2011 Tomohisa Machida - IDEALS @ Illinois - University of Illinois at ...

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Elementary Education in the Graduate College of the. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011. Urbana, Illinois. Doctoral Committee: Associate Professor Daniel James Walsh, Chair. Associate Professor Peter Scott Golato.
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© 2011 Tomohisa Machida



DISSERTATION Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Elementary Education in the Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011

Urbana, Illinois Doctoral Committee: Associate Professor Daniel James Walsh, Chair Associate Professor Peter Scott Golato Assistant Professor Randall W Sadler Professor Arlette I Willis Visiting Assistant Professor Hugh Bishop

ii Abstract English language education officially started in Japanese elementary schools in 2009. Homeroom teachers, whether experienced or not, are responsible for teaching the subject to students. Additionally, teachers are often required to team-teach with a native English speaker. It is plausible that Japanese teachers are anxious about teaching English. This study investigated Japanese teachers’ English anxiety and its sources. Teachers’ anxietycoping strategies were also examined. English anxiety includes (a) anxiety about a teacher’s own English proficiency and (b) anxiety about teaching English. There were 133 Japanese elementary school teachers participating in the present study, as well one native English teacher, and three in-service teacher trainers. The Teacher Foreign Language Anxiety Scale (Horwitz, 2008), the Situational Teaching Anxiety Scale, follow-up interviews, and a survey were used in this study. Data showed that 77.4% of teachers were anxious about their own English proficiency, and 90.2% of them were anxious about teaching English. The sources of anxiety included lack of experience and training for teaching English and lack of confidence in English communication. Teachers experienced two phases of anxiety, depending on their English teaching experience. The study also has educational implications for less-experienced teachers who have to understand that there are two phases of anxiety. Furthermore, support by the city board of education is important for diminishing teachers’ anxiety. Keywords: English language education, anxiety, elementary school, teacher


To my wife, Emi, and son, Taiga

iv Acknowledgement I would never have been able to finish my dissertation without the guidance of my committee members, help from teachers, and support from my family and wife. I am heartily thankful to my advisor, Dr. Daniel Walsh, for his excellent guidance, caring, and support, and encouragement for me to complete my doctoral program for these past three years. His advice about the Japanese way of thinking helped me to develop background for this research. He also gave valuable assistance to my wife and me for raising our son here in the United States. His support provided me with excellent opportunities for successfully completing my research and raising my son at the same time. I would like to express my deep gratitude to Dr. Hugh Bishop for guiding my research for the past few years. Without his suggestions and comments to drafts of my dissertations, I would not have completed writing my dissertation this semester. I would also like to thank Dr. Golato, Dr. Sadler, and Dr. Willis to participate in my final defense and to give me ample advice for the improvement of my dissertation. I would like to express my appreciation to Ms. Akita, and to elementary schools teachers and teacher trainers in Tokyo. They taught me about elementary school English language education and participated in my research in a most positive way. I would like to thank my parents and my brother and sister, who have always supported me and encouraged me with their best wishes. Finally, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my wife, Emi. Without her support and love, I would not have been able to finish my doctoral program. She was always cheering me up and encouraging me to finish my dissertation.

v Table of Contents Chapter 1: Introduction…………………………………