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Critical Review of Eight Experimental Studies on wash-Back : in English Language Testing

Abstract

  The Wash-back has a significant area of English Language Assessment Research (ELAR), which has succeeded in inviting considerable heed of the researchers over the years. Some substantial experimental studies relating to washback in English language testing have been conducted globally. This study aims to review and evaluate the eight most recent experimental or empirical research projects carried out on washback in English linguistic education (ELE), which have been downloaded and collected through internet surfing. Based on the review of eight research articles, this current study has been conducted to determine the theoretical foundations of impacts of tests, examinations, assessments, and evaluation in English language education as well as testing besides demonstrating the research findings. Results showed that the washback of high-risk investigations or tests had positive, negative, and mixed impacts and effects depending on the backgrounds and language of students’ extents. The positive washback affects the instructors, teaching practices, materials, methodologies, contents, and language beginner approaches, while the inverse or negative washback happens after the attention is diverted from the erudition process of English to test conducting approaches. After reviewing eight research projects, the findings stated that washback plays a crucial role in English language testing. In some cases, it is positive; in others, it has shown a negative stance. Therefore, it is difficult to state that all English tests positively impact test takers.

Keywords

Washback, learner strategies, review research, English language testing, high risks test

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