Washback in language assessment


  • Anthony Green
DOI: https://doi.org/10.6018/ijes.13.2.185891
Keywords: language testing, test impact, washback, consequences


This paper reviews the progress made in washback studies over the quarter century since Hughes’ (1989) placed it at the centre of his textbook Testing for Language Teachers. Research into washback and the development of models of washback are described and an agenda is suggested for test developers wishing to build washback into their programmes. It is recommended that future projects should pay greater attention to test design features and to the outcomes of learning as well as continuing to explore learner motivation and cultural factors that might encourage participants to react to tests in certain ways, but not in others. Washback research itself is seen to be a potentially valuable tool in persuading participants to adopt new practices.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Anthony Green

Anthony Green is Professor of Language Assessment and Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in English Language Leaning and Assessment at the University of Bedfordshire. His main research interests concern relationships between language assessment, teaching and learning. He has published widely on language assessment issues and his most recent book Exploring Language Assessment and Testing (Routledge, 2013) provides trainee teachers and others with an introduction to the field.
How to Cite
Green, A. (2013). Washback in language assessment. International Journal of English Studies, 13(2), 39–51. https://doi.org/10.6018/ijes.13.2.185891