Exploring the Washback of the TOEIC in South Korea: A sociocultural perspective on student test activity

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dc.contributor.advisor Philp, J en
dc.contributor.advisor Read, J en
dc.contributor.author Booth, Dawn en
dc.date.accessioned 2012-07-25T20:35:20Z en
dc.date.issued 2012 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/19379 en
dc.description.abstract Previous research clearly demonstrates the powerful relationship that exists between language testing, teaching and learning (Alderson & Wall, 1993; Bailey, 1996; Cheng & Curtis, 2004; Hughes, 1989; Messick, 1996). However, researchers still wrestle with the multivariate nature of washback, and questions remain as to what factors are involved and under which conditions beneficial washback is most likely to occur (Cheng, 2008). Set within a large Korean university, this study aimed to better understand how certain factors and conditions may work together to contribute to the washback of the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) on student learning. To provide a thick description of the context, the study first explored student perspectives on the TOEIC through focus group methodology. The aim of the second phase of research was to document the actions and beliefs of thirteen students (English and non-English majors) while preparing for the TOEIC over a period of two to seven months. Data was triangulated through semi-structured journals and multiple interviews, quantitatively analysed through descriptive statistics, and qualitatively analysed through a multi-level procedure of coding grounded in Activity Theory (Engestrom, 1987; Lantolf, 2000, 2006; Leont'ev, 1978, 1981; Vygotsky, 1978). The results provide further evidence of the high stakes status of the TOEIC for university students and support a view of washback as a complex system involving a range of factors that may mediate the influence that a test has on learning (Alderson & Wall, 1993; Cheng & Curtis, 2004, Messick, 1996; Shih, 2007). Of these factors, the results highlight the important contribution of situated learner goals and actions, and the influence of learner histories, cultural and social associations, attributes, conceptualisations, and agency in directing the washback effect of a test. In light of these findings, this study posits a revised model of washback on learners and learning. It represents a shift in the direction of washback research toward a more socially situated view of how a test and test-taker, embedded in powerful sociocultural, historical, political, and economic contexts may influence the processes and outcomes of student learning in situ. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/ en
dc.title Exploring the Washback of the TOEIC in South Korea: A sociocultural perspective on student test activity en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.author-url http://hdl.handle.net/2292/19379 en
pubs.elements-id 358841 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2012-07-25 en
dc.identifier.wikidata Q112888934


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