003, p. 22). Especially in the beginning of the course when the Koreans would feel reserved and inferior to have to learn a second language, it is important to gain their trust and their confidence for them to be able to perform well in whatever activity the curriculum may require. When the teacher is able to get the trust of the students, they are then made more comfortable to open up and use the English language to converse. This also makes them more open to commit errors and be open to the corrections of the teachers. Teachers can actually start by just conversing about their lives as individuals. Some teachers relate to male students who enjoy video games by translating and analyzing the words in the context of the games they are both familiar with. If the students love music, it can be in terms of the lyrics of their favorite songs. The teachers can provide the context for the student when they begin reading a specific text and challenge them by talking with them about it (Drucker 2003, p. 22). The teachers can start by relating selected reading passages that would be discussed with something that is relevant to the students in terms of their interests and skills (Drucker 2003, p. 22). Part of getting students to converse with each other is posing a question about the text or about a specific topic that would engage the students to provide their opinions about the topic in the English languages (Drucker 2003, p. 22). The teachers can also direct the students into discussing and looking for particular information and analyzing it. Another way of starting conversation is banking on pop culture. It has been known to provide for a rich and powerful classroom resource to show relevance between the students and the teachers (Duff 2002, p. 482). This makes the discussion more interesting, relevant and appealing to the students especially despite the language barrier and coping mechanism the students have in using the English language (Duff 2002, p. 482). This also builds the rapport between the teachers and the students. Discussion about current events can help the students’ voice out their opinions, only they are using the English language (Duff 2002, p. 482). Despite the fact that the teachers and the students may not share the same socio-cultural and psycholinguistic repertoires, practices and abilities and need assistance from others, this can be a standpoint wherein they can connect with their students and help them be more vocal (Duff 2002, p. 482). However, teachers must be aware that some of their students are not familiar with other pop culture icons because of the difference of their backgrounds. This can confuse them more. However, it is also useful to introduce such icons for them to gain the confidence in speaking the language, knowing that they are now more aware of Western icons (Duff 2002, p. 482). Elements of Instructional Conversation The theme is very important to serve as the focal point for the discussion (Williams 2001, p. 750). This can be viewed as the general plan as to how the conversation within the class would take place. There is a need to use the background or the relevant schemata of the student by activation or by providing background knowledge that is necessary to form a connection between the students and the teachers (Williams 2001, p. 750). Such knowledge is interwoven into the discussion. When necessary, the teacher provides the actual conventional teaching of the lesson to the students, as much as possible this is not applied too much to avoid disconnection and boredom (Williams 2001, p. 750). The teacher also promotes for the students to use more complex language and expression (Williams 2001, p. 750). They encourage them to elaborate on their answers in the discussion by elicitation techniques to would invite them to explain further like asking them to tell more about what they have said or to ask what they meant by it. It is also effective to have them restate their phrases saying â€Å"in other words† and phrases like that (Williams 2001, p. 750). Other elicitation techniques include the promotion of the use of different texts, pictures and reasoning to support the arguments made by the students without overwhelming them the teacher may gently probe for the student’s sentiments by saying â€Å"what made you say that †orâ€Å" how you came to that conclusion (Williams 2001, p. 750)? † It is also important to assure the students that there are more than once correct answers (Williams 2001, p. 750). This would encourage the students to try and try to provide more answers and not be pressured to provide the correct one. The teacher while being focused on the flow of discussion and maintaining the coherence of the discussion to the lesson as well as keeping track of the time, the teacher must also be responsive to the statements of the students and to watch out for the opportunities they provide. There must be discussion that has â€Å"multiple, interactive, connected turns; succeeding utterances build upon and extend previous ones† (Williams 2001, p. 750). Students must remain challenged so as not to feel like they are limited as well as not feel threatened by the teachers (Williams 2001, p. 750). The atmosphere must remain balanced and effective for improvement (Williams 2001, p. 750). The teacher must act as a collaborator rather than an evaluator (Williams 2001, p. 750). The atmosphere the teacher creates allows the students to negotiate and construct their own sentences as well as be subjected to training as well (Williams 2001, p. 750). There must be general participation amongst the students. The size of the class must be carefully considered in terms of the level of proficiency and skills of the students (Williams 2001, p. 750). By doing this, the students can each have their chance to participate in class and be trained to speak out statements in English. Students must be encouraged to volunteer to speak out (Williams 2001, p. 750). Those who are more reserved must be the ones the teacher would call upon. The important thing is for everyone to have their own turn to speak up (Williams 2001, p. 750). Correction and Interaction Students in the early stages of acquisition must be expected to commit errors in communication (Williams 2001, p. 750). The teachers must be sensitive enough to correct in a gentle fashion as Koreans may feel threatened by harsh criticisms from the highly academic backgrounds they have in Korea. This must be considered more so when it comes to vocabulary. The teachers would not want to the students to have negative experiences with learning English that they would be afraid to try the next time. This can discourage the students from attempting to use the second language and can hinder their efforts from developing (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). Rather than correction, modeling the correct form would be more efficient for the students (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). Language can develop when placed in a variety of setting that promotes informal talk and interaction (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). When there is talking and listening involved, activities involving reading and writing can actually help the learners develop a higher facility for the language and have control over social interaction (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). Literacy is part of language; it goes along the lines of reading and writing (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). The language learners must have the competence for oral language and learn the language as it is needed for new functions (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). The role of the teachers it to teacher the learners to use the resources they need for the new language. The best performance for ESL students in classrooms comes when they are able to speak and listen as part of the integral â€Å"process of negotiating knowledge, exchanging personal experiences and thoughts, and the development of language and literacy abilities (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). † This comes from a demonstration of cultural diversity and a provision for equal opportunities for the students in the ESL classrooms (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). Proper implementation would fall upon the supportive nature of the school staff and the recognition of diversity as â€Å"an asset and not a handicap† (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). Games Most of the time teachers start every day’s session with a three to five minute game to get the lesson started. They are not merely icebreakers; they also tie into the lesson for the day. Aside from conversational way of training the students, the teachers find using games as effective ways to train the Korean students excel in English. The level of difficulty language learning has on the students are so high that the teachers wanted to provide easier methods for them by using games (Wright 1984, p. 1). Games actually help the students and encourage them to participate as well as sustain their interest (Wright 1984, p. 1). They help create contexts that are much more meaningful for the students that make them want to take part in the lesson (Wright 1984, p. 1). Games make way for students to practice their language skills and to practice different types of communication in a lighter environment (Ersoz 2000). This provides an effort to lessen the difficulty of language learning for the students (Ersoz 2000). It gives the students a chance to take a break from the conventional lessons and provide high motivation at the same time challenge and amuse the students (Ersoz 2000). It deviates from the principle that learning has to be serious and solemn (Kim 1995, p. 35). Games are used to practice the skills of speaking, writing, listening, and reading (Kim 1995, p. 35). At the same time, they can use games for vocabulary presentation and revision (Uberman 1998, p. 20). Some scholars even say that games should be treated as a central instead of merely a peripheral to teaching foreign language to students (Uberman 1998, p. 20). They give the students new experiences with the foreign languages that could not have been easily calculated by conventional learning (Uberman 1998, p. 20). Games actually promote fluency with the students because of constant and pressure-free use (Uberman 1998, p. 20). Ideal games are those that involve pictures. The students are made to pronounce the nouns that are in the pictures. They are then asked to describe the pictures using adjectives in forms of sentences and nor merely phrases. Whoever gets to describe the picture more wins the game. There are also games that would encourage the students to complete each other’s stories by taking turns in giving sentences. They take turns in filling in what can happen next in the story and the students would have to do it fast otherwise they would loose the game. This enables them to be creative as well as explore more vocabulary to be developed in the students. Lessons Sentence, Phrase and Text Construction. The sentence structure for the English language is very easy because of the rigid word order (Hinkel 2004, p. 65). Sometimes, it’s only a matter of proper translation that comes from understanding the rules of English sentence construction. Koreans usually directly translate their sentences to English that becomes their pitfall when it comes to the English grammar. Their sentence construction is different from English construction and that is where they need to be trained so that it can be adjusted. Although there are different kinds of structure that can be possible for the English sentences, there is still a pattern that can be easily identified and mastered through practice (Hinkel 2004, p. 65). For instance, when it comes to prepositional phrases, it cannot perform what a subject can do (Hinkel 2004, p. 65). Only noun phrases can act as a subject and a verb must be present in sentences for it to be grammatically correct (Hinkel 2004, p. 65). Generally, the English sentence can be broken down