Washback Activity: At the Macro Level

  • Dawn Karen Booth
Part of the English Language Education book series (ELED, volume 12)


Individual test motive and test stakes are important considerations in constructing a model of washback, but beyond learners and teachers are a wide range of interrelated stakeholders in the testing community that equally, if not more powerfully influence test stakes. Accordingly, this chapter argues that washback cannot really be substantiated without full consideration of a test’s influence within wider society, and that a more comprehensive view of washback is one that also considers stakeholders at the macro level. Drawing on contributions from academics, news reports and editorials in Korea and Japan, and comments from students represented in this book, this chapter profiles the large scale impact and stakes of the TOEIC in the business and university sectors. Then, guided by Engestrom’s (Perspectives on activity theory. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 19–38, 1999) schematic of Activity Theory, it further explores how different communities may affect (and may be affected by) the TOEIC to form a complex network of interrelated stakeholder interests. In all, this chapter calls for an expanded view of washback that accounts for the wider historical, economical, and sociocultural context in which a test is situated.


Washback Consequences Macro level Impact Korea Japan Stakeholders Test stakes Activity theory Business University Engestrom Learning English tests TOEIC EFL Sociocultural Stakeholders Testing community 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dawn Karen Booth
    • 1
  1. 1.AucklandNew Zealand

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