Reading comprehension in foreign language

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Modeling the multidimensional structure of students’ foreign language competence within and between classrooms

Modeling the multidimensional structure of students’ foreign language competence within and between classrooms

In this study, the latent correlation structure and (co-)variance decomposition of tests for English as a foreign language are examined for a representative German sample of ninth- graders. The first research aim is to demonstrate that the LICCs result in a higher esti- mate than the ICCs because measurement error is taken into account. Reflecting disat- tenuation for measurement error, the LICCs should exceed the ICCs for the specific ability dimensions, and the difference should decrease with increasing reliability of the applied test (Kamata et al., 2008; Lüdtke, Robitzsch, Asparouhov, Marsh, Trautwein, & Muthén, 2008; Raudenbush et al., 1991). Therefore the different reliabilities, ICCs, and LICCs for the three dimensions (reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and language awareness) are calculated. Different LICCs for the dimensions imply that class membership affects these specific abilities to a different extent, and thus indirectly con- firm the assumption of substantive differences between the multiple dimensions in the model. For example, characteristics of class instruction could have a different impact on the LICCs, meaning that such characteristics influence the specific abilities to a different degree, and thus indicating a conceptually different meaning of the latent variables. A further interesting point is how much variance of the ability dimensions is determined by class membership. For all dimensions, a high amount of variance explained by class membership (between-cluster level) is expected (LICC > .50), because of the high selec- tivity of schools based on early tracking in the German school system. High ICCs are frequently found for the German school system (e.g., Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development [OECD], 2003, 2007). In PISA 2006, for example, an ICC of even .80 was found for students’ performance in the reading scale (OECD, 2007 3 ). Another research interest concerns the correlations between the three dimensions on the different levels. In general, there is a strong tendency to unidimensionality of language assessment data (Carroll, 1993; Diakidoy, Stylianou, Kerefillidou, & Papageorgiou, 2005; Jude et al., 2008). For the German school system the general language competence level is strongly dependent on class membership, because students are tracked very early (around the age of nine) among three different school types. We expect a high amount of covariance between the three ability dimensions on between-cluster level, because classes show a relatively homogenous performance across these specific abilities. For example, classes with a high competence in one of the dimensions have also a high com- petence in the other dimensions. As class membership is controlled within the ML-MIRT approach it is expected that a more differentiated correlation structure between the spe-
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Test Anxiety and Foreign Language Reading Anxiety in a Reading-Proficiency Test

Test Anxiety and Foreign Language Reading Anxiety in a Reading-Proficiency Test

The results also showed that reading proficiency between HAR and LAR did not reach a significance level. One possible explanation might be related to the number of the participants or the test itself (Benjamin et al., 1981). The number of HAR and LAR might not have been big enough to make the difference reach a significance level. When the test took the shape of multiple-choice questions, the students were able to make a guess without having to take too much effort to answer the questions or make a guess. As a result, FLRA may have little to do with reading proficiency as represented in multiple-choice questions. This result was contrary to that of Chen (2007a), which did report that HAR and LAR differed significantly in their FLRA. When it comes to instruments, Chen (2007b) utilized the participants’ course exams to measure reading performance. The testing format of the midterm examination was a reading comprehension test comprised of multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the- blank and reading comprehension, while in this study, a simulated GEPT reading comprehension with 45 questions was administered to assess students’ reading proficiency. The instrument in Chen (2007a) was an achievement test, not truly representative of general English reading proficiency. Due to the flaw in the instrument, the results of Chen (2007b) are open to question. Comparatively, the simulated GEPT used in this study appears to give a better account of students’ general English reading proficiency.
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Enhancing Engineering Students’ Reading Comprehension of English for
            Science and Technology With the Support of an Online Cumulative Sentence Analysis
            System

Enhancing Engineering Students’ Reading Comprehension of English for Science and Technology With the Support of an Online Cumulative Sentence Analysis System

