Parents’ Involvement in High-Stakes Language Assessment: A Review of Test Impact on Parent Behavior

  •  Jing Zhang    


This paper reviews a total of 20 empirical research studies concerning parents’ behavior under the context of high-stakes language assessment, aiming to reveal the impact of the assessment on parents’ behavior. The results show that (1) parents are typically involved in high-stakes language assessment process; (2) their involvement practice includes general (such as hiring tutors for children) and extreme involvement behavior (such as participating in movement against high-stakes testing); (3) no unanimous conclusion is reached concerning the effectiveness of parents’ involvement in high-stakes language assessment; (4) multiple factors that affect parents’ involvement in high-stakes language assessment are identified, including parents’ perceptions of tests, their educational background, and the time they spend with their children. This study concludes that tests might influence the ways parents are involved in children’s education. However, not all parents might be influenced by testing, and testing might have a positive impact on some parents but a negative impact on others. This synthesis has several practical implications. Firstly, it indicates that parents’ involvement behavior in the context of high-stakes language assessment deserves to be further investigated. Secondly, it points that various intervention programs should be provided for parents to help them better support their children’s learning and test preparation. The paper also offers several suggestions for future research.  

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