to see how they are ordered and sequenced in slots found in a sentence. There are certain basic principles that the learner must learn in order to fully understand sentence construction. The first principle would be the sentence units cannot be isolated from one another. They are in relationship with the other elements of the sentence even though they serve different functions and are labeled as different units (Hinkel 2004, p. 66). In most sentences, the subject goes before the verb. The context of the sentence elements determines the variation of the elements under the second principle (Hinkel 2004, p. 66). This is where we see that singular nouns use singular verbs. Although the sentence structures are dynamic they still follow predictable patterns that can easily be explained to the students (Hinkel 2004, p. 66). There are the subjects and object slots that can only be filled by words or phrases that are under the class of nouns or pronouns like proper and common nouns (e. g. Nancy, house or Australia); abstract and concrete nouns (e. g. love, book); gerunds (e. g. dancing, walking); compound phrases (e. g. corn soup, coffee table); pronouns (e. g. I, you, they); or sets of parallel nouns (e. g. shirts, shoes, and bags) (Hinkel 2004, p. 67). This is the basic core structure of a sentence, when this is mastered, the teachers can go into more complicated structures that are basically adhering to the same order of element (Hinkel 2004, p. 67). According to the third principle, the sentence states how the sentence elements are arranged and it is according to a hierarchy of importance for the sentence to be grammatical (Hinkel 2004, p. 68). The most important elements for a sentence would be the subject and the verb. Elements like the adverbs and prepositional phrases are more mobile and can appear in other locations (Hinkel 2004, p 68). To simplify the identification of core elements it is very helpful to identify the â€Å"subject, predicate verb phrase, and importance of subject-verb agreement† (Hinkel 2004, p. 69). The organization of the sentences accounts for the fluidity of the sentence construction and itself stylistic variation (Hinkel 2004, p. 69). Sentence Elements. The teachers must also run through the parts of the sentence. Even though, most Koreans have a strong background in the theories and rules involved in Basic English grammar, it is different when it is presented and emphasized in ESL classes. It is also helpful to present them in tables and other visual presentations in these manners: S – V Time Place Manner Reson (He eats/He ate†¦ ) (When) (Where) (How) (Why) Adverbs yesterday there quickly last night here sloppily Prepositional at 7:00 in the house with a fork For fun Phrase Adverbial Clause when he wherever he can as a good because he’s finishes work boy should hungry Other to get fat (infinitive) Table 1 Sentence Elements (ESLgold. com 2007). S – V Duration Frequency Contrast Condition (He works/worked/ (How long) (How often) (To show a (Under what has worked†¦ ) difference) conditions) Adverb forever sometimes anyway always Prepositional for two hours on Thursdays despite his for pay only Phrase illness Adverbial Clause as long as whenever he although he if he feels good he can has time doesn’t get paid Table 2 Sentence Elements (ESLgold. com 2007). Practical Techniques for Reading and Grammar Depending on the capability of the students, there must be essential elements that can design a flexible curriculum depending the reading and grammar proficiency of the students (Hinkel 2004, p. 33). Most lessons focus on sentence and phrase structure, nouns, pronouns, verbs, verb tenses, vocabulary and spelling. Activities must be created to develop the learners’ conversational fluency (Hinkel 2004, p. 34). Teachers must always check the level of reading comprehension of the students (Williams 2001, p. 750). The teachers must approach this with caution as sometimes the students can decode a text but can understand little from what he or she has read (Williams 2001, p. 750). Decoding is different from comprehension. The teacher should not always assume that the student can understand what goes on in the classroom conversations (Williams 2001, p. 750). The teacher must always test to see if the students are catching up, some may be getting what the flow of conversation may be but others are not. The teachers should have reading time wherein the students can actually hear how the words are pronounced and in what intonations sentence structures call for (Williams 2001, p. 750). This actually supports language development, therefore goes on to be literacy development (Williams 2001, p. 750). When it comes to introducing a reading text, the teachers must first start with discussing the importance when establishing a new topic (Hinkel 2004, p. 36). The students must be prepared and have already understood foundations that would let them study a new text (Hinkel 2004, p. 36). Using Other Tools Computer In the light of growing technology, students are expectant for the teachers to make use of such information and communication technology. The teachers must consider whether or not their students would develop faster with computers as a tool for their learning (Shin 2006, pp. 65+). Computer-mediated communication or using computers to communicate with each other is a new and innovative way of teaching ESL. Gauging the students’ skills in using the computer like typing skills and other language proficiencies must be prioritized as the teachers would not want to make the students feel more inferior in not knowing another area in the course (Shin 2006, pp. 65+). Class size is a critical point to consider when evaluating the efficiency of this tool. If the class is too big, a large group of chatters proves to be more confusing and frustrating than ever (Shin 2006, pp. 65+). According to research, the teachers should limit the number of students using CMC to an average of five (Shin 2006, pp. 65+). Using CMC is an option to use as a learning activity for the students. It is critical for the teachers to examine how relevant such a tool can be for the purpose of the activity and for the capabilities of the students for the planned learning task (Shin 2006, pp. 65+). Computer and Reading There are also studies that pertain to the integration of reading and computers to improve the reading skills of ESL students (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). There are a large range of computer applications that can be used for ESL student classes. This is to boost the skills of the ESL students with limited English application skills. Schools must make sure that the ESL students have access to educational programs and applications that can help them individually acquire the level of proficiency in the language (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). Even though there is technology available, computers are seldom used in ESL settings (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). Since constant exposure to English creates the best environment for students to learn the language, the teacher must be aware of different techniques to make this possible and to provide more sensitivity in issue facing the ESL instruction (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). English must not be limited to classroom instruction but should be integrated in other subject areas where English can be used (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). Studies have shown that an integrated approach of reading and writing with the computer has been more effective than traditional modes of instruction of lecture-type approaches (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). The students find interest in having such variety in instruction and improve on their logic and organizational skills of constructing sentences, one of their greatest weaknesses in learning the language (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). Reading Preparation is the most effective way to ensure the students can comprehend any reading assigned (Drucker 2002, p. 22). According to Drucker (2002), â€Å"Comprehensible input is spoken or written language that is delivered at a level the child can understand. † However, it is also important for the teacher to provide challenges that is a bit higher than the students’ current abilities (Drucker 2002, p. 22). Choral reading was seen to be a means of providing such comprehensible input for the students. Students can recite a poem, a short text together as well as be provided with gestures and motions that would enable them to understand what are reading more efficiently (Drucker 2002, pp. 22+). Repetitions of the reading selection give them the chance to recycle the language they have learned (Drucker 2002, pp. 22+). Contextual clues are also given through the motions and gestures taught by the teachers in reading the selection (Drucker 2002, pp. 22+). However, considering the individualize approach for ESL programs, it is important to note that teachers can only apply such technique for students who are in kindergarten to sixth grade (Drucker 2002, pp. 22+). If the students are much older or more mature, there are reading selections that can be provided and analyzed. For example, the teacher can provide a more sophisticated text like an article to be discussed in class like American Art in Delaware: Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) was an heir to Delaware’s DuPont Company fortune. He was one of the first serious collectors of American decorative art objects –furniture, textiles, paintings, and other objects made in the United States between 1640 and 1840. American furniture and household objects had been considered inferior to those from Europe. But du Pont helped develop a new appreciation for American decorative arts. He created a legendary showplace for these objects on his family’s estate just outside of Wilmington, Delaware. In 1951 it was opened to the public as the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur (pronounced winter-tour) Museum. Du Pont assembled objects from his collection into 175 â€Å"period rooms,† each with examples of American antiques and decorative arts that followed a certain theme or period in early American history. For example, the du Pont Dining Room has furniture dating from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. And, because this was the time when the United States became a new nation, there is a patriotic theme in the room. Another example is the Chinese Parlor, which has furnishings that reflect Americans’ fascination with Asian culture during the 18th century. In these period rooms du Pont believed he could tell the story of the early United States through furniture and other decorative arts (America’s Library 2007). In the case of the article, American Art in Delaware, a warm-up question may be â€Å"You have probably heard of the DuPont Company, which was founded by a family of the same name. But do you know about the museum that one of the family members began (ESLgold. com 2007)? † There are also vocabulary words that can be taken out of the article that the students can learn in class, either through homework activity or drills within the classroom time. Words that can be taken out of this article are: â€Å"antique, assemble, century, decorative, estate, fortune, heir, inferior, patriotic, textile† (ESLgold. com 2007). The teachers can provide pre-reading questions that can enhance the interest of the students. Such questions can be, â€Å"What types of things do you like to collect or if you had some valuable artwork, what would do with it (ESLgold. com 2007)? † When the group is finished reading the text, silently or aloud, there are post-reading questions that are very important to determine the student’s comprehension. It can be in forms of true or false, or multiple choice questions. The important thing is to gauge the capability of the students. A set of post-reading questions may be in the form of the following; True or False: â€Å"Henry Francis du Pont’s art collection is displayed in a museum i