Based on the findings of the present study, two peda- gogical implications can be offered. First, the present study proved the positive effect of CSA strategy instruc- tion on English as a foreign language (EFL) reading com- prehension. For decades, numerous studies have been published on the effect of reading strategy use in reading research and education, specifically in computer-assisted learning systems (e.g., Chang, Sung, & Chen, 2002; Dreyer & Nel, 2003; Yang, Wong, & Yeh, 2008). Overall, our work adds to existing research by proving how the strategy of syntactic analysis could be embedded into an online system efficiently. Second, as Borg and Burns (2008) emphasized the role grammar teaching has played in L2 research and practices, the answer to the question of whether successful reading depends to some degree on knowledge of syntax is confirmed by the present study. The relevance of sentence comprehension in successful reading has been ignored in any instructional process that emphasized domain-general comprehension strategies. Nevertheless, this study reinforces Scott’s (2009) remark that sentence comprehension is a required element of reading comprehension.
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Web Based Application for Reading Comprehension Skills

Web Based Application for Reading Comprehension Skills

We have started experimenting with the use of the environment in real teaching/learning situation. This experimentation allows us to collect information on the effective activities of the users. We can thus validate or question certain technical choices and determine with more precision the adaptations that have to be made to the integrated tools Feedback from a panel was very positive and the mobile aspect of environment was seen as a novel and interesting approach as a research tool. A detailed evaluation of the effectiveness of the learning environment has yet to be completed. In prospect, the approach aims at developing in the learners other language skills, so that they can express themselves in foreign language.
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Reading Ability, Reading Fluency and Orthographic Skills: The Case of L1 Slovene English as a Foreign Language Students

Reading Ability, Reading Fluency and Orthographic Skills: The Case of L1 Slovene English as a Foreign Language Students

People learn to read their irst language (L1) in a wide variety of cir- cumstances. Children are prepared for reading at an early age by listening to stories, being read to, and interacting with adults and others about the stories they hear. When children start to learn to read in their L1, they already have a large vocabulary, good control of the grammar of the language, have had many stories in that language read to them, and know the discourse (Nation, 2009). However, when these children start to read in a foreign language, i.e. L2 (or English in this study), learning to read in an L2 involves a great deal of language learning. Unlike in their L1, in the L2 learning, oral language and literacy com- petencies develop simultaneously. Children need grammatically and lexically controlled texts, a greater amount of pre-reading activities; they have to learn a diferent orthographic system; and they need to process the meaning of words while trying to achieve the same main goal of reading as in L1: text comprehen- sion. All these principles draw on one’s cognitive resources (capacity of working memory) that are limited at any given moment; therefore, by learning to read quickly, accurately, i.e. luently, and not thinking about orthography, vocabu- lary and syntax, suicient mental resources become available for higher-level processes, such as overall reading performance and reading comprehension. Reading luency has been associated with reading comprehension in English L1 contexts (Fuchs, Fuchs, Hosp, & Jenkins, 2001); however, simply applying the indings from L1 research to the case of L2 readers is inadequate. he nature of L2 reading development is diferent from that of L1. L2 reading luency alone does not account for the variance of explaining reading performance in L2. Di- verse abilities reading in one’s own L1, distance between L1 and L2 orthographic systems, L2 vocabulary knowledge, cognitive measures, and metalinguistic awareness afect reading performance in L2 (Koda, 2010). Nonetheless, luency explains signiicant variance in reading ability (Hoover & Gough, 1990) and problems in acquiring word-level and contextual-level reading are the principal diiculties faced by children who encounter reading problems (Grabe, 2009). However, when reading in an L2, the distance between L1 and L2 writing sys- tems also plays a signiicant role in word recognition, and consequently on text comprehension (Koda, 2010).
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Rev. soc. bras. fonoaudiol.  vol.17 número1 en a19v17n1

Rev. soc. bras. fonoaudiol. vol.17 número1 en a19v17n1

According to them, in the bottom-up processing, attention and perception systems deal with information before the individual is fully conscious of it, whereas in the top-down processing, previous knowledge influences the way information are attended to, perceived and retrieved. An important component also described is the Executive Central, which acts with the listener’s motivation and goals, in order to manage cognitive resources involved in the task.

