Washback effect

From Teflpedia

The washback effect, aka backwash[1] refers to the influence, either positive or negative, that an exam has on the way in which students are taught.

The existence of the exam itself has an influence on coursebooks, on what the students are taught and upon what they are expected to know. This may or may not correspond to what the students actually need to know.


  1. Cheng, Liying, & Fox, Janna. (2013). Surveys of Ph.D. Thesis: Review of Doctoral Research in Language Assessment in Canada (2006-2011). Language Teaching, (4), 518-544.

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