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Value of Life

Value of Life Essay Is the glass half empty or half full? The age old question of whether you view life itself as predominantly negative or positive. In Hamlet's Soliloquy, written by Shakespeare, Hamlet questions whether suffering through life is worth the pride. In It's Not About the Bike, written by Lance Armstrong, his excitement for life is hard to miss. While Hamlet is correct in the fact that, yes, times can be painstakingly hard; Armstrong's point of view is one I would hope sticks to people the most.No matter your situation, there is always a brighter side to turn to. During Hamlet's Soliloquy, Hamlet argues with himself over whether or not life is worth living entirely. â€Å"To be or not to be- that is the question†(1). Hamlet is in a time of panic, where he is facing several devastating problems. In the moment, Hamlet has no high standard for how life will turn out eventually. â€Å"For in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off of this mortal coil†(11). Hamlet's conclusion is that the only thing worse than life itself is the unknown afterlife.In Lance Armstrong's novel, It's not About the Bike: My Journey back to life, Armstrong is not unwilling to share he is enthralled to be alive despite his hard comings. â€Å"The truth is Cancer was the best things that ever happened to me†(17). It is obvious that the troubles, no matter how big, won't keep Lance Armstrong down. Armstrong admits that he had â€Å"shameful episodes† he says â€Å"I had to ask myself, ‘If I live who is it I intend to be? â€Å"(15). Lance Armstrong's inspiration for living was that he was going to strive to be a better person when he got through his life-threatening illness.During my life, I've been faced with thousands upon thousands of issues to work against, just like the rest of the world's population. Personally, When reading Hamlet's soliloquy, I agreed with a few of his points. Thriving through life is â€Å" taking arms against the sea of troubles†(3). There will be life-threatening and not so life-threatening problems to deal with no matter your age, race, personality, attractiveness, or any other variable. The worst part about life is that problems will continue to come throughout your lifetime, asHamlet illustrates. However we as a people cannot simply give up on something we were born into merely because it gets difficult. Shakespeare's character, Hamlet, had such low of view of life that it was hard not be somewhat depressed while reading the short soliloquy. Yet, after reading Lance Armstrong's excerpt of It's Not About the Bike, the value of life was clear to be pretty high. The journey through life is literally going to be the hardest thing you ever do, but regardless of the troubles you have, it's also going to be the best thing you go through. Value of Life Vivionna Correa Mrs. Hansen English 12 25 September 2012 What Is a Human’s Life Worth? Think of the moments that you wanted to give up, what kept you going? Generation after generation, societies change as time goes on. Maybe not so much the society itself, but the people in it do. Many of us Americans have different opinions. The value of life now differs depending on the different kinds of experiences people go through. As awful as it sounds, our society has placed a dollar amount on life.However, society should determine value to a human life by the way that we have overcome obstacles, a human’s health, and by the personality trait that they have acquired. â€Å"The concept of assigning a price tag to a life has always made people intensely squeamish. After all, isn’t it degrading to presume that money can make a family whole again? † (Ripley 1). After the tragedies of September 11, 2002 the federal government started a federal fund to help the victims and families who has suffered a loss.Meaning that the government will pay for the loss of the death that a family has had to face. The government thinks that a person who makes more money, compared to one who does not but loves their job, will have more to offer meaning that they will be worth more. Many of us Americans have had to face numerous amounts of obstacles. The good thing is that no matter what mistake would occur in our life’s, it would be something that we would be able to learn from easily. Life should be valued by how someone has overcome an obstacle.There are many obstacles that people have had to face in their lifetime, for instance insecurities, people telling them what they can or cannot do, and even their own family or relationship problems that they have had to overcome. â€Å"I saw more beauty and triumph and truth, in a single day that I ever did in a bike race. † (Armstrong 3). Health will play an immense role in everyone’s life. Lance Arm strong survived a long battle with cancer, and after this he came out with a whole new outlook on life. This comes to show on how life can end very quickly no matter what the circumstances.It will take people a majority of time in order to realize this, until they have been in a near death experience in which we realize on how important it is to treat our bodies well and stay healthy. How does the government know if the person who has past away, has a true genuine personality? A human’s value should be based on what that person had done and is willing to do for others. Usually the upper class society has the stereotype of being snobby, while the lower class society has the stereotype of being generous towards other people.An example of this would be a volunteer who loves their job and helps organizations in order to help others, other than themselves. Rather than someone who needed to get paid in order to make money and highly dislike what they are doing. Without a story ther e would not be a meaning behind someone’s life. Everyone has come from a different background and a different story to tell. Society should assign value to a human’s life by how we have told the tale to others about the life that our loved ones have lived. They should not assign value by how much income they have made, how well known they are, nor how much longer they have to live.Every human being is worth something more to their close relationships that they have encountered with. Value should not mean money for people, it should mean the importance that they have made in the world and other people’s life’s, not just their own. Works cited Armstrong, Lance, with Sally Jenkins. Excerpt from It’s Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. New York: Putnam, 20001-5 The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education. â€Å"The Human Life Value Calculator. † LIFE. http://www. lifeline. org/build/human_life_value_calculator/index. php? pt= lfhlvc&m=l Ripley, Amanda. â€Å"What Is a Life Worth? † Time 11 Feb. 2002: 22-27

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Businesses Operating in Market Conditions Samples for Students.