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An Analysis of Student Evaluations of Native and Non Native Korean Foreign Language Teachers

An Analysis of Student Evaluations of Native and Non Native Korean Foreign Language Teachers

The most common type of complaint from students was un- questionably related to excessive lecturing on the part of the native TA (about 70% of negative comments related to excessive lecturing, not enough time to talk.) Students often felt shorthanded when not given opportunities to discuss topics in class. (Although this contra- dicts the statements above related to difficult discussion topics, we should assume that students who requested more discussion in class are expecting discussion at an appropriate language level.) One stu- dent said of a native male TA, “I think if there were more opportuni- ties to speak instead of hearing him speak for most of the class, it would have been more beneficial.” Another complained about a na- tive female TA, “She was very enthusiastic about teaching, but activi- ties that actually involved speaking were sparse.” More than anything else, students mentioned discussion in the classroom, and the majori- ty of these complaints and requests were aimed towards native female TAs: “I did not like how little we got to speak as a class. My under- standing increased but I feel my speaking skills went down”; “More class participation would have been good”; “I wish we would have had more opportunities to have class debates and class discussions”; “mostly a lecture [with] little interaction”; “I think the only thing that could be improved is if she would have us speak more in class.” Fi- nally, one student wrote an extensive comment for a female TA that depicted her as an outstanding TA, but then ended with the sugges- tion that “more emphasis on free class discussion might help.”
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Türkçenin Yabancı Dil Olarak Öğretimi Ders Kitaplarında Kültür Aktarımı <br> Cultural Transmission Through Teaching Turkish As a Foreign Language Course Books

Türkçenin Yabancı Dil Olarak Öğretimi Ders Kitaplarında Kültür Aktarımı <br> Cultural Transmission Through Teaching Turkish As a Foreign Language Course Books

common. Fictional texts such as Hayatımda keşke olmasa (p. 34) which aim to provide information about grammar, as in the other topics of the book, are prevalent. The language level of these fictive texts is mostly suitable for the student’s level and include elements of Turkish culture such as oya (a type of lace), şalvar (a type of baggy trousers), çarık (a type of sandal), yemeni (a type of kerchief), kasket (a type of cap), etc. Proverbs and idioms such as “gözüne girmek," “çarçur etmek, ” “alttan almak, ” “içine atmak” and “ağaç yaşken eğilir” are provided commonly in this series instead of communication patterns. Expressions used in dialogs within units are the ones used in everyday life su ch as; “İndirim yapar mısınız?, ” (p. 46), “Ne yazık ki öyle, ” “Kolay gelsin, ” “Çok geçmiş olsun canım, ” (p. 32).
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A Brief Analysis of the Acrostic in Chinese Language in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

A Brief Analysis of the Acrostic in Chinese Language in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

Acrostic is a special phenomenon of the modern Chinese language. It is a combination of lexical and syntactical that across “vocabulary” and “grammar” categories. The morphemes can be combined and can also be separated by various form changes depending on its development. Acrostic is always been a crucial part in teaching Chinese language to foreigners and less developed than other parts of the teaching. This study used quantitative method to analyze the problems associated with the acrostic in teaching Chinese to foreigners. Source of the data was learners’ exercise and assignment. The discussion in this article was viewed from the perspective of the outside-oriented teaching, grouped into 3 main sections. The irst was in terms of the usability characteristics to the acrostic developments in the acrostic grammar study. The second, based on the results of the questionnaire regarding the use of acrostic, research analyzed students’ main mistakes and their causes. The third was to observe the condition of teaching acrostic. This research is expected to help teachers and learners of Mandarin understand and overcome the dificulties in learning acrostic.
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Can differences in the ability to recognize words cease to have an effect under certain reading conditions?

