Closing the Gap: Automated Distractor Generation in Japanese Language Testing


Recent advances in natural language processing have increased interest in automatic question generation, particularly in education (e.g., math, biology, law, medicine, and languages) due to its efficiency in assessing comprehension. Specifically, multiple-choice questions have become popular, especially in standardized language proficiency tests. However, manually creating high-quality tests is time-consuming and challenging. Distractor generation, a critical aspect of multiple-choice question creation, is often overlooked, yet it plays a crucial role in test quality. Generating appropriate distractors requires ensuring they are incorrect but related to the correct answer (semantically or contextually), are grammatically correct, and of similar length to the target word. While various languages have seen research in automatic distractor generation, Japanese has received limited attention. This paper addresses this gap by automatically generating cloze tests, including distractors, for Japanese language proficiency tests, evaluating the generated questions’ quality, difficulty, and preferred distractor types, and comparing them to human-made questions through automatic and manual evaluations.

Education Sciences