University entrance examinations:
James Dean Brown
[ p. 3 ]In the articles above, a number of criticisms were leveled and problems were identified but also, a few solutions were offered. In this short paper, I hope to expand the solutions by summarizing some of the positive aspects of two other papers wherein I dealt with the washback effect in general (Brown, 1997) and the washback effect and its relationship to Japanese university English language entrance exams (Brown, 1998). Before doing that however, it would be useful to define the notion of washback.
|"I attempt to summarize and organize the strategies proposed in the literature into four different categories that language educators in Japan can use to promote positive washback: test design strategies, test content strategies, logistical strategies, and interpretation strategies."|
[ p. 4 ]A. Test design strategies
[ p. 5 ]Discussion
|“. . . the majority of these strategies would probably only work if there was comprehensive teamwork and collaboration between the university examination writers and the instructors who teach high school English.”|
A large amount of time, money and energy is spent on entrance examinations every year at individual, school and national levels. In order to make the best use of such an investment, we need to be empirical. rational and well informed.In this paper, I have listed some of the strategies available for promoting positive washback effects from the university entrance examinations. Such strategies could help improve the teaching and learning that is going on in Japan's junior and senior high school English language classrooms and at the same time help make the entrance examination process fairer and more relevant. I leave one question with the reader: Is Japan ready and willing to reform the current entrance examination system in order to foster positive washback effects that will help improve language education?
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[ p. 7 ]Stapleton, P. (1996). A reaction to J. D. Brown's recent inquiry on the English entrance exam. The Language Teacher, 20 (3), 29-32.
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