This study investigates the effects of the incorporation of English listening test in the comprehensive assessment program for junior high school students (CAP henceforth) on the teaching in junior high school classrooms. Attention is also given to the teaching strategies or methods that the interviewed teachers believe to help improve students’ listening comprehension. Through questionnaires, this study explores the differences of high school English teachers’ overall approaches to teaching, and further compares their teaching strategies and assessment approaches in the period of the basic competence test for junior high school students with those in the period of the CAP. The main findings are as follows: First, teachers employed textbooks as the main source for instruction for both periods, with more additional extracurricular and electronic materials in the period of CAP. Secondly, for both periods, teachers spent most time in the instruction of vocabulary, grammar, and reading; however, the overall time allocation for the teaching of reading, listening, and speaking is increased with the incorporation of the listening comprehension test. Thirdly, listening comprehension assessment was included as part of the regular midterms and finals more than 10% in the period of CAP. The findings of our study indicated there was positive washback effect with the incorporation of English listening test. The above findings are further complemented with the interviews with the high school English teachers of the 14 selected schools whose students’ scores for the CAP English listening test have significantly improved from 2015 to 2017. By presenting several common teaching strategies that are shared by the interviewed teachers of the sampled schools, this study offers some suggestions for effective approaches to teaching English listening.
ASJC Scopus subject areas