Pre- and Posttest Washback in Paired Oral Classroom Assessments

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Nathan T. Ducker, Curtis J. Edlin, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University; Richard A. Lee, Kurume Institute of Technology


Testing is a vital part of the learning process that teachers and curriculum designers can use to motivate students to study, help them monitor their progress, and guide their pre- and posttest learning activities. Successfully implemented testing should therefore have a positive washback effect on students’ learning activities in these areas. To gain full benefit from the testing process, once assessments have been carried out and graded, quality feedback should further help students develop good learning habits and focus their efforts on areas that need attention. This paper reports on the review of a speaking program at a private university in Japan in which the teacher-researchers collected data on the washback effect of a cycle of 8 speaking assessments carried out in one semester, in order to improve the speaking program’s efficacy in encouraging learner development through the quality and quantity of pre- and posttest learning practice activities.