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Springer International Publishing
The Sociocultural Activity of High Stakes Standardised Language Testing: TOEIC Washback in a South Korean Context

The Sociocultural Activity of High Stakes Standardised Language Testing: TOEIC Washback in a South Korean Context

by Dawn Karen BoothDawn Karen Booth


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This book explores the influence of high stakes standardised testing within the context of South Korea. South Korea is regarded as a shining example of success in educational achievement and, as this book reveals, pressurised standardised testing has been a major contributing factor to its success. This unique country provides an excellent setting from which to explore the powerful relationship that exists between testing and learning and can advance our understanding of which factors and test conditions will positively and negatively influencelearning. This book follows the test activity of a group of Korean university students preparing for the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) and posits a revised model of the influence of testing on learning. It calls for a more socially situated view of tests and test-takers considered in relation to the sociocultural, historical, political and economic contexts in which they are embedded.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783030099602
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 01/07/2019
Series: English Language Education , #12
Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2018
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

1. INTRODUCTION.- 2. SOUTH KOREA.- Historical Overview.- Confucian Ideology.- The Development of the Korean Education System.- Present Day Education Fever and Examination Hell.- EFL Education and Testing in Korea.- 3. THE TOEIC.- Description and Evolution of the TOEIC.- An Evaluation of the TOEIC.- Substantive, Generalizibility and Content Aspects.- Generalizibility Aspect – Reliability.- The External Aspect.- The Consequential Aspect .- Summary.- 4. WASHBACK.- Washback in Language Testing.- The Nature and Scope of Washback.- Washback and Impact.- Dimensions of Washback.- Situating Washback within Validity.- Washback Defined.- Review of Empirical Studies.- Washback on Learning Processes: Content and Strategy Use.- Washback on the Product of Learning: Promotion of Language Skills.- Washback on the Product of Learning: Learner Affect.- Washback on Korean Learners.- Washback on the TOEIC.- Shih’s Model of Washback on Learning.- Conclusions from Empirical Studies.- 5. LEARNING: A SOCIAL PERSPECTIVE.- Cognitive and Social Traditions in SLA.- A Sociocultural Theory of Mind.- Mediation.- The Zone of Proximal Development.- Learner Agency.- Learner Contributions to Language Learning in Context.- Learner Attributes, Conceptualisations and Affect.- Situated Learner Action.- Wider Community Identity and Participation.- Learner Contributions as a Complex System.- Activity Theory.- Early Development of Activity Theory.- Second and Third Generation Activity Theory.- Principle Concepts Underlying Activity Theory.- Examining Washback through Activity Theory.- Summary.- 6. CASE STUDIES: OVERVIEW.- Many Paths up the TOEIC Mountain.- Participants and Journal Collection.- Direct and Indirect Actions toward the TOEIC.- Further Categorisation of Actions.- Content Focus.- Activity Theory, Learner Action and Washback.- Summary and Next Steps.- 7. STUDENT TEST ACTIVITY: MAJORS OTHER THAN ENGLISH.- Prelude: Qualitative Research Methodology.- Coding and Presenting an Audit Trail.- Peer Checking/Debriefing.- Respondent Feedback.- Transparency in Writing up Case Studies.- Case One: Jessica.- Case Two: Santana.- Case Study Three: Steave.- Comparison of Student Test Activity: Other Majors.- 8. STUDENT TEST ACTIVITY: ENGLISH MAJORS.- Case Study Four: Sunny.- Case Study Five: Tina.- Comparison of Student Test Activity – English Majors.- 9. WASHBACK ACTIVITY: AT THE MICRO LEVEL.- Participant: Individual Test Stakes, Motives and Goals.- Processes: Learner Action in Context.- Motivated Learner Action.- Instructor-led Preparation Classes.- English Learning Communities/Resources.- TOEIC Preparation Materials.- Operations: Situated Learner Action.- Washback on Content.- Washback on Strategy Use.- Washback on Rate and Sequence of Learning.- Products: Outcomes on Learning.- Washback on Degree and Depth of Learning.- Washback on Learner Attitudes.- Summary.- 10. WASHBACK ACTIVITY: AT THE MACRO LEVEL.- TOEIC in the Business Sector.- The Impact of TOEIC: Listening and Reading.- The Impact of TOEIC: Speaking and Writing.- TOEIC in the Tertiary Sector.- Interrelated Stakeholder Interests.- The Central Activity: Test Maker and Test-Taker.- The Community and Division of Labour.- Rules and Interrelated Communities.- 11. EXPANDING THE CONCEPT OF WASHBACK.- Toward a Situated Model of Washback.- Test Taker, Community and Test Complex.- Processes: Learner Action in Context.- Products from Student Test Activity.- Implications.- The Test Makers.- The Wider Community.- Learners and Teachers.- The Research Community.- APPENDICIES

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“The book provides an in-depth and impressive review of washback in language assessment and reports on extensive qualitative studies of multiple Korean test takers who were preparing for the TOEIC test. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the book integrates washback as a sociocultural phenomenon, Action Theory, and second language acquisition and portrays an interconnected network of factors that influence students’ test preparation activities. I recommend the book to anyone with an interest in washback in language assessment.” (Vahid Aryadoust, National Institute of Education,Nanyang Technological University,Singapore)

“The book takes us to a new dimension of understanding the nature of the effect of language assessment on learners and opens anewdebate on the role of language assessment for education. All the serious researchers and practitioners in the field should own the copy on their bookshelves.” (Yoshinori Watanabe, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan)

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