Journal of Foreign Language Education and Technology

Washback in Education:A Critical Review andIts Implicationsfor Language Teachers

Abstract

Ka Long Roy Chan

Even though washback has been widely researched in recent years, especially on its form in various intra-and inter-national examinations (e.g. IELTS andTOEFL), research on how washback affects teachers and their teaching practices is still scarce. The aim of the current paper is to provide an up-to-date and holistic review on the theories in washback as well as to draw researchers’ and TESOL teachers’ attention to how washback should be examined with relation to language education, especially in teacher trainings. Key models in washback and several recent studies which investigate washback in different aspects are discussed,and at the endof the paper, implications and suggestions on washback for teachers and researchers areaddressed. More should be done on washback especially on how teachers should respond to the effect.

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