日本語OPI研究会

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Message from Dr. Elvira Swender

As ACTFL prepares for the 20th Anniversary of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and the OPI Tester Training Program, we often marvel at the role that proficiency testing has played in changing the way language teachers understand, teach, and assess languages. Today the ACTFL Proficiency Testing and Tester Training Program is well established in both the United States and abroad. Thousands of language educators have participated in OPI training and many of these have continued in the process to become ACTFL certified testers. Today, there are approximately 300 currently certified ACTFL testers in 17 languages. Of this total number, approximately half are teachers of Japanese!

Under the careful mentoring of Professor Seiichi Makino of Princeton University, and with the cooperation and sponsorship of ALC Press, Inc., Tokyo, more than 40 ACTFL OPI Workshops have been held in Japan in the past ten years. These workshops, held in Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka areas, have made OPI training accessible to hundreds of Japan-based teachers of Japanese. The result is the largest number of ACTFL certified testers in any one language within an individual country. There are currently more than 100 certified testers of Japanese in Japan, as compared to some 50 certified testers of Japanese within the United States.

So great is the interest in and enthusiasm for OPI testing in Japan, that several OPI Research Groups, consisting of certified testers, have been formed. Each district has now an OPI Research Group that meets regularly for norming sessions and discussion of OPI-related research projects. ACTFL is pleased to recognize the importance of the Japanese Research Associations and to acknowledge their contribution to the body of information related to oral proficiency testing. The activities of the OPI Research Groups are a reminder to all ACTFL testers of the close relationship between excellence in research and excellence in language testing and teaching.

Dr. Elvira Swender
Director, ACTFL Professional Programs
September 20, 2002