Volume 2, Issue 2  August 2019, pp. 96–109          Download PDF

The washback of listening tests for entrance exams on EFL instruction in Taiwanese junior high schools

Huei-Chun Teng1, Chun-Wei Fu2

1 National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan tenghc@mail.ntust.edu.tw
2 Taipei Municipal Hong Dao Junior High School, Taiwan qpourrr@hotmail.com

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/lea.v2n2.150


The study aims to explore the washback of incorporating English listening tests in the senior high entrance exam (Comprehensive Assessment Program: CAP) on EFL instruction in junior high schools in Taiwan. The participants were thirty English teachers and 298 students from three junior high schools in Taiwan. The instruments consisted of questionnaires and interview guide. The questionnaires were conducted to investigate the participants' perceptions of the influence of CAP English listening test on EFL teachers' instructions, students' learning activities and test preparation. A semi-structured interview was also adopted to probe specific information of participants' perceptions of the CAP listening test, their needs and suggestions. Results showed that teachers and students had positive perceptions of the incorporation of CAP listening assessment. Moreover, the CAP reform generated positive washback effects to the instructors. Most of them were willing to change their teaching approaches, arrange some teaching activities, and provide diverse learning materials as long as class time allows. In addition, the results showed that students' English learning motivation increased due to the CAP listening test. It is also indicated that students' stress and test anxiety for senior high entrance exam may increase. As for the suggestions, both teachers and students indicated that they cared about the time for practicing listening and speaking, listening assessment of different English accents, and better audio equipment. Moreover, because the inequality of educational resources and bimodal distribution of students' EFL proficiency still exist in Taiwan, most of the participants considered that the difficulty level and score weighting of the CAP listening test should not be increased. The study findings are expected to provide empirical descriptions for the field of washback in language testing. Implications for enhancing EFL listening instruction in junior high schools were further proposed.


© Huei-Chun Teng, Chun-Wei Fu

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Suggested citation

Teng, H.-C., & Fu, C.-W. (2019). The washback of listening tests for entrance exams on EFL instruction in Taiwanese junior high schools. Language Education & Assessment, 2(2), 96–109. https://doi.org/10.29140/lea.v2n2.150

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