This article reports on the practice of listening quizzes using Moodle that has been done in the Japanese language programme at Oxford Brookes University. It discusses the usefulness of the virtual learning environment (VLE) and the listening ability of upper-beginner Japanese language learners. The quizzes were carried out in an upper-beginner course and a total of 112 students participated. The study used the results generated by Moodle to analyse how students coped with the quizzes. It also analysed them with the results of the listening tests and that of the final examination, which were employed as indications of the students’ listening ability and their grammatical and lexical competence respectively. The findings showed that a quarter of the students’ listening ability had not improved despite the fact that they were doing the quizzes regularly. It also showed that for one third of the students, their grammatical and lexical competence was higher than their listening ability and that many of them had not done the quizzes regularly. From the above findings and drawing upon previous studies, this study suggests that listening instructions focusing on listening strategies are necessary for students struggling with listening, in particular, for those whose listening skills do not show as much improvement as would be expected given their regular practice. It also claims that VLE is an effective tool, not only for monitoring how a large number of students cope with listening tasks, but also for supporting their autonomous learning and the teaching of listening strategies.
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\Department of English and Modern Languages
Year of publication: 2016Date of RADAR deposit: 2016-08-17