What's changed and What hasn't? Project 2020 & Writing Assessment

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


As stated in Decision 1400, the National Foreign Languages Project (Project 2020) aims to implement radical reforms in testing and assessment; however, little is known about its actual impact on how writing, one of the most crucial macro skills, is assessed. To bridge the gap, this paper presents findings from a narrative study revolving around the professional lives of two early-career lecturers and illustrates how the national strategies were adopted and adapted by their institutions and the teachers themselves. It reveals that despite the project’s reform discourse, little difference could be observed in the restricted range of assessment instruments employed especially where English was taught as a minor subject. Moreover, the attention paid to feedback on student writing remained limited and even declined as more teaching was geared to preparing students for the mandatory graduation test, which was possibly the most noticeable change introduced by the project. Nevertheless, this exit test received rather negative perception of teachers for a range of reasons. The paper ends with practical recommendations with the input from second language writing and test washback literature, highlighting the need to adopt a more balanced and cautious view of testing as a tool for policy implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventThe 3rd international VietTESOL conference - University of Thai Nguyen, Thai Nguyen, Vietnam
Duration: 7 Dec 2017 → …


ConferenceThe 3rd international VietTESOL conference
CityThai Nguyen
Period7/12/17 → …
Internet address


  • assessing writing
  • language policy
  • EFL
  • Vietnam


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