This study investigated the impact of the IELTS Test across different stakeholders in contemporary Cambodia. The major stakeholders included test-takers, examiners, learners, teachers, parents/guardians of test-takers, and local users of test results (eg, scholarship officers and employers). The study followed a mixed-methods approach in collecting data (including multiple methods and multiple sources) within an interpretive research paradigm (ie, in which qualitative approaches predominate). The overall project has been framed as a critical language testing (CLT) case study. The research was guided by 15 specific research questions. Among the main findings were:
Overall, the IELTS Test in Cambodia was found to have a minor impact on education and society in Cambodia in general terms, but a significant impact on facilitating opportunities for Cambodians to pursue higher education overseas at English-medium institutions (especially for postgraduate studies). The full impact of IELTS’s role in contributing to the decisions as to which Cambodians can (and cannot) pursue overseas study is ultimately unknowable but will, nevertheless, play out over the coming decades.