Japanese Language Learning and the Rasch Model

  • Kazuyo Taguchi
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 4)


This study attempted to evaluate outcome of foreign language teaching by measuring the reading and writing proficiency achieved by students studying Japanese as a second language in six different year levels from year 8 to the first of university in the classroom setting. In order to measure linguistic gains across six years, it was necessary, firstly, to define operationally what reading and writing proficiency was; and secondly, to create measuring instruments, and, thirdly, to identify? suitable statistical analysis procedures.

The study sought to answer the following research questions: Can reading and writing performance in Japanese as a foreign language be measured?; and Does reading and writing performance in Japanese form a single dimension on a scale?

The participants of this project were drawn from one independent school and two universities, while the instruments used were the routine tests produced and marked by the teachers. The estimated test scores of the students calculated indicated that the answers to all research questions are in the affirmative. In spite of some unresolved issues and limitations the results of the study indicated a possible direction and methods to commence an evaluation phase of foreign language teaching. The study also identified the Rasch model as not only robust measuring tools but also as capable of identifying grave pedagogical issues that should not be ignored.

Key words

linguistic performance learning outcomes person estimates item estimates measures of growth pedagogical implications 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuyo Taguchi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of AdelaideAdelaide
  2. 2.Flinders UniversityAdelaide

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