1. Developing and validating written and oral proficiency tests for second language Japanese

Project duration:

6 Weeks commencing early December, 2021

Between 20-36 hours per week


Overview: In this project, we will construct and validate two proficiency measures for second language Japanese that can be readily used as a subtask for experimental studies in second language acquisition.

Background: In studies in second language acquisition, independently measured learner proficiency is considered a moderator variable, and thus is crucial and plays an important role in the interpretation of results. However, selecting a proficiency measure that is valid and reliable is not a simple matter; we often observe tasks that have not been validated. The absence of a valid proficiency indicator, especially in Japanese casts limitations to future SLA research.

Approaches: We construct and validate a written task and an oral task in Japanese. We will examine the sensitivity of these measures to discriminate learners with varying proficiency levels

Summer 2021: Students’ work will contribute to a larger project on Japanese proficiency testing, which has launched in early 2020. A subset of the project was completed by the student scholars in the Summer Research Program in 2020, and in the Winter Research Program in 2021. The work to be done in this summer will serve as an important aspect of the larger project; Specifically, student scholars will work on data collections, analysing responses, and preparing for conference presentations and manuscripts

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

Student scholars can gain a wealth of knowledge in terms of technical and analytical skills necessary in conducting research in applied linguistics and language testing. Students will work closely with supervisors (Drs. Mitsugi and Iwashita) to learn the data collection procedures and data analysis techniques utilised in language testing. We are planning for conference presentation and manuscripts. Student scholars will have an opportunity to learn the process of research disseminations. Student Scholars will make contacts with other postgraduate students and academic staff members who work in surrounding research agendas.

Suitable for:

  • UQ enrolled students only
  • Have postgraduate-level training in Applied Linguistics or equivalent.
  • Preferably have taken the language testing course or SLAT 7835 and/or SLAT 7855
  • Native or near native level proficiency in Japanese
  • Highly organized and with a strong attention to details

Number of participants required: 1

Further information: 

Please contact Dr Sanako Mitsugi via email