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|Other Titles:||The Impact of University Exit Exams on Students' English Learning Experience|
English exit exam,graduation threshold,washback effect,College English
|Issue Date:||2014-12-30 11:16:46 (UTC+8)|
According to Ministry of Education guidelines, many universities have set up a graduation threshold of English competency by requiring students to reach a set standard in an English exit test. A number of standardized English proficiency tests are used by universities in an attempt to improve students’ English proficiency. However, according to a recent study at two technological universities in Taiwan, there is a limited, and often negative, washback effect on English learning. Hence, it is worth exploring university students’ attitudes toward this policy before they graduate and the effect of the English exit exam on students’ learning. The purpose of the present study is to catalogue and report students’ perceptions in terms of English courses taken, out of class English learning strategies and preparation for taking an exit test. Fifty-six students taking an English enhancing course from a national university in northern Taiwan were sampled for this research. A questionnaire and interviews were used to collect information about their English learning experience and attitudes toward the graduation threshold. The results showed that most students who failed to reach the required standard in the test had a positive attitude toward the policy itself, but had only taken the minimum 4-credit College English courses during their university career, and did little out of class study and exam preparation. It is suggested that some College English 3 courses are designed to induce students with low English proficiency to continue their English learning.
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