Washback in Language Testing: Research Contexts and Methods

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Liying Cheng, Yoshinori Watanabe, WITH Andy Curtis
Taylor & Francis, Jan 27, 2004 - Education - 260 pages
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Washback refers to the influence of language testing on teaching and learning. This volume, at the important intersection of language testing and teaching practices, presents theoretical, methodological, and practical guidance for current and future washback studies.

In the field of language testing, researchers' major interest has traditionally been focused on issues and solving problems inherent in tests in order to increase their reliability and validity. However, the washback effect goes well beyond the test itself to include factors, such as curriculum, teacher and learner behaviors inside and outside the classroom, their perceptions of the test, and how test scores are used. Only recently have researchers started to empirically investigate the phenomenon of washback. This volume of such research serves two essential purposes by:

*providing an overview of the complexity of washback and the various contextual factors entangled within testing, teaching, and learning; and
*presenting empirical studies from around the world that offer insights into the effects of washback in specific educational contexts and models of research on which future studies can be based.

The extensive use of test scores for various educational and social purposes in society nowadays makes the washback effect a high-interest phenomenon in the day-to-day educational activities of teachers, researchers, program coordinators/directors, policymakers, and others in the field of education. Washback in Language Testing: Research Contexts and Methods is a valuable resource for those who are interested in the application of findings to actual teaching and learning situations or conduct washback research in their own contexts, including educational and psychological testing experts, as well as alternative assessment people in all fields, and for policy- and decision-makers in educational and testing organizations.

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About the author (2004)

Liying Cheng is an Associate Professor and a Director of the Assessment and Evaluation Group (AEG) at the Faculty of Education, Queen's University. Her primary research interests are the impact of large-scale testing of instruction, and the relationship between assessment and instruction in EFL/ESL classrooms.

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