oa Marang : Journal of Language and Literature - The washback effects of curriculum and assessment reform in Botswana



This paper presents and discusses the results of survey questionnaires administered to both students and teachers of the Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) ESL on their attitudes towards and perceptions of speaking in English, its teaching and assessment. Both students and teachers were asked to complete survey questionnaires in which they were asked both closed and open ended questions on their attitudes towards the teaching and learning of ESL. The findings indicate that the attitudes of both students and teachers towards speaking were found to have remained positive, in spite of the fact that it is not tested in the BGCSE English exam. However the study indicates that the teachers perceptions of the BGCSE English examinations influence on students attitudes towards learning speaking was affected, and their perceptions of the exams influence on their work with regard to speaking was also affected. It was also found that the BGCSE English examination has had some impact on classroom practice. The teachers reported that they taught writing and reading, which are tested in the exam, more than speaking and listening, which are not tested. The students also ranked writing and reading as the skills in which they do most exercises/tasks as compared to listening and speaking. However, the impact on classroom practice in the Botswana study was mitigated by the sociolinguistic status of English in Botswana.


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