The present research is a preliminary survey before performing an experimental study, aiming to investigate the relationship between listening anxiety and listening proficiency, and what listening instruction these learners had been given. The participants were 142 university-level Japanese learners of English who completed a questionnaire about listening anxiety based on Elkhafaifi (2005), and about listening instruction based on Vandergrift’s (1997, 2008) listening strategy inventory. Listening proficiency was measured by the TOEIC (IP). The quantitative data showed (a) that participants’ listening anxiety and proficiency level were negatively correlated, (b) that listening
anxiety could be understood as a multifaceted concept, and (c) that some strategy instructions would reduce or induce the anxiety experienced by foreign language listeners. The results suggested the need for a more organized questionnaire to measure listening anxiety, so that teachers understand students’ affective problems and can incorporate strategies to address these problems in their instruction on a daily basis.
Teachers and teacher educators often look to the course of study (CoS) for elementary foreign languages (MEXT, 2008) for guidelines on how to conduct the newly implemented curriculum for 5th and 6th grade students. In comparison with other levels of education, the current CoS places a greater emphasis on students’ affect and motivation. In order to provide teachers with a clear theoretical framework for improving students’ motivation, this paper seeks to use the self-determination theory (SDT) of motivation to supplement the course of study. Recognizing connections between the larger motivational perspective offered by SDT and the practices and principles outlined in the CoS, teachers and researchers may develop strategies for building learning motivation and positive affect for the foreign language.
Despite the inclusion of several variability-related contents into the secondary school mathematics curriculum by recent reforms in many countries including Venezuela, studies on the professional competence to teach such contents held by mathematics teachers are lacking in the literature. In order to help close this research gap, a novel framework for statistical knowledge for teaching (SKT) is introduced, as well as a survey instrument developed on its basis, designed to assess the eight dimensions of professional competencies for teaching variability-related contents identified by this study: the six aspects of teachers’ professional knowledge comprising SKT, teachers’ conceptions of variability, and teachers’ beliefs about statistics teaching and learning. In this article, an analysis of the answers collected from 53 in-service secondary school mathematics teachers working at the metropolitan area of Caracas, Venezuela, is carried out, focusing on teachers’ common content knowledge, knowledge of content and curriculum, and conceptions of variability. Finally, some interesting findings, trends and implications yielded from the data analysis are discussed.