Can differences in the ability to recognize words cease to have an effect under certain reading conditions?

Rhetorical Competence. Rhetor- ical competence refers to the capacity for interpreting the cues contained in the text (anaphora, structural markers, etc.) to establish linear and global rela- tionships between the ideas. In an earlier study, we verified that this ca- pacity has a specific influence on com- prehension (Sánchez, Gonzalez, et al., 2002), as did Oakhill, Cain, and Bryant (2003) and Cain, Oakhill, and Bryant (2004) when they analyzed the effect on comprehension of different vari- ables, among them knowledge of text structure (a variable very close to the definition of rhetorical competence, as will be seen). In the present study, out of two tests designed for measuring rhetorical competence, we used only the one with the greater explanatory potential. In this test, the students were asked to read 10 texts and then write a continuation to each of them. In this way, we evaluated not the quality of the writing but simply whether stu- dents had interpreted the rhetorical markers correctly. For each of the 10 items, 1 point was awarded for a cor- rect response. The marking reliability of the test, as assessed by three inde- pendent judges, was .8.
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Bakhtiniana, Rev. Estud. Discurso  vol.11 número2

Bakhtiniana, Rev. Estud. Discurso vol.11 número2

According to the Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching & Applied Linguistics (2010), while learning a second language is a more general term, when contrasted with the term foreign language, it acquires a more specific meaning: unlike foreign language learning, second language learning occurs in a place where that language plays an important role in communication, commerce, education, etc. As an example of this definition, we could mention the following situations: when we take, as speakers of Brazilian Portuguese, an English course in an American university, English is studied (and approached) as a second language. However, if we study English at a language school or an undergraduate English program in Brazil, as the one offered by UFRN, English is studied (and approached) as a foreign language. [RICHARDS, J.; SCHMIDT, R. Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching & Applied Linguistics. 4.ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education, 2010.]
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Understanding Reading and Reading Difficulties Through Naming Speed Tasks

Understanding Reading and Reading Difficulties Through Naming Speed Tasks

integration. Some educators might resist choosing a single task, or they might choose one that would be impossible to model given all the unconstrained variables (e.g., reading a novel for pleasure). Neuroscience requires a controlled envi- ronment if the neural underpinnings are to be investigated. Although word reading is a key central component in most theories of reading development and reading difficulties (Kirby & Savage, 2008; Perfetti & Stafura, 2014), we did not choose it due to the complexity of the processes that are involved. Instead, we chose to focus on naming speed (NS) tasks as the basis for this review. In NS tasks, participants are required to name a set of simple stimuli (letters, digits, colors, or objects) as quickly and accurately as possible. NS performance predicts many aspects of concurrent and future reading ability (word reading and text comprehension, accu- racy and fluency) in typically developing readers and those with reading difficulties (Kirby, Georgiou, Martinussen, & Parrila, 2010; Norton & Wolf, 2012). We chose NS tasks for several reasons. First, they provide a better experimental control and a more simplified example of certain processes that are necessary during reading than actual reading tasks. Second, there is continuing disagreement about the mecha- nism by which NS relates to reading (e.g., Kirby et al., 2010), so examining NS may clarify this. Third, as we argue later, NS tasks activate the neural network involved in read- ing (and have been described as a “microcosm” of reading; Wolf & Bowers, 1999). We acknowledge that NS is only one of many possible tasks to study and that not all children with reading difficulties demonstrate poor NS performance. We see NS as a starting point, and as a convenient and useful basis for beginning to bridge the gaps among the fields of neuroscience, cognition, and education.
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Reading Comprehension and Self-Perceived School Performance in Elementary School

