The Impact of Language Testing Washback in Promoting Teaching and Learning Processes: A Theoretical Review

  •  Faten Alqahtani    


Existing literature indicates that assessment is a critical aspect of teaching and learning language; the outcomes of testing are vital. The history of assessment can be traced back to when exams primarily served two significant purposes in China: choosing candidates for admission into government offices and preventing corruption. Washback as a concept can be traced back to the 1990s. It was advanced by Alderson and Wall in 1993 as a force that obliges test-takers and tutors to engage in particular tasks or activities due to exams. In this regard, washback is an impact that a test has on the teaching and learning process. High-stakes exams like the LOBELA demonstrate the significance of washback in the Saudi English-as-a-foreign-language context. This paper explores the mechanisms through which washback occurs in teaching and learning processes, ways to determine its validity, and different types of washback. It further highlights the impact of washback in promoting teaching and learning processes, as well as the role it plays in policy development in the educational system. 

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