According to Bachman and Palmer (1996, pp. 29-35), the test impact operates at two levels such as the micro level which is the effect of the test on individual students and teachers, and the macro level which is the impact on society and its educational systems. They defined washback and test impact in a similar fashion and viewed washback as one dimension of test impact which have focused on the process of teaching and learning. In this discussion, washback in language testing will be focused. ” Wahback refers to the effects the tests have on instruction in terms of how students. prepare for the test” (Brown & Abeywickrama, 2010, p.
38). According to Linville (2011), washback refers to the outcomes for the learner, the teacher, and the teaching context. Washback can positive and negative. Brown & Abeywickrama (2010) claimed that a test that provides positive washback should comprise these features such as positively influences what and how teachers teach, what and how learners learn, offers learners a chance to adequately prepare, gives learners feedback that enhances their language development, is more formative in nature than summative, provides conditions for peak performance by the learner.
In conclusion, positive washback can motivate students to learn more. When designing a test, test designer or teachers should maximize the positive washback and minimize the negative washback. To promote positive washback, the test designers should test the abilities they want to encourage, use direct test, make sure the test is known and understood by students and teachers.
Test designers should make sure they understand what tests are measuring, what test methods are used, how tests are scored, and how to explain test scores to students, parents and administrators.