The Assessment Advisory Board Meeting is an annual meeting which takes place between the Assessment Research Group of the English and Exams Department of the British Council, and the Assessment Advisory Board (AAB) which includes external board members from various academic institutions worldwide.

The purpose of the meeting is for the Board to carry out an annual revision and evaluation of any research completed by the Assessment Research Group.

Our board members:

Dr Christine Coombe

Dr. Christine Coombe

Dr. Christine Coombe has a Ph.D in Foreign/Second Language Education from The Ohio State University.  She is currently on the English faculty of Dubai Men's College. Christine is co-author of A Practical Guide to Assessing English Language Learners and co-editor of Assessment Practices; Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness in EF/SL Contexts; Language Teacher Research in the Middle East; Leadership in English Language Teaching and Learning; Applications of Task-based Learning in TESOL; The Cambridge Guide to Second Language Assessment; and Reigniting, Retooling and Retiring in English Language Teaching. Christine’s forthcoming books are on research methods in EF/SL and life skills education.

Christine has won many awards including: 2002 Spaan Fellowship for Research in Second/Foreign Language Assessment; 2002-03 TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award; TOEFL Board Grant for 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08 and 2009-10 for her work in delivering assessment training in developing countries.  She served as TESOL President (2011-2012) and was a member of the TESOL Board of Directors (2010-2013).  Christine received the British Council’s International Assessment Award for 2012.  

Professor JIN Yan

Professor Jin Yan

Professor Yan JIN is a professor of Applied Linguistics at the School of Foreign Languages, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. She has been involved in the design and development of the College English Test since 1991 and served as Director of the National College English Testing Committee of China since 2004.

She has been involved in many research projects related to test design and development and has published many articles in academic journals. She is currently on the editorial board of international journals such as Language Testing, Classroom Discourse, and Chinese journals such as Foreign Languages in China, Foreign Language World, Foreign Language Education in China, Contemporary Foreign Languages Studies, etc. She is also editor-in-chief of Language Testing in Asia.

Image of Geoff Stead

Geoff Stead

Geoff is Chief Product Officer at Babbel, delivering digital language learning to well over 1m global learners. Before Babbel, Geoff was Director of Digital at Cambridge Assessment English, leading on digital learning (apps, AI, VR) as well as new digital assessment tools for some of their major exams. 

He has led digital innovation teams in California, Cambridge and Berlin and is well versed in how to weave emerging technologies together with learning and assessment for maximum student impact.


Professor Luke Harding

Luke Harding is Professor in Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University (UK).  His work has been published in journals such as Applied Linguistics, Assessing Writing, Language Assessment Quarterly, Language Teaching and Language Testing. He is also the author of Accent and Listening Assessment (Peter Lang). Luke is a joint recipient of the ILTA Best Article Award and the eAssessment Best Research Award. He is currently co-editor of the journal Language Testing.

Professor Guoxing Yu

Dr Guoxing Yu is Professor of Language Assessment at University of Bristol. Currently he is the co-editor of two book series: 英语教师专业素养丛书(外语教学与研究出版社), and Research and Practice in Language Assessment (Palgrave Macmillan). He has been an Executive Editor of Assessment in Education since 2010, and serves on the editorial board of Assessing Writing, Language Assessment Quarterly, Language Testing, and Language Testing in Asia

Professor Cyril Weir OBE

The British Council is indebted to the late Professor Cyril J. Weir who chaired the assessment Advisory Board for five years. His insight, contribution and support have been invaluable and will be remembered through our ongoing work with the Board.