16 research outputs found

    One Framework to unite them all? Use of the CEFR in European university entrance policies

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    Fifteen years after its publication, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is a commonly used document in language tests and policies across Europe. This article considers the CEFR's impact on university entrance language tests and policies that are used to regulate the entrance of international L2 students who wish to study in a national language of the host country. Using a qualitative approach, this study aims to (a) outline and compare the target language demands toward L2 students entering European universities and to (b) determine the impact of the CEFR on European university entrance policies, tests, and testers. This article offers an overview of the university entrance language requirements for foreign L2 students in 28 European countries or regions with an autonomous educational policy. It is based on structured interviews with 30 respondents involved with university entrance test development and knowledgeable about university entrance policies in their context. The results show that the CEFR is omnipresent in European university entrance language tests and that the B2 is the most commonly used level in that context. The data also show that normative CEFR use is very common and that in many contexts CEFR levels are misused for marketing purposes or to control university admission

    Raster zur Evaluation von Software fĂŒr das Sprachenlernen

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    Die informelle Arbeitsgruppe "Medial gestĂŒtztes, selbstorganisiertes Lernen" im Bereich Fremdsprachenunterricht trifft sich seit rund drei Jahren regelmĂ€ssig (unter dem Namen "Nachtclub") und beschĂ€ftigt sich mit medial unterstĂŒtztem Sprachenlernen. Die Arbeitsgruppe ist breit zusammengesetzt: lĂ€nderĂŒbergreifend (Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz), zielgruppenĂŒbergreifend (Erwachsenenbildung und UniversitĂ€t) und sprachenĂŒbergreifend (Software fĂŒr Deutsch, Englisch, Französisch usw.). Das gemeinsame Ziel des "Nachtclub" ist es, Kriterien fĂŒr die Beurteilung von mediengestĂŒtzten Angeboten (Lernsoftware, Webseiten) fĂŒr das Lernen von Fremdsprachen zu entwickeln und auf dieser Grundlage unabhĂ€ngige Rezensionen zu erstellen. Die Beurteilungen werden in der Form einer Online-Datenbank der Öffentlichkeit zugĂ€nglich gemacht und sollen als Nachschlagewerk und Entscheidungshilfe fĂŒr Lehrpersonen, LernberaterInnen, MediathekarInnen usw. dienen. Vorgesehen ist die Publikation der Rezensionen unter der Internetadresse www.nachtclub.org. Dort findet man auch das leere Raster in elektronischer Form auf Deutsch, Französisch und Englisch (Winword-Datei / PDF-Datei) sowie Beispiele von Rezensionen, die mit dem Raster erstellt worden sind. (Diese Dateien sind auch von hier abzurufen

    Book reviews

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    CEFR-based language requirements in the European labour market

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    Trehalose‐6‐phosphate‐mediated phenotypic change in Acinetobacter baumannii

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    The stress protectant trehalose is synthesized in Acinetobacter baumannii from UPD‐glucose and glucose‐6‐phosphase via the OtsA/OtsB pathway. Previous studies proved that deletion of otsB led to a decreased virulence, the inability to grow at 45°C and a slight reduction of growth at high salinities indicating that trehalose is the cause of these phenotypes. We have questioned this conclusion by producing ∆otsA and ∆otsBA mutants and studying their phenotypes. Only deletion of otsB, but not deletion of otsA or otsBA, led to growth impairments at high salt and high temperature. The intracellular concentrations of trehalose and trehalose‐6‐phosphate were measured by NMR or enzymatic assay. Interestingly, none of the mutants accumulated trehalose any more but the ∆otsB mutant with its defect in trehalose‐6‐phosphate phosphatase activity accumulated trehalose‐6‐phosphate. Moreover, expression of otsA in a ∆otsB background under conditions where trehalose synthesis is not induced led to growth inhibition and the accumulation of trehalose‐6‐phosphate. Our results demonstrate that trehalose‐6‐phosphate affects multiple physiological activities in A. baumannii ATCC 19606

    Salt induction and activation of MtlD, the key enzyme in the synthesis of the compatible solute mannitol in Acinetobacter baumannii

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    Mannitol is the major compatible solute, next to glutamate, synthesized by the opportunistic human pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii under low water activities. The key enzyme for mannitol biosynthesis, MtlD, was identified. MtlD is highly similar to the bifunctional mannitol‐1‐phosphate dehydrogenase/phosphatase from Acinetobacter baylyi. After deletion of the mtlD gene from A. baumannii ATCC 19606T cells no longer accumulated mannitol and growth was completely impaired at high salt. Addition of glycine betaine restored growth, demonstrating that mannitol is an important compatible solute in the human pathogen. MtlD was heterologously produced and purified. Enzyme activity was strictly salt dependent. Highest stimulation was reached at 600 mmol/L NaCl. Addition of different sodium as well as potassium salts restored activity, with highest stimulations up to 41 U/mg protein by sodium glutamate. In contrast, an increase in osmolarity by addition of sugars did not restore activity. Regulation of mannitol synthesis was also assayed at the transcriptional level. Reporter gene assays revealed that expression of mtlD is strongly dependent on high osmolarity, not discriminating between different salts or sugars. The presence of glycine betaine or its precursor choline repressed promoter activation. These data indicate a dual regulation of mannitol production in A. baumannii, at the transcriptional and the enzymatic level, depending on high osmolarity

    Severe chronic neutropenia : Treatment and follow-up of patients in the severe chronic neutropenia international registry

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    Severe chronic neutropenia (SCN) is defined as an absolute neutrophil (ANC) of less than 0.5 x 10(9)/L, lasting for months or years. Congenital, cyclic, and idiopathic neutropenia are principal categories of SCN. Since 1994, the Severe Chronic Neutropenia International Registry (SCNIR) has collected data to monitor the clinical course, treatments, and disease outcomes for SCN patients. This report summarizes data for 853 patients, almost all treated with daily or alternate-day recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF or Filgrastim). G-CSF treatment increased the ANC overall from 0.34 x 10(9)/L +/- 0.018 pre-treatment to 3.70 x 10(9)/L +/- 0.18 during the first year of treatment. For most patients, the responses were durable with patients remaining on the same dose of G-CSF for many years. Long-term hematological observations showed stable mean leukocyte and neutrophil counts and gradually increasing hemoglobin levels. Thrombocytopenia developed in 4% of patients. As of January 1, 2000, myelodysplasia (MDS) or. acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) has occurred in 35 of 387 patients with congenital neutropenia with a cumulative risk of 13% after 8 years of G-CSF treatment. This event occurred without a predictable relationship to the duration or dose of G-CSF treatment. No patients with cyclic or idiopathic neutropenia developed MDS or AML. Other important adverse events included hepatomegaly, osteoporosis, vasculitis, glomerulonephritis, and deaths in 4 of 14 cases requiring splenectomy. Growth and development and the outcome of pregnancy appeared to be unaffected by G-CSF treatment. These data indicate that congenital, cyclic, and idiopathic neutropenia can be effectively treated with long-term GCSF. The risk of leukemia, osteoporosis, other potentially adverse events, and pregnancy outcome need to be further evaluated with continuing long-term observations. (C) 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.C
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