Businesses operating in market conditions can have positive or negative results. The reason for failure can be the assertion of short-term goals to the detriment of long-term, emphasizing short-term performance and profit, regardless of market development, meaning thereby the non-existence of a marketing plan. A quality marketing plan is a basic prerequisite for efficient marketing, ensuring the integration of all marketing activities and assisting in the creation of favorable conditions for succeeding in the marketplace. The need for effective planning in services has long been clear. In 1975 Chisnall pointed to the growth of the services sector and emphasized that it is necessary to devote greater attention to measuring inputs and outputs, as well as an evaluation of the efficiency of resources. He underlined the significance of certain marketing methods for improving the firm, as well as marketing research, strategic planning, and marketing management. At the same time, he mention ed that in services and unwillingness to develop or constructive and market-oriented approach towards a marketing plan is common. The marketing plan is the component of the business plan. The yearly plan concerns marketing objectives and strategies for a product, product range, development of the bank for one year, while the long-term marketing plan concerns a period of two to five years. The creation of the marketing plan is understated as a strategic process, where this is based on information and activities. The result is the marketing plan, which is realized and monitored in connection with the results achieved Identifying your competitors: The first step in conducting a competitor analysis is to identify your competitors. Begin this process by considering the range of competition in your market-space because not all competition is the same, there are different types of competitors your organization will face. Finding your competitors: Who are your competitors? How do you find them? Not only are there advanced search tools available to assist you in finding competitors, but their motivation to have a high profile on the Internet makes it impossible for competitors to hide from your searching efforts. So, the most logical and best place to start looking for as each competitor is identified, visit their Web site and form some initial impressions about how much of a major competitor they are. Your focus here is on same or similar target markets, products, and value propositions; don't let a flashy Web site convince you that this is a major competitor when the value proposition is all wrong. Cr eating a competitor analysis grid (or use the one provided above): With a list of competitors in hand, the next step is to conduct a methodical analysis of their strengths and weaknesses. Step one — identify why a customer would want to buy your product/service. Step Two: segment your overall market. Places are increasingly at risk - as a result of the change in the global economic, political and technological environment. Places are increasingly at risk - as a result of the inevitable process of urban evolution and decay. Places are facing a growing number of competitors in their efforts to attract scarce resources. Places have to rely increasingly on their own local resources to face growing competition. A major factor in determining the profitability of any product is establishing a base price. There are three methods of setting a product’s base price: This approach is common to new businesses, especially if their founder is rather inexperienced in marketing analysis, and/or has a strong passion – even an obsession – about providing a certain product or service. He bases his belief almost entirely on his or her own perception, even though there is sometimes no verified evidence of a market for the product or service. In this approach, the founder of the product or service: When you do your promotion planning (as part of your strategic planning) - the basic questions to ask are: Who do we want to communicate with? Why do we want to communicate with them? What do we want to communicate with them about? What is the best way to communicate with them? How much will this strategy cost? What is our budget for this? How will we know if we have been successful? In order to assess where the bank is at present, detailed information concerning both the past state, as well as present state is necessary. Costs, revenues and profits achieved are analyzed over time for the longer-term period. It is best to compare the development of our own bank with the most influential competitor. It is also suitable to analyze the development of comparable products with those of the competition. An analysis of the results achieved is performed for the bank as a whole, or also according to individual market segments (for example by age group). A detailed analysis of the results achieved helps in setting realistic marketing objectives, which represents the second stage of planning. Further information is necessary for elaborating marketing implementation so that it is possible to adopt corrective measures in the control phase (Veresovà ¡, 2002). Peter Drucker identified the following fields for objectives setting: Marketing objectives usually have the form of expected results in specific market segments and also for the market as a whole. According to McDonald, they cover these fields volume of sales, market share, profit, customer objectives and marketing expenses (Selecting target market, 2017). Banks must consider how they will manage individual productivity for achieving their objectives. It is necessary to ensure balance in the growth of earnings, the cash flow, and the risk. With a growth or decline in the range of services and with a change in the market the overall nature of the business portfolio changes. Various portfolio models serve for solving this question, and which have the form of matrices and depict the external and internal business environment. For an estimate of the attractiveness for individual strategic units, we can use5 the growth share or matrix created by the Boston Consulting Group, which gives precedence to the flow of incomes over other criteria. Among the most known multi-factor models are also the portfolio matrices of the firm McKinsey and Shell, often known as the matrices of market attractiveness and business strengths. Another model is the General Electric model, which works with the factors market attractiveness and the competitive position of the bank. In this model, the attractiveness of the market influences the size and speed of market growth, competitive behavior, gross profit achieved and sensitivity to economic fluctuations (Lynn, 2011). The competitive position of the firm is expressed by the share of the bank in their overall market, customer loyalty, and the nature of the distribution system and the level of expenses. An evaluation of the portfolio helps managers to set objectives and strategy which are in accordance with the possibilities and abilities of the business. These approaches, however, have their limitations. One of their greatest weaknesses is the difficulty of defining other boundaries of the business activities and the general assumption that the market share always has a positive correlation with the return on investments - thereby ignoring the fact that also small business subjects operating in a gap in the market can achieve high a rate of return on investments. Portfolio models are of great benefit for planning for the marketing strategy, though only where all risks are known (Metaxas, 2005). The aim of marketing programs is to ensure that the practical realization of the marketing strategies adopted. This includes a delegation of rights and responsibilities of individual employees, as well as the distribution of available financial resources. Marketing programs, like marketing objectives and strategies, should fulfill certain requirements. Each program must clearly define the resources, as well as the time schedule. Before actually realizing a program it is necessary to set out a detailed marketing budget including expenses and the deployment of resources (The Marketing Plan, 2017). The budget is created similarly as in the case of an advertisement either through an annual increase/decrease or through the more appropriate method according to first chosen objectives. The role of the marketing program is to prioritize marketing activities, dividing these into important marketing activities, partial steps, and tactical tasks. Part of this is also the preparation of time pla ns stipulating the limits for fulfilling key tasks. It may also be evaluated at regular meetings, for example as part of the monthly cycle. A useful aid for ascertaining differences between the actual and the target state is discrepancy analysis. This is a measure of the success of a marketing plan in ensuring the desired business objectives. It is most often used in the case of revenues and profitability but also can serve as the evaluation of other variables, for example, the return on investments etc. The idea of assessing alternative mixes is to find the most appropriate marketing strategy prior to beginning implementation of the plan. In the assessment, various analytical approaches can be used or simple methods on the basis of trial and error. The next step is setting alternative or backup plans. Since we cannot elaborate an alternative plan for every case, we should evaluate the influence of various groups of assumptions and find areas of greatest risk (Ghauri and Cateora, 2011). As results from Kotler’s research in 75 firms operating in the services fields, many of the control systems are inadequate. Berkowitz cites as the most frequent reasons for the failure of the marketing plan as10: From the above, it results that the marketing plan is becoming an important aid and tool for asserting the bank in the marketplace. It contains information necessary for managing and making well-grounded decisions. Its advantage is its comprehensiveness, therefore it is essential that all employees get acquainted with it. Every employee must recognize that as long as the bank as a whole prospers and that employees have the same objectives and through joint efforts achieve good results, this, in the end, will mean certainty in life also for employees. Ghauri, P. and Cateora, P. (2011). International Marketing.  Edinburgh Business School. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017]. Lynn, M. (2011). Segmenting and Targeting Your Market: Strategies and Limitations.  School of Hotel Administration Collection. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017]. Metaxas, T. (2005). Market research and target market segmentation.  Department of planning and regional department, [online] 38. Available at: [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017]. OTIENO, F. (2017). The Roles of Monitoring and Evaluation in Projects. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017]. Schnaith, P. (2011). The Implementation of Marketing Programs for New Target Segments.  I S S E R T A T I O N of the University of St. Gallen, School of Management. [online] Available at:$FILE/dis3979.pdf [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017]. Selecting target market. (2017). [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017]. Strategic evaluation and control. (2013).  Undergraduate Strategic Management. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017]. The Marketing Plan. (2017).  MARKETING PLAN OUTLINE. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017]. Veresovà ¡, E. (2002). MARKETING PLAN.  Economic Focus. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017]. Looking for an answer 'who will do my essay for cheap',

Friday, September 27, 2019

Marketing Project Assignment Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1750 words

Marketing Project - Assignment Example The major competitors of this company are Passions of Paradise, Sunlover Reef Cruises, the Diving Cairns and Pro-dive Cairns. All the four companies offer almost similar services which ranger from Scuba Diving, Live Aboard diving to deep sea diving and site viewing. Thus, most of their target markets are Local tourists and tourists from the neighbouring nations. Passion of Paradise among other competitors that quicksilver cruiser faces offer a relatively limited range of products and thus the fact that quicksilver cruises offers a wide range product keeps it ahead of competition. This report generates the details necessary for the company to compete in the Queensland area by offering a unique product line that is desirable by tourist for neighbouring countries. The focus is on customers from Hong Kong and the development of a plan of analysis that details the unique nature of this East Asian market, how Quicksilver Cruises can best market to this demographic group, and how the develo pment of a comprehensive marketing plan will help them to be successful in this endeavour for the long term. Quicksilver Cruise operates in the highly competitive tourism industry within Queensland, Australia. Being on the coast, the company offers a product line that is appealing to many types of tourists, particularly those from the Hong Kong region. As the company is in a particular genre with many other businesses, however, it must focus on carving its own unique niche within the market. To accomplish this objective, the company has been working hard over the past years to develop unique tours and water sport offerings that others in the region are not currently offering. In addition, the company does have a focus on attracting tourists from nearby regions. Of particular interest at this time is the Hong Kong market. Hong Kong itself represents a unique opportunity for Quicksilver Cruises to market an area of the

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Lesbian and Gay Parenting Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Lesbian and Gay Parenting - Essay Example But the lesbian and gay parents and their children face discrimination and marginalization in the society. So, the mainstream society needs to change because one’s sexual identity is personal can do nothing to the children. Personal experience: The personal experience/interaction section in this work is based upon my personal interaction with lesbian and gay parents and their children, and is divided into two sections: response to reading reflections and intervention with lesbian and gay parents and attempt to unearth the problems faced by them. A. Response to reading reflections From a different angle of view, parenting is not a difficult task for lesbian and gay people, but the process to have children of their own is extremely difficult for them. For instance, lesbian and gay parents cannot have their own children through biological process. So, they are forced to depend upon other methods like adopting a child from an orphanage, depending upon donors who are ready to co-op erate with insemination, and accepting the help of surrogate mothers. On the other side, the lesbian and gay parents are similar to other parents because they show keen interest in the growth and development of their children. ... One can see that the general opinion that the children who are from lesbian and gay families face a number of disadvantages is not true because researches based on the same reject this generalization. Ricketts (1991) makes clear that, â€Å"Studies on gay and lesbian parenting support the position that children are not disadvantaged and, in some cases, receive unique benefit from being reared by gay, lesbian individuals† (p.47). Besides, the lesbian and gay people do not consider their families as different from traditional families and they are ready to raise children. Mizrahi (2008) states that, â€Å"Recent government surveys demonstrate that many lesbians and gay men are already raising children, and more lesbians and gay people would like to have children at some point† (p.245). So, one can easily identify the fact that a child’s parents’ sexual identity or the interest in lesbianism/homosexuality does not harm his or her growth and development. B. In tervention with lesbian and gay parents and attempt to unearth the problems faced by them So as to unearth the problems faced by lesbian and gay parents, I interacted with a number of lesbian and gay parents and their children. Most of the lesbian and gay parents pointed out that they do not feel any difference from other parents. They further added that their sexual identity will not harm their children’s lives because it is personal. But Harding (2011) states that, â€Å"But in certain respects, lesbian and gay parenting remains on the periphery of legal protections for lesbians and gay men, and understandings of the relations of family life for lesbian and gay parents are much less entrenched than considerations of same-sex relationships†(p.5). On the other side, most of the

