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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: Rethinking washback: The interplay of beliefs and contextual factors to mediate pedagogy
Author(s): Yang, Tieh Chung
Supervisor(s): Priestley, Mark
Moran, Edward
Keywords: Contextual factors
Teacher beliefs
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This study addresses issues of English as a foreign language (EFL) practice in the attainment-oriented context at the tertiary level. Referring to the widespread use of testing as an instrument for the enhancement of teaching quality, the study stresses the importance of teachers’ epistemological beliefs and other contextual factors to mediate teacher’s pedagogical decision-making. Four EFL teachers at Air Force colleges in Taiwan were selected to participate in the present research. The EFL teachers’ beliefs were collected by semi-structured interviews, and actual classroom practices were analyzed through a taxonomy of teachers’ questions, a taxonomy of teachers’ corrective feedback and Communicative Orientation Language Teaching (COLT) scheme analysis. The evidence of this case study generated four archetypal patterns of washback based on aligned or oppositional beliefs and its contexts. The study concludes that test designers’ expectations to use a test to innovate the curriculum do not always produce the desired results. Education reform that requires pedagogical changes of practitioners but fails to provide re-attribution training and sufficient resources to effect belief changes will likely yield resistance and pressure. Finally, implications of four archetypes of washback on the teaching of English are presented in order to sustain the successful testing, teaching, and learning.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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