International Journal of English Language Teaching (IJELT)

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The Impact of the IELTS Writing Test on Postgraduate Students in Kuwait


International students seeking to further their education in foreign countries require high English language test scores on IELTS or other language assessments to gain admission into a university. These tests have direct impacts, referred to as washback effects, whether positive or negative, on learning and English acquisition, particularly on learning new vocabulary, grammar, and creative writing skills by postgraduate students. While washback concepts have been studied over the years, there is little research regarding the IELTS writing assessment’s washback effects, especially on international students. In this study we adopted a qualitative research technique with interviews and a sample of 10 postgraduate students to analyze the impact of the writing assessment task on English language learning, especially on acquisition of new vocabulary, grammar, and creative writing skills. The study reveals the writing test’s washback effect on the way students learn their second language, showing that it impacts their writing skills, creativity, and new vocabulary acquisition.

Keywords: IELTS, Kuwait, Students, postgraduate, writing test

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