Reading Comprehension and Self-Perceived School Performance in Elementary School

Regarding the student’s perceived scholastic performance, the indices revealed that an expressive portion of the students attributesconcepts between Very bad and Average concepts to their ability to understand the contents and perform school tasks. Given the importance of the student’s belief in their ability to successfully perform school activities, these results are significant because they indicate the need for interventional measures, both governmental and psychopedagogical, that strengthen the student’s positive perceptions of themselves and of their capa- bilities. Regarding these results, it is also pertinent to point out that due to the inherent limitations of the exploratory research used in this study, further investigations are recommended that amplify the information collected and allow a more precise exami- nation of the results achieved.
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MOTIVATIONAL SUPPORT AND READING COMPREHENSION DEVELOPMENT IN BASIC EDUCATION STUDENTS

MOTIVATIONAL SUPPORT AND READING COMPREHENSION DEVELOPMENT IN BASIC EDUCATION STUDENTS

The aim of this paper is to show the importance of motivational support in the learning process. More precisely, it reports important aspects of an educational intervention aimed at improving learning comprehension strategies of Basic Education fourth grade students. The intervention, based on the Cognitive Psychology and Information Process Theories, focused on the teaching of cognitive and metacognitive learning strategies to the students and consisted of seven sessions of one hour and a half of duration for two months. The intervention also included motivational support and study guidance in every session. Results reinforce the idea that school success can be increased when cognitive, metacognitive and motivation to learn are strengthened and taken into account in the psycho pedagogical practices.
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Relations between Reading Comprehension and Metalinguistic Abilities Psychological

Relations between Reading Comprehension and Metalinguistic Abilities Psychological

We consider that reading comprehension is a fundamental skill in the school context, this study aims to examine the relations between it and the metallinguistic abilities - morphological awareness and metatextual awareness. Secondly, it was intended to explore possible differences of the constructs in the variables gender and school year. A total of 71 students from elementary school I (2nd to 5th grade) from a municipal school located in the interior of São Paulo participated in the study. The instruments used were two texts by Cloze, the Morphological Consciousness Tasks and the Metatextual Consciousness Assessment Questionnaire. The results pointed to the identification of positive correlations, of moderate to strong magnitude between the constructs and the presentation of higher averages in the abilities evaluated through the advancement of the school years. We suggest the continuity of studies aimed at the investigation of reading comprehension and metalinguistic skills, extending to the semantic and syntactic consciousness.
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A dimensão sociopragmática em exames de segunda língua : uma análise sobre a avaliação  da competência pragmática no CELPE-BRAS

A dimensão sociopragmática em exames de segunda língua : uma análise sobre a avaliação da competência pragmática no CELPE-BRAS

Assuming that Celpe-Bras (Certificado de Proficiência em Língua Portuguesa para Estrangeiros) is an exam of communicative and interactionist nature (LOPEZ et al., 2019); that Pragmatics is an element taken into account by the most influential theories about communicative competence (CANALE; SWAIN, 1983; CELCE-MURCIA et al., 1995; BACHMAN, 1990); and that Sociopragmatics is the social dimension of Pragmatics (LEECH, 1983); this thesis aims to analyze the way sociopragmatics competence is evaluated on the exam. The literature review was done based on theories on Pragmatics, pragmatic competence and on the evaluation of the pragmatic competence. The understanding of Sociopragmatics adopted in this thesis reflects the view of the document “Orientações Curriculares para o Ensino Médio” (BRASIL, 2006), in which it is considered the dimension of language related, among other aspects, to interlocutors, social roles, purposes and to the environment in which the subjects are engaged during the interaction. From this perspective, the document analysis - qualitative and interpretive - was done based on Celpe-Bras’ tasks and on the correction parameters of the Written Part of the exam. The corpus of research was constituted of 40 tasks, and of the document regarding the Celpe-Bras` Written Part Evaluation Parameters. The tasks analysis was focused on these aspects: the contextualization of the tasks (in relation to interlocution, participants roles, size of imposition, social distance and social power) and the
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Metaphor-related figurative language comprehension in clinical populations: a critical review

