Washback Impact on Teachers’ Instruction Resulting from Students’ Apathy

Asifa Abbas, Sahiba Sarwar Thaheem


The “Washback” as we call it in the applied linguistics (termed ‘backwash’ in education), is a well-documented phenomenon known to all institutional learning process. (Philip Shawcross, p 2, What do we mean by the ‘washback effect’ of testing ?). The washback effect has tersely been referred to as ‘the influence of testing on teaching, and learning.’ (Gates 1995) This study ventured to examine the washback phenomenon from teachers’ perspective taking learners as the inducing factors of the washback effect. The Qualitative approach was espoused. The data was collected by conducting semi-structured interviews with the HSC English language teachers of the government colleges in Hyderabad with a ‘convenient sampling’. The participants numbering ten in total were equally taken from both the genders. The interview responses were thematically analyzed and coded to form a compact but summarized picture of the washback on teachers. The findings provided the breaking-through insights into the flip side of the washback from teachers’ vantage point. It established that the apathy/lack of interest by students brings an intense kind of washback on teachers’ teaching method, and content, and their overall morale. Assuming that students are directly receptive to the washback coming from tests; it sought to know as to ‘how they reflect the same back on their teachers’. The respondents named many a handicap placed by apathetic students on how and what they teach. The study corroborated the fact that the teachers are at least, as affected as the learners by the washback phenomenon.

Keywords: Washback, Impact, Higher Secondary Examination, Teachers’ Perception, Students’ apathy, Instruction, Language Testing

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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