Student Test Activity: Majors Other Than English

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


This chapter presents an in-depth qualitative analysis of the test activity of three students with majors other than English (three of the thirteen case studies described in Chap. 6). Through the framework of Activity Theory (established in Chap. 5) and the qualitative process of axial coding, this chapter explores the type of goals that motivated students to prepare for the TOEIC, the type of learning contexts they participated in, the type of operations and strategies they engaged in, and the overall outcomes of their test preparation. Each case study begins with a profile of the participant and follows with a theme-based analysis of the goals, actions, operations and outcomes of their test activity. A comparison of the three case studies, toward the end of the chapter, highlights the complexity of deconstructing the influence of a test on learning given that any number of factors may influence the outcomes of a student’s test activity. At the same time, through thick, emic descriptions of learner experiences, it is possible to begin to distinguish how particular learner attributes and conditions of learning may influence the effect that a test has on learning.


Activity theory Qualitative analysis TOEIC Washback Goals Motivation Factors Results Learning contexts Strategies Content focus Outcomes Axial coding Themes 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

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

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