The Washback of the New Writing Tasks in China’s National Matriculation English Test

  •  Chongni Yu    


The reform of National College Entrance Examination in Zhejiang Province, China has aroused widespread attention since it was released in 2014. It is notable that new English writing test types were adopted in the English subtest. The continuation task and summary writing become a challenge as well as a promoter for English writing teaching and learning. This study aims to explore the washback effect of the reformed English writing test on the teaching and learning of English writing in high school in Zhejiang, China. Through the method of questionnaire and interview with both teacher and student participants, it was found that the new types of writing test, especially the continuation task, are better at reflecting students’ actual English proficiency and improving students’ writing and reading ability, compared with the writing tests before the reform. However, the study also demonstrated that some negative effects might be caused due to practical issues. It is expected that this study will shed some light on the teaching and learning of English writing in high school and become a reference for any further educational reforms in Zhejiang and other provinces in China.

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