Parental Involvement in National EFL Test Preparation

Dawadi, Saraswati (2020). Parental Involvement in National EFL Test Preparation. RELC Journal, 51(3) pp. 427–439.



Parents, one of the primary stakeholders in their child’s performance in tests, can play a vital role in assessment. As these high-stakes tests are likely to bring life-changing consequences to students’ lives, most parents try their best to help their children to prepare for them. However, almost no research has explored the nature of parental involvement (PI) in preparing for high-stakes tests. This article reports on a study that explored PI in preparing their children for a national level English as a foreign language (EFL) test in the Nepalese context. Data was generated through a survey of 247 students, 72 oral diary entries and 24 interviews with six students and their parents. The data indicated a high level of PI in their children’s test preparation. Parents supported their children in various ways, such as creating a conducive learning environment at home, collaborating with neighbours and relatives, sharing their experiences, and teaching test preparation strategies. Parents even pressured their children into working for the test by controlling their non-academic lives in such a way that, during the test preparation time, children were not allowed to play and their time for sleeping was curtailed. A clear difference could be observed between the parents with university degrees and those who were illiterate in terms of the strategies they used to support their children in preparing for the test.

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