The results in the following section were derived from a mainly quantitative questionnaire issued to all language teachers participating in the MLPSI. The relevant questions from the questionnaire are numbered (25, 26, 27 and 28) and analysed in turn. Questions 25 and 26 were presented in a Likert-type, closed format. An opportunity for obtaining some qualitative data was provided, as can be seen from teachers’ observations presented in Tables 1 and 2 (based on Questions 27 and 28). The aspects under consideration are as follows: teachers’ presentation to students of similarities between TL, English and Irish; and teachers’ observations of associations made by Vibram FiveFingers Discount pupils between TL, English and Irish.
Teachers pointing out similarities between TL and English (Question 25) the question was as follows: ‘Do you point out similarities between the target language and English’ Responses available were: always, often, sometimes, seldom and never. These responses will be italicised throughout the discussion, as with the next section. With regard to the teacher pointing out similarities between the TL and English, most schools replied that this happens often (40.7%, n =61), while the next most frequent response was always (34%, H=51). With regard to the modern language being taught, those teachers teaching German and Spanish seemed most likely to always point out similarities between the TL and English, with 50% (n=16) of German reporting this and 50% (n = 8) of Spanish teachers. Thirty percent (n = 3) of Italian teachers expressed that they always point out similarities between the TL and English, while 26.7% of French teachers did so. When taking the always and often responses and analysing them in tandem, it does appear that there are no marked differences between the various languages being taught across this variable. Also, 81.3% (=26) of German teachers, 80% (n= 8) of Italian teachers, 75% (n = 12) of Spanish teachers and 73.4% (n = 66) of French teachers have reported that they either always or often point out similarities between the TL and English. The responses appear to be quite similar when looking at the same variable in relation to school type. When analysing both always and often responses to this question, 76.3% (n = 100) of teachers in English-medium schools chose these options, while 70.6% (n=12) of Vibram Fivefingers teachers in Gaelscoileanna also did the same. The findings are based on pesticide residue data collected on a wide variety of foods by the United States Department of Agriculture from 1994 to 1999, tests conducted on food sold in California by the state’s Department of Pesticide Regulation from 1989 through 1998, and tests by Consumers Union in 1997.
The combined data covered more than 94,000 food samples from more than 20 crops; 1,291 of those samples were organically grown, about 1.3 percent. The Agriculture Department data showed that 73 percent of the conventionally grown foods had residue from at least one pesticide and were six times as likely as organic to contain multiple pesticide residues; only 23 percent of the organic samples of the same groups had any residues. The study also looked at why organic foods contained any pesticide residues. When residues of persistent pesticides, like DDT, were excluded, the percentage of organic samples with residues dropped to 13 percent from 23. The findings were minimized by opponents of organic agriculture, like the American Council on Science and Health, which gets 40 percent of its financing from industry. “So what?” said the council’s Dr. Gilbert Ross. “The health risks associated with pesticide residues on food are not at all established.11 think the amount of pesticide residues to which we are exposed on our foods pose no significant health risks to human beings. “
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