International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
DOI: 10.56734/ijahss
Washback of English Language Testing on ELL Teaching and Learning: A Literature Review



Washback refers to the influence of testing on language teaching and learning. It is a complex educational phenomenon prevailing in various academic contexts. Based on the theoretical frameworks of washback, extensive empirical research has been conducted on large-scale, high-stake, or standardized national and international examinations. This paper discusses conceptual models of washback and reviews representative empirical studies of washback of English language testing on ELL teaching and learning during the last three decades. The findings indicate coexistence of both positive and negative washback in teaching contents, teaching materials, teaching methods, student learning, teachers’ feelings and attitudes, as well as students’ feelings and attitudes. Future studies could investigate the test mechanisms at both micro and macro levels to mediate intended washback on ELL language teaching and learning while minimizing its negative effects.