An Investigation of the Washback Effect of the Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate (Eslc) English Language Examination

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Addis Ababa University


T hi s study in vestigates th e wash back effec t of th e ESLC Eng lis h langu age exa minat io n 0 n w hat ha pp e ns in seco nda ry sc hool la ng u age c lass r ooms . T he study empl oyed vari ous meth o d o logical techn iqu es suc h as qu es ti onnai re, inte rviews w it h Gr ade 12 Eng lis h teacher s, wi th the E ng li s h Curri culum Desig ner, and w ith the Sen ior Expert in Eng li sh La nguage Exa min ation Developm ent, an d classroom Ob servati on . Besides, to exami ne w hether or not th e ES LC E ng li s h la ng uage examin at ion mi r ro rs t he seco ndary sc hool Engli sh textbooks, the co nte nts and me th o ds of th e tex tbooks and t he 1997, 1998 a nd 1999 ESLC English la nguage examinat io n papers were analyze d and compared . The resu lts of the study revealed that ESLC Eng li sh la nguage exami nation ha s an impact o n the secondary sc hool Engl ish la ng u age classrooms. Moreover, the re was strong unde sirable ESLC E ng li s h la ng u age exa mination's impact on the teachi ng co ntent and-to som e deg ree- o n teachin g met hodo logy as we ll as on students' study techni que. Eviden ce of negative was hb ack o n t he way teachers des ig n tests/examinations was a lso observed . T he ESLC Engl is h language exa mina t io n fa il ed to adeq uately re fl ect th e seconda ry school English la ng uage text b ooks. Besed o n th e res u lt s o f th e findin gs, conclus io ns were draw n and reco mm endat ionsmade.