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ERIC Number: ED442280
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Washback or Backwash: A Review of the Impact of Testing on Teaching and Learning.
Cheng, Liying
Washback or backwash, also known as measurement-driven instruction, is a common term in applied linguistics referring to the influence of testing on teaching and learning, which is a prevailing phenomena in education. It is a truism that "what is assessed becomes what is valued, which becomes what is taught." This paper aims to share the discussion of this education phenomenon from different perspectives both in the area of general education and in language education. It discusses the historical origins of washback; the definition and scope of washback; and the function and mechanism of washback, and efforts, both recent and not, to mitigate its negative effects. It is concluded that the ultimate reason for the persistence and widespread nature of this problem is the existence of high-stakes testing. Few educators would dispute the claim that these sorts of high-stakes tests markedly influence the nature of instructional programs. Whether they are concerned about their own self-esteem or their students' well-being, teachers clearly want students to perform well on such tests. Accordingly, teachers tend to focus a significant portion of their instructional activities on the knowledge and skills assessed by such tests. (KFT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A