Auto Biography Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Auto Biography - Essay Example My mother has a rough life, and she is disabled, being a DID with multiple personality disorder, so I help her out as well. Naturally, I am an outgoing, generous, and carefree person. I am smart can learn anything fast, and have a great memory. I have always had a lot of friends at home, school and work. I have always been a leader and I understand how to take on a task and complete with quality. People look up to me at my workplace, and I have been the motivator in the departments I have worked at. I got my GED in 2004 went to the Art institute in Dallas TX for 2 years for visual communications, but stopped going when my mom got ill. Went to Westwood college in Dallas TX for graphic design for a year, but ended it when I found out they are not an accredited school and my credits would not transfer. I finally found Letourneau University from a coworker at work telling me about it. I am going for my bachelors in business management, but also want to get back into graphic and web design after accepting my diploma. I thought an art degree needed something I could fall back on, so going for business since I seem to be good at it in my career. I currently pursue a Bachelor of Arts, Business Management, Letourneau University, Longview, TX, and hopes to graduate in fall 2015. I am a service and administrative professional with more than 10 years of experience leading teams and providing exceptional customer service to clients. I am dedicated to transitioning knowledge and skills from previous experience to build a solid career in the auto finance field. I worked at LA QUINTA, Dallas, TX, from 2002 to 2007, as a front office manager, where I conducted administrative operations, served as first point of contact for all guests, and attended customer phone calls to make room reservations. In addition, I coordinated bookings for conventions, tours, and groups of 50+ people, and collected payments on

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


OBSERVATION 5 OBSERVING KINDERGARTEN CLASSROOM - Essay Example Inside the class, the children were gossiping with one another and making a lot of noise. Some were even banging their desks while others started to take out their notebooks and pencils from their bags. The teacher asked the children to be quiet so that she could take the roll call but the children would not listen. The teacher then shouted at the top of her voice saying, â€Å"Be quiet!† and also clapped the rostrum with her palm loudly to gain the children’s attention. Suddenly, there was pin-drop-silence. Some children looked terrified while others put their fingers on their lips. The teacher called the students â€Å"a mess† and similar rude words. Once everybody was quiet, the teacher then started taking the roll call. It was the kindergarten classroom and the average age of the children was 5 years. They were 25 children in total. The teacher made a very rational approach in transiting from the exercise activity to the classroom activity. She asked the children to arrange themselves in a line. This not only organized the children so that they could move toward the class in a disciplined way, but also saved the teacher’s time and energy that would have otherwise been consumed in guiding the scattered children toward the classroom. The children even looked very disciplined when arranged in the form of a line. While the teacher’s approach here was very praiseworthy, her way of getting the children’s attention in the classroom was just as much indecent and unsophisticated. She looked struggling very hard to gain their attention and she even had to bang the rostrum and shout at the top of her voice to make them quiet. She was loud enough to be heard shouting outside the classroom as well. Her shouting even terrified the children. This not only broke her emotional connection with the children but might also have set a bad impression on the other teachers who had heard her shout. Rather than shouting, the teacher could have easily

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Chervolet industry Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1750 words

Chervolet industry - Research Paper Example Automobile industry is the practical application of human dream of convenient travelling (Fortunato, 2009). Therefore, automakers try to transform the car into a travelling solution within certain price limitations. On the other hand, inflation and rising taxation are causing significant hindrance in the process of innovation in international automobile industry. Moreover, Ford inspired its rivals to extend their production level in order to compete successfully (Boschma & Wenting, 2007). Thus, in this way, Ford acted as a pioneer of automobile innovation. With the passage of time US automobile industry became saturated, which helped companies like Toyota, Chevrolet and others initiate their operations in the country. It is important to note the real nature of the industry was quite luxurious because in old times vehicles were considered as something unique and specifically designed for the elite class. As the overall cost of the automobile companies dropped significantly in the past few decades, therefore, cars transformed into utility products in developed nations. On the other hand, the image of the car as luxurious item stood the test of time in developing countries. History of Chevrolet Chevrolet initiated its business a century ago and its cofounders were William Durant Louis Chevrolet (Catalan, 2010). Both of the entrepreneurs were previously working in the business of horse driven vehicles therefore, consented to experiment with cars powered by engines in 1912. Thus, Chevrolet modernized the entire industry through introducing petrol engines, which replaced the old-fashioned steam engines and horses as well. Along with this, Chevrolet continued its innovation by introducing new model from the decade of 1920 to that of 2000. Therefore, Chevrolet’s commitment to excellence is persistent for a century and the company is still in the process of innovation. Status of the Automobile Industry Automobile industry is the most expensive one in the category of consumer products. Therefore, the process of innovation in this particular industry is the highest as well. Due to this reason, automobile firms previously engage in hiring the best minds in all fields entailing from engineering to management sciences. Automobile industry is not hiring substantial number of employees in recent years (Fortunato, 2009) because it relies on high-end technological production units, which minimized the employee requirement in the industry. Strategic recruitment became a norm in international automobile industry. Along with these factors, semi-permanent recession forced various automobile companies to downsize in recent years. On the other hand, organizations are pressing on the need to control the waste, which will definitely increase the quality of the products produced. Furthermore, automobile companies are heavily taxed in order to keep refrain them from taking undue price advantage in developing companies. Therefore, pertaining to this fact autom obile industry plagued with the tendency to downsize during the period of last decade. However, Chevrolet enabled itself to demonstrate a significant rate of growth in past years given the nature of operational circumstances of the industry. The prime reason of this development attributed from design and model enhancement continuation at Chevrolet (Catalan, 2010), which in turned kept its product appeal meaningful and

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Homeland Security Assignment Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words

Homeland Security - Assignment Example The character of confrontation has been changing ever since the Vietnam War when in the face of overwhelming firepower of the US, the enemy resorted to guerrilla warfare using the support of local population as one of the main strategies to hit and run. This technique has by now metamorphosed into mindless violence, undertaken by persons indoctrinated to the point of committing suicide while carrying out terrorist strikes. Given the innumerable points around the world and the points of entry into the USA, it is almost impossible to have one hundred percent, foolproof systems to detect, restrain or destroy such persons in good time. Such being the enormity of the task, it calls for constant vigilance and ever improving systems and procedures. The security breach that occurred at the Newark International Airport on Sunday, January 3, 2010, brings home the harsh reality of the potential human and systems failure simultaneously (Wilson, Or, take the case of the Nigerian who managed to board the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Eve. He evaded detection and almost succeeded in bombing the plane, using the explosives strapped inside his under-garments. It was only by luck that he was apprehended. Prior to the incident, he was on the suspect's list and his father had even warned the authorities of his radicalization; yet he managed to board the flight, confirming a failure of information sharing among the security agencies and airport security checking. That the price of freedom is eternal vigilance is once again proved by this episode.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The apartheid system in South Africa Essay Example for Free