Metaphor-related figurative language comprehension in clinical populations: a critical review

define concepts are the same ones that do not assume any theoretical perspective. Many studies in our sample come from researchers with clinical backgrounds and only describe previous findings, not framing them or discussing their own findings under any theoretical account. Therefore, a possible explanation for the scarcity of metaphor-related definitions and theoretical approaches may be the lack of familiarity with the extensive work on figurative language in linguistics. Moreover, the fact that many medical concepts are so well delineated and established that everybody is in agreement on them, may lead scholars from medical backgrounds to underestimate the need of working definitions and theories concerning metaphor- related concepts. While there is little debate nowadays surrounding the definition of Williams syndrome or conflicting theories about it, there are plenty of definitions about metaphor, hot debates on how they are processed, and diametrically opposed theories on this theme. In fact, even for scholars who are more knowledgeable about several traditional and contemporary theories on the subject, it is difficult to conciliate theoretical considerations on the structure and processing of each metaphor-related phenomenon with empirical evidence brought by a myriad of experiments. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that many of the articles in our sample present their findings in comparison to previous studies, but these do not discuss them in terms of any theoretical account, nor do they, in most cases, clearly present hypotheses to be tested or justify why alternative explanations for their findings should be rejected.
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Rev. CEFAC  vol.18 número6

Rev. CEFAC vol.18 número6

Methods: 29 children were assessed, nominated by their teachers for not having any academic learning problems - Group I (GI) and with oral and/or writing communication disabilities, who formed the Group II (GII). The children’s ages luctuated from 9 years to 11 years and seven months and they were in fourth and ifth grade of elementary school. The assessment was composed by listening comprehension tests, syntactic and morphosyntactic awareness, reading average and accuracy and reading comprehension. Were used for the statistical analysis: non-parametric Mann-Whitney test for sample characterization and comparison of patients with and without problems and Spearman’s correlation coeficient, used to mea- sure the degree of association between the variables in each group.
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Contributions of speech-language therapy to the integration of individuals with Down syndrome in the workplace

Contributions of speech-language therapy to the integration of individuals with Down syndrome in the workplace

Purpose: To analyze the contributions of speech-language therapy in the integration of young individuals with Down syndrome (DS) into the workplace, with reference to their professionalization. Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to eight undergraduate students (tutors) who participated in a project with individuals with DS, five mothers of individuals with DS, and five employees from the institution in which the present study was conducted. The questionnaire assessed the communication, memory, behavior, social interaction, autonomy and independence of the participants with DS, called “trainees”. The trainees were employed in one of five routine work sectors at the university that conducted the present study. The data collected in this descriptive and cross-sectional study were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. The Research Ethics Committee of the affiliated institute approved the project. Results: Mothers and tutors rated the trainees’ language skills as “good”. However, their ratings differed from those of the participating employees. After the trainees with DS were placed in a work environment, significant changes were observed in their communication and autonomy. There was no improvement in the trainees’ independence, but after training noticeable changes were observed in their social behavior and autonomy. Conclusion: Speech-language therapy during vocational training led to positive changes in the social behavior of individuals with DS, as evidenced by an increase in their autonomy and communication.
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Phonological working memory and reading in students with dyslexia

Phonological working memory and reading in students with dyslexia

Among the processing of phonological components, the short- term and working memories were assessed by tasks of repetition of pseudowords (Cunha and Capellini, 2009) and repetition of digits in direct and reverse order (Wechsler, 1991). The pseu- dowords are linguistic items consisting of one to six syllables of extension based on Portuguese language patterns with no seman- tic correspondence. The list is made up of 24 items, The student’s performance was analyzed by two different scores: (a) the received score corresponded to the number of syllables in the correctly repeated item, up to 50% of correct answers in the longest exten- sion reached. For example, the student scored five when he or she repeated correctly up to 50% of the items presented with five syllables; (b) total number of correct answers.
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