Reactions of Teachers and Students Towards the Implementation of Performance-based Language Assessment: A Washback Study in Hokkaido, Japan

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Bordin Chinda
Matthew Cotter
Matthew Ebrey
Don Hinkelman
Peter Lambert
Annie Miller

Abstract

This qualitative study investigated the washback of performance-based assessment used by three English language teachers in Hokkaido, Japan, each of whom implemented their own course-specific assessments. The study employed qualitative research of an in-depth interview with 15 students and a self-reflective method from 3 teachers. Teachers demonstrated different approaches in implementing performance-based language assessment. However, they agreed that this type of assessment could enhance students' communicative skills and rubrics were crucial in the assessment process. In terms of washback on students, they found that performance-based assessment, with detailed feedback, provided learners with a comfortable and challenging learning environment, leading to self-developed English performances, feelings of accomplishment, and better retention of English used in the presentations. However, some students found performance-based assessment demanding, causing anxiety. The findings suggest that when implementing performance-based assessment teachers should consider different aspects of the assessment to create positive washback.

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Author Biographies

Bordin Chinda, English Department, Faculty of Humanities, Chiang Mai University, Thailand

An Assistant Professor at Chiang Mai University and a visiting professor at Sapporo Gakuin University (while conducting this study). His research interests include performance-based assessment, washback studies, and teacher education.

Matthew Cotter, English Department, Hokusei Gakuen University Junior College, Japan

A lecture at Hokusei Gakuen University Junior College. His research interests include indigenous cultures, intercultural communication, and assessment for learning.

Matthew Ebrey, Faculty of Humanities, Massey University, New Zealand

A teacher at all levels of pre-tertiary education in Hokkaido and presently completing his Master of Education at Massey University, New Zealand.

Don Hinkelman

English Department, Faculty of Humanities, Sapporo Gakuin University, Japan

Peter Lambert, English department, Kiyota High School, Japan

A teacher at high schools in Sapporo. His research interests include cross-curricular studies, optimizing student goal setting, and teaching empathic negotiation strategies.

Annie Miller, English Department and C.E.P. Program, Hokusei Gakuen University, Japan

A teacher at Hokusei Gakuen University. She has been teaching Oral English communication in universities in Hokkaido for the past twenty years.

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