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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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Keys to Chinese character writing (text + video)
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Keys to Chinese Character Writing is a self-paced tutorial text plus video designed to address common problems students face when learning to write Chinese characters. Its systematic instruction in Chinese characters covers the principles of character structure, the basic strokes, and proper stroke order. The most frequently used radicals are thoroughly covered, providing solid grounding for dictionary work.

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Korean language and culture materials
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These materials were developed as a lightning-quick introduction to Korean language and to the intricacies of personal interaction with the Korean hosts of a group of American scholars doing a six-week study tour in Seoul. The twelve 45-minute lessons include an introduction to the writing system. These materials are intended to serve as a model for developing instructional materials for similar groups, whose goal is not necessarily language study, and who are struggling with sudden and total immersion in a foreign culture.

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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.

LRCs create language learning and teaching materials, offer professional development opportunities for language instructors, and conduct and disseminate research on foreign language learning. All LRCs engage in efforts that enable U.S. citizens to better work, serve, and lead.

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