The First Certificate in English Textbook Washback Effect: A Comparison of Teachers' and Learners' Perceptions


1 Allameh Tabataba’i University

2 Khatam University


This study has focused on the washback effect of the First Certificate in English (FCE) exam on textbook and preparation materials from teachers' and learners' perspectives. To this end, 50 FCE teachers and 50 FCE learners were selected from various language institutes in Tehran. To collect the quantitative data, FCE Textbook Materials Evaluation Questionnaire was employed. Subsequently, structured interviews were conducted on a sample of 10 FCE teachers and 10 FCE learners. The obtained results revealed that FCE preparation textbooks and materials reflected the exam requirements in terms of contents, test-tasks, and activities; as the participants relied on the exam requirements and the underlying skills in FCE preparation courses. More significantly, the results of Mann-Whitney U test indicated that there was a significant difference between the total washback perception of the learners and teachers. Considering the axial role of the teachers in preparing the learners for the real FCE exam, they had more in-depth understanding regarding the FCE exam requirements, mechanism, and objectives. Meanwhile, the learners had their own opinions in perceiving the FCE test and its textbook washback effects. Generally, the study indicated the existence of positive FCE textbook washback effect.