Degree Type

Creative Component

Semester of Graduation

Summer 2018



First Major Professor

Gary Ockey


Master of Arts (MA)


Teaching English as a Second Language/Applied Linguistics


This study examines several cases of Chinese VIP-TOEFL-prep speaking teachers (how do they teach and what do they use in class). This study also seeks to elicit those teachers’ perceptions of some communicative speaking tasks, which are one-on-one interviews, paired/group discussion, computer as interlocutor. Paired/group discussion and presentation in the virtual environment were used in interviews and questionnaires as additional communicative speaking tasks. These additional tasks were selected as examples of computer-mediated speaking test tasks. Findings suggest that institution’s policy, student English proficiency level, teachers’ beliefs are contributing factors in deciding whether a class is test-task centered or communicative style. Teachers who have a test-task centered teaching style will continue to teach new test tasks if the test adopts new tasks. Teachers who have a more communicative teaching style either shows concerns about changes or do not want to change their teaching style. This study also confirms previous studies’ findings that testing context in China regards tests as a gateway to pass and prefer teaching to test tasks, which would result in negative washback for tests. Based on the opinions of the teachers in this study, the author proposed that it may lead to a more positive washback to raise teachers’ awareness or understanding of test construct.

Copyright Owner

Tongxuan Huang

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