Theoretical Frameworks for Washback Studies

  • Qian Xu
  • Jun Liu


This chapter reviews relevant literature on washback models and empirical studies, in an attempt to provide a framework for the issues addressed in the present study. First, an overview of the various washback models has been provided. Then, a brief account and analysis is made on the empirical washback studies conducted in recent decades, summarizing their approaches, methods and findings.


  1. C. Alderson, L. Hamp-Lyons, TOEFL preparation courses: A study of washback [J]. Lang. Test. 13(3), 280–297 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. C. Alderson, D. Wall, Does washback exist? [J]. Appl. Linguis. 14(2), 116–129 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. K. Bailey, Working for washback: A review of the washback concept in language testing [J]. Lang. Test. 13(3), 257–279 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. J. Cai, CET iBT: Significance and washback [J]. Comput. Assist. Foreign Lang. Educ. China 5, 3–8 (2009)Google Scholar
  5. L. Cheng, Changing Language Teaching through Language Testing: A Washback Study [M] (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005)Google Scholar
  6. J. Cronbach, Course improvements through evaluation [J]. Teach. Coll. Rec. 64, 672–683 (1963)Google Scholar
  7. N. Fredericksen, The real test Bias: The influence of testing on teaching and learning [J]. Am. Psychol. 39(3), 193–202 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. A. Green, IELTS Washback in Context [M] (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007)Google Scholar
  9. X. Gu, Positive or Negative—an Empirical Study of CET Washback [M] (Chongqing University Press, Chongqing, 2007)Google Scholar
  10. R. Hawkey, Impact Theory and Practice: Studies of the IELTS Test and Progetto Lingue 2000 [M] (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2006)Google Scholar
  11. A. Hughes, Backwash and TOEFL 2000 [Z]. Unpublished manuscript, University of Reading, 1993Google Scholar
  12. Y. Jin, Backwash effect of CET-SET on the teaching of EFL in China [J]. Foreign Lang. World 4, 56–61 (2000)Google Scholar
  13. Y. Jin, On the improvement of test validity and test washback—The CET washback study [J]. Foreign Lang. World 6, 65–73 (2006)Google Scholar
  14. H. Latham, On the Action of Examinations Considered as a Means of Selection [M] (Deighton, Bell and Company, Cambridge, 1877)Google Scholar
  15. X. Li, How powerful can a language test be? The MET in China [J]. J. Multiling. Multicut. Dev. 11(5), 393–404 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. L. Qi, The intended washback effect of the National Matriculation English Test in China: Intentions and reality [M] (Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, Beijing, 2004)Google Scholar
  17. X. Qin, Fully exploiting the positive washback effects of TEM4/8 to arrest the decline in the quality of teaching and learning [J]. Foreign Lang. World 3, 10–14 (2012)Google Scholar
  18. D. Wall, The Impact of High-Stakes Examinations on Classroom Teaching: A Case Study Using Insights from Testing and Innovation Theory [M] (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005)Google Scholar
  19. W. Xiao, X. Gu, C. Ni, The washback mechanism of CET: A longitudinal study via multi-group structural equation modeling [J]. Foreign Lang. Learn. Theory Pract. 3, 37-43 (2014)Google Scholar
  20. Q. Xu, A study on the washback effects of TEM8 [J]. Foreign Lang. World 3, 21–31 (2012)Google Scholar
  21. J. Ye, Thoughts on the backwash of CET to teaching [J]. Foreign Lang. World 3, 40–43 (1998)Google Scholar
  22. S. Zou, Q. Xu, Criterion-referenced assessment and its washback effects: The case of TEM [J]. Foreign Lang. Learn. Theory Pract. 1, 42–48 (2014)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qian Xu
    • 1
  • Jun Liu
    • 2
  1. 1.Shanghai International Studies UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Shanghai University of Electric PowerShanghaiChina

Personalised recommendations