A Review of the Washback of English Language Tests on Classroom Teaching

  •  Qi Kuang    


Scholars have long recognized the Washback effect of English language tests on English teaching inside the classroom. However, the lack of scholarly reports in this area is also nonnegligible. Therefore, the present study intends to review some empirical researches that focus on the washback of some English language tests on different aspects of classroom teaching, including the washback on course content, teaching materials, and teaching activities. Both positive and negative washback are found on these aspects and can be attributed to a number of factors, including differences in features of the test content, differences in tests’ coordination to course syllabus, differences in teachers’ adoption of teaching methods, etc. The final discussion recognizes the complicated mechanism of washback of the English language test on classroom teaching and serves to bring out some scholarly and pedagogical implications. On the one hand, future studies could focus more on how to bring out positive washback of English language tests on classroom teaching. On the other hand, pedagogical practices could take advantage of the latest scholarly findings to maximize the efficacy of the aforementioned positive washback.

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