(In) Agency of EFL teachers under the negative backwash effect of centralized tests

A. Mehdi Riazi, Kiomars Razavipour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper reports a study which investigated the effect of centralized English tests on one of the immediate stakeholders, namely, teachers. Data for the study were collected from 20 high school English language teachers by administering an assessment literacy test and conducting face to face interviews. Moreover, centralized and teacher-made tests were collected for the purpose of content analysis. Findings from the analysis of the three data sources showed that (a) participants' level of assessment literacy as measured by an assessment literacy test was lower than expected, (b) participants' test construction practices were heavily influenced by the content and format of centralized summative tests, and (c) participants' teaching practices were in fact preparing students for tests with less emphasis on oral/aural skills. The paper concludes that the heavy shadow of centralized tests and their strong negative backwash effect have downplayed teachers' agency in favor of the dominant structure.
LanguageEnglish
Pages123-142
Number of pages20
JournalInternational journal of language studies
Volume5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

teacher
literacy
test construction
teaching practice
English language
content analysis
stakeholder
interview
school
student

Keywords

  • assessment literacy
  • EFL teachers' agency
  • Iranian EFL context
  • test construction

Cite this

@article{6665c2cd1f054e91886258206788f15e,
title = "(In) Agency of EFL teachers under the negative backwash effect of centralized tests",
abstract = "This paper reports a study which investigated the effect of centralized English tests on one of the immediate stakeholders, namely, teachers. Data for the study were collected from 20 high school English language teachers by administering an assessment literacy test and conducting face to face interviews. Moreover, centralized and teacher-made tests were collected for the purpose of content analysis. Findings from the analysis of the three data sources showed that (a) participants' level of assessment literacy as measured by an assessment literacy test was lower than expected, (b) participants' test construction practices were heavily influenced by the content and format of centralized summative tests, and (c) participants' teaching practices were in fact preparing students for tests with less emphasis on oral/aural skills. The paper concludes that the heavy shadow of centralized tests and their strong negative backwash effect have downplayed teachers' agency in favor of the dominant structure.",
keywords = "assessment literacy, EFL teachers' agency, Iranian EFL context, test construction",
author = "Riazi, {A. Mehdi} and Kiomars Razavipour",
year = "2011",
language = "English",
volume = "5",
pages = "123--142",
journal = "International journal of language studies",
issn = "2157-4898",
publisher = "EBSCO Publishing",
number = "2",

}

(In) Agency of EFL teachers under the negative backwash effect of centralized tests. / Riazi, A. Mehdi; Razavipour, Kiomars.

In: International journal of language studies, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2011, p. 123-142.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - (In) Agency of EFL teachers under the negative backwash effect of centralized tests

AU - Riazi, A. Mehdi

AU - Razavipour, Kiomars

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - This paper reports a study which investigated the effect of centralized English tests on one of the immediate stakeholders, namely, teachers. Data for the study were collected from 20 high school English language teachers by administering an assessment literacy test and conducting face to face interviews. Moreover, centralized and teacher-made tests were collected for the purpose of content analysis. Findings from the analysis of the three data sources showed that (a) participants' level of assessment literacy as measured by an assessment literacy test was lower than expected, (b) participants' test construction practices were heavily influenced by the content and format of centralized summative tests, and (c) participants' teaching practices were in fact preparing students for tests with less emphasis on oral/aural skills. The paper concludes that the heavy shadow of centralized tests and their strong negative backwash effect have downplayed teachers' agency in favor of the dominant structure.

AB - This paper reports a study which investigated the effect of centralized English tests on one of the immediate stakeholders, namely, teachers. Data for the study were collected from 20 high school English language teachers by administering an assessment literacy test and conducting face to face interviews. Moreover, centralized and teacher-made tests were collected for the purpose of content analysis. Findings from the analysis of the three data sources showed that (a) participants' level of assessment literacy as measured by an assessment literacy test was lower than expected, (b) participants' test construction practices were heavily influenced by the content and format of centralized summative tests, and (c) participants' teaching practices were in fact preparing students for tests with less emphasis on oral/aural skills. The paper concludes that the heavy shadow of centralized tests and their strong negative backwash effect have downplayed teachers' agency in favor of the dominant structure.

KW - assessment literacy

KW - EFL teachers' agency

KW - Iranian EFL context

KW - test construction

M3 - Article

VL - 5

SP - 123

EP - 142

JO - International journal of language studies

T2 - International journal of language studies

JF - International journal of language studies

SN - 2157-4898

IS - 2

ER -