The apartheid system in South Africa Essay The term apartheid was one of the most politically charged words in the second half of the 20th century, and still remains notorious today. Apartheid translated from Afrikaans means separateness or apartness. However when the National Party came to power in South Africa in 1948, it took on a much more sinister meaning and today is associated with racial and ethnic discrimination. The roots of apartheid stem deep into South African history. It started way back during European settlement, and was enforced and maintained right up until the end of the 20th Century. It will forever leave a mark on South Africa and indeed the world; a dark period in human history from which we have and will continue to learn. Tensions between Europeans and native Africans have existed since the first days of settlement and the earliest signs of what would snowball to become apartheid can be traced to these times. In 1488, the Portuguese first sailed past the Cape of Good Hope, eventually landing there and trading for food with people who called themselves Khoikhoi. It wasnt until the 1600s though, when the Dutch East India Company set up a base in Southern Africa, that the roots for what is today known as South Africa were put down. Initially contacts between the Khoikhoi and the new Europeans were peaceful, but over time the situation grew hostile. Aided by their guns, as well as the diseases they brought with them, the Europeans took more and more land and disrupted the natives lifestyle. By 1795 15000 Europeans and their slaves were scattered throughout the Cape colony. Violence between the natives and the Europeans was inevitable. There had been fights between the groups in small battles, but it wasnt until the late 18th Century that there was a large scale frontier war between them. The natives were driven back, but in 1806 Britain took over the Dutch Cape Colony, bringing British settlers to the area. This wasnt a real problem to the Boers, the earliest European settlers, at first, but conflict soon ensued. In 1833 Britain ended slavery throughout its empire, including the Cape. The Boers strongly disagreed with this and they wanted to keep their independence as they believed they had a God-given right to own African land and slaves. In the late 1830s they migrated north and eastwards far from British Rule to establish their own independent republics, in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. However when diamonds and gold were found later in the 19th Century the British interest in these interior areas was re-activated. The Anglo-Boer War was fought as a result during the years 1899-1902. This war was one of the epic conflicts in the building of an Afrikaner ideology and sense of identity. The hate of the British afterwards greatly contributed to the firm Afrikaner belief that they were chosen by God to rule the land, a belief that would be shown and implemented in the apartheid system. Leading up to the First World War, South Africa remained a deeply divided country. Only 21.5 percent of the population were white, Boers were still resentful over the Anglo-Boer war and the majority black population was divided amongst itself. It was also during this time and after the war that the roots of apartheid began to emerge. Policies, such as the Mine and Works Act of 1911, which forced blacks into the category of cheap labour, and the Natives Land Act of 1913, paved the start of the pathway that would lead to apartheid. Even repression from the police was evident in this time, when in 1920 African mineworkers went on strike and were killed in Port Elizabeth for their efforts. Even before the National Party, that would implement apartheid to its extreme, was elected, apartheid was occurring and existed throughout the country. In summary the policy of apartheid was a product of the late colonial era and came into existence due to events during early settlement, and events later such as the Anglo-Boer, that sparked and ignited a mentality that couldnt be suppressed. In1948 a Nationalist Party government under Dr Daniel Malan was elected, promising a white South Africa and a total system of apartheid between blacks and whites. Apartheid came about in South Africa because of an Afrikaner belief of their god-given right to Africa, which was also a racist one. Apartheid was therefore a means to support and institutionalize their view on how the country should be run. Apartheid was kept in place through various means, mainly the use of legislation and technology. The main way that the government implement  apartheid was through legislation. There were countless laws and bills passed, which over time stripped black Africans of their rights, all the while favoring the white elite of South Africa. Race laws affected every social aspect of life in apartheid South Africa. The early policies that were made when the National Party first came into power set the base for the later policies to take effect and branch off. These policies embodied what the apartheid regime was all about, notably two of the earliest policies made, being the Population Registration Act and the Group Areas Act. Both were made in 1950, with the Population Registration Act requiring al South Africans to be racially classified into either white, black or colored, and the Group Areas Act which geographically separated the racial groups. These laws and policies prevented the black population having the same privileges, standards of living and status as the white South Africans. Under the apartheid system everyday life was greatly affected by such laws. For example, under the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act in 1953, people of different races were prohibited from using the same public facilities such as restaurants, transport services, restrooms etc. Under the Population Registration Act different members of the same family found themselves in different race groups. Some of these laws essentially made black Africans foreigners; the correct term was guest laborers who were only allowed to work in South Africa if they held a temporary work permit. The Bantu Education Act of 1953 meant the government took over control of all schools and institutions. The emphasis in black schools was heavily on agriculture and this was another way of controlling black Africans as well as upholding the apartheid system. The annual expenditure on education from the government per pupil was $45 for blacks and $696 for whites. These are just a few examples of laws and policies that were implemented to maintain the apartheid system. Another way the government was able to enforce apartheid was through technology, primarily computers. More than any other single technological advancement; the computer fostered the concentration of administrative power in the hands of Africas white elite.1 Computers were used in almost every government agency, particularly in the police system and the military. The  vast majority of these computers came from America and IBM was the largest computer supplier in South Africa during the time when apartheid was active. The first computer transported from the US to South Africa was an electric tabulator to IBM South Africa, in 1952. Through computers and technology the apartheid regime was able to control every aspect of life, particularly for black Africans. It meant that the government and its organizations could track people their history, their movement, etc and through this shut down protests and silence protesters. The computerized population register is regarded as the instrument that made the biggest contribution to the apartheid system. It was responsible for the passbook system that affected more than 25 million black Africans. Through these devices, information on a persons racial classification, name, sex, date of birth, dates of departure and return to the country, fingerprints and places of work and study could all be recorded onto a database. The passbooks and the computer database meant a person could instantly be identified and checked for a history of government opposition. The population registry wasnt the only computerized resource the government used to control its citizens there were other foreign and imported products used as well. X-Ray machines, passbook fingerprinting equipment and communications logging recorders were also available to the police. Various government departments used computers for financial and other non repressive purposes, when in reality they used them to track opponents of apartheid, and once they found them, police brutality and torture were used and the opponents were often held political prisoners without trial. Also, as the largest part of the government, a majority of the computer equipment purchased by the state inevitably must have found its way into the military, which utilised this equipment against its people. Apartheid was conceived and administered as an ideology for the total organization of the South African society for the exclusive benefit of the white part of the population. This system was implemented and enforced strictly and with brutality for more than forty years. In that time the National Party government achieved a high degree of success in creating  apartheid on a personal, urban and state level. Although this system ultimately failed (in 1991 laws enforcing apartheid were abolished) its mark on South Africa and the world will be present for a very long time and the apartheid era will be a massive legacy to be fully overcome for future generations of South Africans and indeed the world. References: 1 Automating Apartheid U.S. Computer exports to South Africa and the Arms Embargo. Omega Press, Philadelphia, 1982Bibliography:Books:Meisel,J. (1994) South Africa At The Crossroads. Cape Town; The Millbrook PressChristopher,A. (1994) The Atlas of Changing South Africa. London; RoutledgeTames,R. (2000) The End of Apartheid: a New South Africa. Oxford: Heinemann LibraryInternet Sites:

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Dividend Policy at Linear Technology

