This paper firstly reviews what are regarded as the preferable ways to measure and analyse conceptual variables such as language proficiency, motivation, attitude, strategy use and so on. Since it is difficult to measure such concepts using only a few indexes, many observed variables are used for that purpose. The Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), which is a kind of multivariate analysis, can be used to assume latent variables (factors) behind observed ones. Here, attention should be paid as each solution offered by EFA is not absolute and is subject to variation according to the way the EFA is conducted. Secondly, this paper investigated five nation-wide journals (ARELE, JACET Bulletin, JALT Journal, JLTA Journal, Language Laboratory), which have been published in Japan and have broadly focused on language teaching and learning for these five years (from 1995 to 1999). All 15 EFAs conducted in them are analysed and described according to the method set out above. Finally, points to be aware of for further study are noted on the basis of the description of these five years' research tendency.
JLTA Journal 3 (0), 119-126, 2000
Japan Language Testing Association