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Japanese placement tests at the University of Hawai‘i: Applying item response theory
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First-rate placement procedures are important for effective teaching and learning in any language program because they help create classes that are relatively homogeneous in terms of the language proficiency of the students. The main purpose of this study was to investigate how effectively and efficiently the current norm-referenced Japanese Placement Test (JPT) battery for the Japanese language program (three multiple-choice tests and essay test) at UHM separates the incoming students of Japanese into different course levels. The XCalibretm computer software program (Assessment Systems, 1997) was used to estimate the discrimination, difficulty, and guessing parameters for each item on each multiple-choice test. Based on these IRT analyses, we were able to suggest that all three multiple-choice tests be reduced in length while maintaining the same, if not better, level of reliability. Additional analyses of the interrater reliability of the essay tests using the Spearman-Brown prophecy formula led us to suggest that the essay test might be made more efficient by using two raters instead of three. The pattern of correlation coefficients between the tests indicates a certain degree of convergent validity for all the tests in this study, especially the subscales within the essay test. At the same time, when factor analysis was applied, support for divergent validity was also found based on language skills and testing method.

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Japanese language needs analysis 1998-1999
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This report presents the results of the first stage of an on-going curriculum development project aimed at creating performance based tests for the first and second year Japanese language courses at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. That first stage is a needs analysis of the learning needs of first and second year Japanese language students as perceived by the students and their teachers. This introductory section will lay the groundwork by discussing a number of relevant issues including the following: (a) the community background (including the vitality of the Japanese in Hawai`i), (b) the Japanese Language Program and the students at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, and (c) a literature review on needs analysis (including subsections on needs analysis in general education, needs analysis in ESL curriculum development, and needs analysis in Japanese curriculum development).

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Identity and second language learning: Local Japanese learning Japanese in Hawai`i
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This is an ethnographic case study of four Japanese American university students studying the Japanese language in Hawai`i. Drawing on Rampton's (1990) concepts of language expertise, inheritance, and affiliation, this study investigates the role of the Japanese language in the construction of the students' identities. Moving beyond Rampton's discussion, the careful examination of the relationship between the individual students and their study of Japanese provides a more accurate understanding of these concepts. The findings reveal that the students' language inheritance and affiliation, which are understood as their "continuity" with other Japanese Americans in Hawai`i and their "connection" to the language and culture in Japan respectively, have different significance for each student. It is suggested that, by paying sufficient attention to these two aspects, which are both important factors in the construction of the students' identities, teachers can integrate the National Standards for Japanese into their classroom more successfully.

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Jan
2020
23 - 26
Arizona
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2020 International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence

Seventh International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence. Internationalizing the Curriculum: The Role of Intercultural Competence on January 23-26, 2020, in Tucson, Arizona, and online. Invited Presentations: Adriana Diaz (University of Queensland – Australia) Marianne Larsen (Western University – Canada) Sharon Stein (University of British Columbia – Canada) This biennial event brings together researchers and practitioners across languages, levels, and settings to discuss and share research, theory, and best practices, and to foster meaningful professional dialog on issues related to the development and assessment of Intercultural Competence, especially in a foreign or second language. The 2020 ICC conference will take stock of current models for internationalizing curricula as well as the genealogies of these discussions. The organizers are interested in accounts of best practices as well as critical examinations of current trends and conceptual think pieces around what it might mean to internationalize higher education. Proposal submission deadline: May 31, 2019

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undergraduate internship at NASA Johnson Space Center’s Language Education Center (JLEC)

The Duke University Slavic and Eurasian Language Resource Center (SEELRC) is pleased to announce a call for applications for a weeklong internship (June, 2020) through TechTrans International Inc. at the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Language Education Center (JLEC) in Houston, TX. The JLEC teaches Russian to members of the NASA Astronaut Corps who need to acquire a high level of Russian language proficiency in both everyday language and in relevant technical language. We are looking for candidates with backgrounds in Russian language and culture; those with backgrounds in STEM-related fields are especially encouraged to apply. The intern’s activities will include, but not be limited to: • working with the JLEC Russian-language teaching group • gaining experience in a variety of areas specific to the JLEC’s activities • The intern will have the opportunity to: • Observe and, possibly, participate in providing basic and advanced Russian language training for astronauts • Gain experience in the primary areas of the JLEC’s work in preparing American crew members to live and train in Russian The SEELRC/TTI internship provides: • funding for intern’s lodging and some local transportation • access to the JLEC, its staff, and some JLEC students • an overview of TTI as a company that specializes in language services Requirements: • currently enrolled in an undergraduate program pursuing a Russian major or area concentration • minimum of 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent) • indication of career interest in teaching Russian • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident • minimum Russian language proficiency level of ILR (1) or CEFR/TRKI B1 • availability to work full-time for one week (40 hours) during June 2020 Application Process and Timeline: • If you are interested in this opportunity, please write to c.lewis@duke.edu by February 15, 2020 • Electronic applications deadline: March 6, 2020 • Finalists will have a 10-20 minute phone interview with the selection committee in both English and Russian (end of March, 2020) • Decision announced by April 15, 2020

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2020
29
North Carolina
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6th Annual Olympiada of Spoken Russian, Carolinas District

Participants may earn gold, silver, or bronze medals in recognition of their proficiency in Russian conversation, poetry recitation, and Russian civilization at various levels of study. In addition, every third or fourth year outstanding contestants at regional ACTR Olympiada contests have the opportunity to participate in an international Olympiada contest that takes place in Moscow and brings together winners of Russian Olympiada contests from throughout the world to compete for international medals and engage in a rich program of cultural activities.

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In 1990, the Department of Education established the first Language Resource Centers (LRCs) at U.S. universities in response to the growing national need for expertise and competence in foreign languages. Now, twenty-five years later, Title VI of the Higher Education Act supports sixteen LRCs, creating a national network of resources to promote and improve the teaching and learning of foreign languages.

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