The Dividend Policy at Linear Technology Linear Technoloy(LT) is a company founded in 1981 by Robert Swanson. Its area of actvity is development, production and marketing for semiconductors used in various electronic applications used by the communication industry to the automotive industry. It mainly focuses on the analog segment within the integrated circuits industry and, by market capitalization, it is the seventh-largest company listed on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index (SOX). Regarding its customer portfolio, the communication industry accounted for 33% of Linears sales, computers 27%, automotive 6% and the rest of 34% was divided by the rest of the industries. Linear Technologys Payout Policy Linears payout policy is comprised out of two elements: dividend payout and stock repurchase. In general companies decide to payout dividends after transitioning from a high growth stage to mature and stable stage. (Grullon Michaely, 2004). Linear started paying dividends in 1992. This decision was based on good expectations regarding the analog circuits market and the fact that Linear had a top position in the industry. Also the CFO of the company points out that, since the IPO, the company had positive cash flows. Thus paying out dividends would signal a strong position in a risky market and the transition to a more mature state of the company. As observed by some investors the technological companies had been just reaching that stage when paying out dividends was possible. The initial price for a share was set at US$0.05. This amounted for 15% of the total earnings of the company in the fiscal year of 1994. The relative low level was based on two principles. The first principle w as that dividend payout demands a certain respect from investors so in order to send the right signal into the market and attract new investors, the company had to pay dividends. This in turn would mean a thoughtful payout ratio that the company could sustain over time thus leading to the second principle. This states that a low level for dividends would better suit the company in the event of less than expected earnings. In this case the company would not have to cut down or even stop paying dividends. Thus a bad signal to the investors is avoided. Since 1992, the payout ratio has been growing steadily, getting close to 25% in 2003. Considering that 2002 meant a decline in sales and earnings, the company board and its management is debating on whether to increase the ratio or to keep it into accordance with company earnings. The CFO of Linear is confident that the business prospects and the cost structure can support an increase and he expects that this increase will send a good si gnal to investors. From the repurchase point of view, as stated by Paul Coghlan, CFO of Linear, one primary reason that we buy back the stock is to offset the exercise of employee stock options. Another reason was also the market conditions. The low interest rates offered by Linears high-grade security investments encouraged the company to use the cash-at-hand to buy back shares thus making a better use of the cash balance. A third reason was that, despite a large cash balance the company did not have any acquisition plans. The company repurchased shares sporadically between 1993 and 2001, and quarterly since then but again without any obvious pattern. Considering both elements, the companys mixed payout policy attends to all shareholder requirements by increasing the level of dividends quarterly and by managing in a conservative way a large cash balance. What are Linears financing needs? LTs income statement and revenue growth seems to be relatively stable over the past 11 years (1992-2002) with the exception of the boom during the peak(2000-2001) of the IT bubble and the bust after the burst of this bubble(2002). However even in economic downfall LT still managed to obtain a positive net income and net cash flow. This is due to LTs limited costs set up and relatively low financing needs. It is stated that in the semiconductor industry, research development investments, capital investment in new fabrication facilities, and retaining top engineers are of crucial importance. LT focuses on analog semiconductors and as such has stable and modest research and development costs. The analog fabrication facilities investments are more durable and account to a relative investment of approximately 20million per year. Finally LT uses a bonus structure for its executive compensation, keeping salary expenses lower when sales revenues decline. Additionally LT expresses little des ire in excessive investments, cash is handled very conservative with investment strategy in predominantly short-term debt securities, however LT is looking at potential business opportunities in the Asian markets, , if LT was to proceed with this plan this would increase its financing needs substantially. All in all resulting in a relatively low financing need for LT with regards to internal factors. With regards to external factors LT could endure financing needs resulting from market risks and the unclear effect of the Iraq war on the American economy, this results in the need for LT to hold a higher cash reserve. We will address this issue more in depth in the subsequent part. Should Linear return cash to its shareholders? Some shareholders have recently expressed the desire for LT to return its cash, however this desire is not necessarily shared by all shareholders. Theoretically returning Cash to the shareholders can reduce agency conflicts because it reduces cash in hands of the firm which can be invested in bad projects. It also reduces the costs of underinvestment if LT decides not to invest this cash it holds. The agency conflict seems relatively small considering LTs investment behavior and thus would be of relatively little importance when considering if LT should return cash to its shareholders. However asymmetric information exists and shareholders are unaware whether or not LT will remand its current investment policy. Additionally returning cash to the shareholders can give positive signals to the market about the future prospects of the firm. This could be of great potential importance considering the industry in which LT operates and the recent economic downturn this industry experienced. Conversely, if LT was to hold on to the cash this would preserve their liquidity levels which would both allow the firm to invest in positive NPV projects without entering the capital market, and additionally create a cushion against potential economic or financial distress. Regarding the financial cushion aspect of holding cash, if LT returns cash to its shareholders it should not return the full 1,5billion, but considering the current economic situation should preserve at least $200mto cover unexpected expenses. In the past LT has not shown great interest in investing other than in short-term securities, however, LT has been looking for business opportunities in the Asian market, holding cash in the firm increases the firms potential to respond to such an opportunity when it comes along. Bearing in mind LTs sales earnings, cash flows, and investment practices, it becomes evident that current dividend payments are not at the level they could potentially be. As observed by Janus Ca pital, the largest single holder of LT stock, current dividend payments are merely a token relative to the level of cash LT holds, therefore it would be possible for LT to increase its current dividend level. The problem with dividend payments its inflexibility, once LT decides to increase its dividend payments it will be hard for them to return this to its current level at a later stage. Currently LTs dividend payments is at a competitive level with respect to its peers on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index (SOX) and other technology companies. As stated in the case even a penny increase in dividend level will move the payout ratio to a level above most other technology levels. This brings us to the question why a company would decide to payout dividends. Commonly corporations at a mature stage without many growth opportunities and a stable positive cash flow. As discussed earlier LT can be identified as a relatively stable and mature company with stable costs and relatively stable growth. However as a technology company, LT is sensitive to the market, which has become evident in its 2000-2003 results. During the IT bubble LT performed exceptionally well, but after the burst sales dropped with 47% relative to the year prior. However, looking at the figures of 2003 we can see that LTs sales recover quite quickly, ending 2003 with approximately $602m in sales, which is in line with 5 year sale average ($636m). It could therefore both be argued that growth is not stable for LT and thus dividend payments are relatively risky for LT with regards to market reaction when dividend payments are reduced. However, growth has always (with the exception of 2002) been positive and LT could thus be deemed relatively safe. (Graham et al, 2005) Usually repurchases are used when the firm holds an excess in cash e.g. to reduce agency conflicts and underinvestment. Dividend increases relate more to an excess in free cash flow. In the case of LT, the firm holds a n excess in cash but due to economic situation over the past two years does not have a relative high free cash flow. In this respect LT is looking to reduce excess cash, thus cash returns via repurchase would be more in line with firm performance. When considering how to return cash to the shareholder tax matters but in a second-order manner (Brav et al (2005)). This is due to the fact that value return to shareholders is financed after tax payments and thus the manner of returning value to shareholders with respect to taxes affects predominantly shareholders. Shareholders, under current tax system, pay relatively more tax on dividend than on repurchases. However, the tax argument is only applicable for those shareholders who are indifferent towards holding or selling their share, long term shareholders would prefer dividend payments regardless of tax difference. If new tax proposal would pass there would be no tax difference with capital gain for shareholders thus with regard to ta xes they would most likely prefer dividend payments. However repurchases reduce the number of outstanding shares and thus increase EPS and share prices. Even though share prices will increase with dividend increases also, when dividend payments are increased and the firm at a later stage, cannot pay these dividends or reduces them this results in a decrease of share price, where a non-continuum of repurchasing practices has no effect on later share prices. Additionally if the firm does not want to reduce or cancel dividend payments for this reason they might decide to split the stock, increasing the number of outstanding shares and thus decreasing the EPS. Therefore both shareholders and firms should only prefer an increase in dividend payments over repurchases when cash flows and growth rates are stable for the firm with little or no expected future change, even when tax rates are set to be equal. With regard to the option compensation for executives, the repurchases would induce m ore value than would dividend increase, which should be considered in an industry where there is talent competition. Concluding, LT should return some of its cash to its shareholder, however, not all cash should be returned, and preferably not through an increase of common dividend payouts. This will be further discussed in section 5 of this report. What are the tax consequences of keeping cash inside the firm? In the event that LT would decide to keep the cash within the company instead of paying out to its shareholders LT will endure certain costs with respect to taxes. The benefit of keeping the cash in the company means that LT will have the liquidity needed to enter in NPV projects when opportunities arise without needing to access the capital market for costly funding. However, with respect to taxes, not entering the capital market for funding can be deemed inefficient due to the tax deductibility of debt and interest payments on levering. At a 30% corporate tax rate the marginal value of a dollar is thus lower for a firm not using debt financing (Martà ­nez-Sola et al (2009)). This can be identified as an opportunity costs of keeping cash within the company instead of returning this to its shareholders. Being identified as a cost of returning cash to the shareholder and a benefit of keeping the cash in the company, liquidity allows LT to invest and thus potentially earn interest on the cash. LT maintains a conservative investment