© 2018

The Sociocultural Activity of High Stakes Standardised Language Testing

TOEIC Washback in a South Korean Context


Part of the English Language Education book series (ELED, volume 12)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Dawn Karen Booth
    Pages 1-6
  3. Dawn Karen Booth
    Pages 7-17
  4. Dawn Karen Booth
    Pages 19-35
  5. Dawn Karen Booth
    Pages 37-71
  6. Dawn Karen Booth
    Pages 73-102
  7. Dawn Karen Booth
    Pages 103-114
  8. Dawn Karen Booth
    Pages 115-156
  9. Dawn Karen Booth
    Pages 157-191
  10. Dawn Karen Booth
    Pages 193-215
  11. Dawn Karen Booth
    Pages 217-230
  12. Dawn Karen Booth
    Pages 231-243
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 245-256

About this book


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 influence learning. 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.


TOEIC The Korean education system EFL education and testing in Korea Washback across different areas of learning Cognitive and social traditions in SLA TOEIC and English A sociocultural theory of mind

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.AucklandNew Zealand

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Sociocultural Activity of High Stakes Standardised Language Testing
  • Book Subtitle TOEIC Washback in a South Korean Context
  • Authors Dawn Karen Booth
  • Series Title English Language Education
  • Series Abbreviated Title English Language Education
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2018
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-70445-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-09960-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-70446-3
  • Series ISSN 2213-6967
  • Series E-ISSN 2213-6975
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 256
  • Number of Illustrations 27 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Assessment, Testing and Evaluation
    Language Education
    Applied Linguistics
    Language Policy and Planning
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“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 a new debate 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)