Investigating Washback Effects on Teaching: A Case Study of An Exit Examination at the Higher Education Level

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Chuenjit Athiworakun
Dumrong Adunyarittigun


In Thai contexts, studies on washback effects of high-stakes tests have been investigated extensively at the high school level. However, little is known about the occurrence of washback effects of high-stakes tests on teaching at the higher education level. This study aimed to investigate the washback effects of the Srinakharinwirot University Standardized English Test (SWU-SET), which is implemented as an exit examination for undergraduate students at a Thai public university in Thailand, on teaching English. The research question was: What are the washback effects of the SWU-SET on teaching? A mixed-methods design was employed to answer the research question. In total, 25 university teachers completed the teacher questionnaire, five of whom were purposively selected to be the informants. The main findings show that the SWU-SET induced the teachers to put their effort into helping students achieve the course objectives and the test objectives. The findings reveal that the SWU-SET and its underlying concept allowed the teachers to make connections between teaching, learning, and assessment. This study suggests that teachers should be aware of the importance of making connections between curriculum, teaching, learning, and tests in their teaching routines.

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How to Cite
Athiworakun, C., & Adunyarittigun, D. (2022). Investigating Washback Effects on Teaching: A Case Study of An Exit Examination at the Higher Education Level. LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network, 15(2), 776–801. Retrieved from
Research Articles
Author Biographies

Chuenjit Athiworakun, Department of English, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University, Thailand

A lecturer at Srinakharinwirot University. Her research interests include washback studies, language assessment, and English language teaching.

Dumrong Adunyarittigun, Department of English, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University, Thailand

An associate professor in the Department of English, Thammasat University, Thailand. His research interests include reading comprehension, self-perception and motivation to read, language assessment, and critical literacy to promote peace.


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