strategy and predominantly invests in short-term debt securities. This, as identified in the case, in recent years resulted in a low interest return to LT, encouraging LT to return more cash to its shareholders. However, considering that only capital gains are taxed, this at any positive interest rate assumed the gain achieved by interest payment will be higher than the reduction in tax rates. Taxes can only be effectively reduced by increasing the payments to employees or research development with the use of sales revenue (thus reducing free cash flow), not existing cash, or by the use of debt financing. If Linear were to pay out its entire cash balance as a special dividend, what would be the effect on value? One significant target of the dividend distribution is to show investors that Linear has a good position on the market, and to buy shares from Linear Technology is not comparable with the risk which is usually associated with the purchase of shares from technology companies. With a dividend Linear Technology wants to reach investors that have income goals besides of growth goals. In case of a dividend distribution demand for shares will rise. If investors know that a dividend from a certain amount will be paid, the share price increases by the dividend that will be paid. In case of a share price of $30,87 and a dividend of $5,01 the new share price will rise to $35,88. As the dividend will be paid at a certain point of time investors are ready to pay the amount of the dividend additionally to the share price of $30,87, as the dividend will be paid out. Depending on the time until the dividend is paid not the whole amount of dividend is added to the share price. If there is still a certain period of time until the dividend will be paid, only the net present value of the dividend, which is announced will be added to the share price. It also can be said that the closer the payment of the dividend gets, the more the amount of the total dividend payment is added to the normal share price. That also means that consequently the market value of equity also will rise. At the day ex-dividend the share price will drop below the level of the pre-announcement day, as the dividend as driver of the rising demand had been paid. The additional value of $5,01 that were relied to the dividend is not part of the share value any more. The dividend, as part of the equity, is paid to the shareholder. The EBT will go down now as interest income decreases. Because of the decreasing interest income also taxes are declining. As the reduction on interest income is higher this does not play such a decisive role. Special Dividend Repurchase Nr of outstanding shares 312,4 312,4 Share value 30,87 30,87 Market Value 9643,788 9643,788 Special Dividend Paid 5,01 New Shareprice 1 35,88 Nr of Shares repurchased 50,70 New outstanding shares 261,70 Loss of interest income 46,96 EBT 273,44 Earnings 189,49 Earnings Per share $ 0,72 Figure Effects of repurchase or special dividend What if Linear repurchases shares instead?. The repurchase of shares is another option besides of a dividend distribution. Advantages of repurchasing shares is the reduction of systematic risk and cost of capital. Information and rumours about repurchase of shares will increase the demand before the repurchase date and therefore makes the repurchase more expensive. Usually a premium of one until ten per cent has to be calculated. To calculate the number of new shares that can be purchased the cash balance has to be divided by the new share price. To calculate the new market value the new share price with the total number of shares has to be multiplied. Therefore also the earnings per share would increase. On the other hand it should be taken in mind that normally the increase in share price is not from a long-term perspective. Primarily firms in low concentrated industries can benefit from an increase of the share price from a long-term perspective and can outperform the market. In more concentrated industries there will be no statistically significant change. In general the repurchase of shares has a negative effect on the share prices of competitors. Therefore often competitors mimic the behaviour and also do a repurchase of shares. (Massa, Rehman, Vermaelen, 2007) In the study of Grullon and Michaely it is shown that within a 6-year period the repurchasing firm benefits from an essential reduction in systematic risk in comparison to non-repurchasing firms. A negative effect of repurchasing are decreasing investment opportunities. This does not play a decisive role in this case, as in both options there would be a reduction of cash flow. Also in case of stock options for employees the repurchase of shares is an efficient possibility to control the market. To repurchase shares at the point of time when employees sell their rights of stock options makes it neutral from a trading perspective. As Mr. Coghlan stated that Linear Technology wants to offset the exercise of employees stock options with the repurchase of stocks. From the company and management side flexibility is the main advantage for repurchasing in comparison to dividend distribution (Brav, Graham, Harvey, Michaely, 2005). The flexibility can be used to increase repurchases when stock prices are low. Also the higher tax burden in case of dividends can be taken as an argument for repurchasing instead of paying dividends, although in the study it is shown that taxes do not play a primary role and that repurchasing does not change the investors clientele. This point which is also taken as an argument for paying out a dividend by Linear Technology can therefore be de-emphasised. Why do firms pay dividends? When a firm generates free cash flows it has to decide what to do with them. It can reinvest in positive NPV projects, if they are present, and increase the value of the firm. This practice is very common for young firms that pursue rapid growth and sometimes invest 100 per cent of their cash in this way. More mature firms, that operate in more mature market, however, do not always have these opportunities and hold more cash than there are potential positive NPV-projects to exploit. Such a firm with excess cash can either retain it in reserves or pay it out to shareholders. Two payout choices are: repurchases and dividends. When firms pay-out they have several reasons for it. Although not entirely proven, dividends are a possible tool to signal good news to the market and to prevent managers from exploiting free cash flows for their own benefits. The most important reason why dividends are paid, however, is the firms dividend history. Furthermore some firms issue dividends to get acc ess to a new set of investors. Each of these reasons will be discussed next. With asymmetric information in the market, meaning that mangers hold better information regarding future prospects of the firm than investors, payout decisions may signal information. The common practice for dividend paying firms is to smooth dividends and only cut them under extreme cases, which are addressed later, will cause the market to also believe the company is not able to rebound its earnings in the near term. It also implies that once the company increases dividends it signals that the company is able to afford the higher dividend with increased earnings (Berk DeMarzo, 2007). Although most managers no longer see payout policy as a tool to separate its company from competitors, it could be a reason for some to initiate dividends (Brav, Graham, Campbell, Harvey, and Michely, 2005). Especially when dividends are already part of historical business practice in these firms, and as management is very reluctant to cut dividends they will keep them in place. Another reason for man agers to pay out dividends is its ability to prevent agency conflicts as the otherwise free cash flow is no longer in the hands of management. Most managers, however, do not view payout policy as a means to self-imposed discipline. Access to new set of investors is also a reason why management will issue dividends (CASE). As different clienteles hold different preferences in income and in taxes to be paid, some have a stronger preference for dividends than others (Berk DeMarzo, 2007). To attract for instance mutual funds and European investors companies have more success when they issue dividends. Dividends are also more likely to attract retail investors as they prefer dividends over repurchases (Brav, Graham, Campbell, Harvey, and Michely, 2005). Why has the rate of dividend initiations changed over time? There has been a general trend away from dividends from the late 1970s through the rest of the twentieth century. In 1978, over 66 percent of the AMEX, NYSE, and NASDAQ firms paid a regular dividend. By 1999, only 21 percent were dividend payers. Below several reasons are listed for this trend, including: changing firm characteristics, more stock option compensation, US tax law, and dividends inflexibility. Besides, in the late 1950s the starting point for most payout decisions was the payout ratio (Lintner, 1956), while recently this is no longer a common practice for most firms. Firms that were going public in the 1980s and 1990s were early in their lifecycle, with considerable more growth opportunities than current profits (CASE). There tend to be fewer firms in this lifecycle that issue dividends (Graham et al, 2004). In a large part, technology firms, as Linear Technology, were driving this trend. Many of these firms were just about to reach the stage at which they were able to pay dividends, the stage where they began to earn regular and more predictable cash flows (CASE). But even large technology firms, that held stable cash flows, tended to restrain from dividends. One reason for this was the heavy use of stock option compensation. With the majority of their pay in options, managers are not likely to pay dividends as it does not benefit them that much. Furthermore when dividends are issued instead of repurchases, the outstanding amount of stock is increased once options are exercised, resulting in a decrease in the earnings per share (CASE). Although US tax law changed in 2003, making it more attractive to issue dividends, they still are at a tax disadvantage compared to capital gains that can be deferred. Until 2003 issuing dividends was thus even at an even bigger disadvantage to other forms of pay-out (Brav, Graham, Campbell, Harvey, and Michely, 2005). This, however, does not explain the downward trend in dividends, but it does explain why dividend s have never risen in popularity amongst managers. Unlike repurchases, managers are very reluctant to cut dividends and tend to smooth dividends. Among others, they are in most cases even more willing to forgo positive NPV projects, raise external funds, sell assets, or lay off sincere amounts of employees before cutting dividends. The asymmetry between dividend increases and decreases probably leads firms to restrain from issuing before having to resolve to the previously described in general unfavorable practices. Today managers are not so strict on payout ratios anymore. Furthermore, the speed of adjustment, by correcting dividends to their target, is not as high as it once was. This could be a result of the declined benefits of being close to the target or the higher cost of adjustment (Brav, Graham, Campbell, Harvey, and Michely, 2005). What should Paul Coghlan recommend to the board? All in all, if LT pursues to maximize shareholder value, it would not be advisable to increase dividends. Considering the current economic turmoil and the inflexible nature of dividend payments, dividend payments become undesirable. Additionally investing in new business opportunities would be beneficial for both the firm and the current shareholders. Although LT has not identified any positive NPV projects yet, there are opportunities in Asia, and therefore it would be wise for LT to return only part of its cash to the shareholders. They can best do this via a more flexible way such as special dividend or repurchases. Holding cash in the firm allows for a better credit rating when entering the capital market, when LT encounters a positive NPV project it wishes to invest in it can finance it partly by cash held and partly by debt financing. There is no ideal set up for cash returns but deriving from the advice of Rollins given in the case, it could be beneficial for LT to hold 1/4 of its cash as a cushion for economic turmoil, invest 1/4 of its cash in short-term securities to generate interest, hold 1/4 to be used in case of encountering good business opportunities, and return 1/4 to its shareholders via repurchases or a special dividend. This would still result in a $375m return for its shareholders.