Under the direction of Dr. Kimi Kondo-Brown, the NRCEA testing project began initial data collection and testing in three areas, oral, listening, and reading proficiencies.
In March 2007, a total of eight Japanese teachers (four full time instructors, two lecturers, and two GAs) and two graduate students participated in a four day intensive ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) workshop. All except one completed the required OPIs for the practice round and are in the process of certification. Once certified as OPI testers, the group will be able to conduct departmental oral assessment activities. Plans for Summer/Fall 2008 include randomly selecting students from four sections of JPN 202/212 to have OPIs. All OPIs will be conducted by the in-house certified testers.
Thanks to excellent coordination and teacher cooperation, a total of 164 students from all JPN 100/101/111 classes (approximately 95% of the students enrolled in these courses) took the listening pretest and language learning survey in Spring 2007. Detailed background information on these students was also collected and the students will be tracked for the next two years to assess program impact in terms of their listening ability. Those students still enrolled at the end of their fourth semester will then be asked to take the same test and survey again. The survey and background data will be used to interpret their score gains.
In Fall 2007, the Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP) reading test was administered to 175 first-semester students (101 and 100 students). Detailed background and language learning information from the student participants were also collected to properly interpret data. The test will then be administered again to all fourth-semester Japanese language students in Spring 2009 to examine how the reading skills of the students progressed over the two years. Already, considerable differences in reading ability exist among the students.