Shiken: Past and future

Article appearing in Shiken 24.1 (June 2020) pp. 22-36.

David Allen
Ochanomizu University

This article presents a history of Shiken since it was first published in 1997 until 2019, followed by suggestions for areas of future research in assessment to which the publication may be well suited to contribute. In the historical overview, data is presented about the following: the origins, titles, editors, and distribution; the article types; the contents of research articles and the design and methodologies they have employed. Regarding research article content, four prominent themes were identified: mass market tests, entrance exams, statistics, and validity/reliability. Regarding design and methods, research articles have tended to focus on English language tests with university students in Japan, while utilizing test and/or instrument data and quantitative methods of analysis. Recommendations for future research areas include investigations into the validity of test interpretations and uses of four-skills, vocabulary and other tests used in Japan, and language assessment literacy. Recommendations for future research design and methods include focusing more on a range of test stakeholders; various contexts, such as pre-tertiary education; and the use of qualitative and mixed methods.

Keywords: Shiken, TEVAL, newsletter history, journal history, four-skills tests, entrance exams

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