Washback of TOEFL Preparation Courses on Students’ Attitudes and Score Improvement

Yangting Wang, Becky H Huang


Despite the prevalence of the TOEFL test preparation courses, research on the impact of TOEFL test preparation courses on language learning and teaching is quite limited (Green, 2013; Huang, 2018). The current study investigated the washback effects of TOEFL preparation courses on students’ attitudes and TOEFL scores improvement. The study implemented a partially mixed equal status design (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2017). Forty-one students and four teachers in a tertiary-level Intensive English Program (IEP) participated in the study. Quantitative data consisted of students’ responses to Likert-scale items and students' TOEFL scores. They were analyzed by independent sample t-tests, one-way repeated measure ANOVA, and post hoc tests. Qualitative data, which included open-ended survey items, student interviews, and teacher interviews, were analyzed using the inductive approach (Miles & Huberman, 1994) and Saldaña’s (2015) coding techniques. Survey results demonstrated that students had generally positive attitudes toward the class. Additionally, a statistically significant score improvement was found for some students. However, student and teacher interviews also revealed several issues that prevented student learning. For example, students studied TOEFL only to improve test scores; teachers rushed to cover all textbook materials and gave little homework; and there were limited classroom speaking activities. Implications regarding the teaching and administering of TOEFL classes at IEP were discussed.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v12i3.16940

Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Linguistics

International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email: ijl@macrothink.org

Copyright © Macrothink Institute ISSN 1948-5425

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'macrothink.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.