Assessment Advisory Board

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 five 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:

Professor Cyril Weir OBE (Chair)

Professor Cyril J Weir is currently Powdrill Professor in English Language Acquisition and the Director of the Centre for Research in English Language Learning and Assessment (CRELLA) at the University of Bedfordshire.

He has a PhD in language testing. He is the author of a wide range of educational publications, including Communicative Language Testing, Understanding and Developing Language Tests and Language Testing and Validation: An evidence-based approach.

He is also the co-author of Examining Writing, Examining Reading, Evaluation in ELT, Reading in a Second Language, Measured Constructs, and the co-editor of six Studies in Language Testing (SiLT) volumes.

He has taught short courses and carried out consultancies in language testing, evaluation and curriculum renewal in over sixty countries worldwide. Current interests include language construct definition, the history of English language tests in the UK and validation. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Language Testing and is co-editor for the Studies in Language Testing series published by Cambridge University Press.

Dr. Cyril Weir

Professor Micheline Chalhoub-Deville

Professor Micheline Chalhoub-Deville is Professor of Educational Research Methodology and Co-Director of the Coalition for Diverse Language Communities. She is a scholar in the area of second/foreign language testing and assessment. In 2000, Micheline was awarded the Outstanding Young Scholar Award by the Educational Testing Service—TOEFL Program and in 2013 she received the UNCG School of Education Outstanding Senior Scholar Award, both of which recognize her contributions to the field of language testing and assessment. She was the 1998 Recipient of the Best Article Award, International Language Testing Association.

Micheline is the editor of Issues in Computer Adaptive Testing of Reading Proficiency and a co-editor of Inference and Generalizability in Applied Linguistics: Multiple Research Perspectives. Her scholarship also appears in a number of peer-reviewed journals, including Language Testing, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Foreign Language Annals, Language Learning and Technology.

Micheline has been the lead developer of foreign language proficiency-based and ELL assessment batteries. Throughout her professional career, she has received approximately $3M to support her scholarship and R&D efforts Micheline serves in various leadership roles in the profession. She is a member of the editorial boards of both Language Testing and Language Assessment Quarterly. She founded the Mid-West Association of Language Testers (MwALT). She is a former member of both the TOEFL Policy Board, as well as the TOEFL Committee of Examiners, where she also served as chair for three years.

She currently serves on the ETS K-12 English Learner Technical Advisory Committee and on the British Council Assessment Advisory Board. Micheline has been a keynote/plenary speaker at a number of conferences and meetings, including meetings in Australia, Korea, Lebanon, UAE, and the UK. In 2013, she was invited by the American University of Cairo as the Distinguished Visiting Professor to give a series of talks, workshops and consultations with various departments on campus.

Professor Micheline Chalhoub-Deville

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.  

Dr Christine Coombe

Dr Craig Deville

Dr. Craig Deville has 20 years’ experience in the field of psychometrics and statistics. He has experience with foreign and second language assessment, as well as with K-12 and certification/licensure testing. Since 2006 he has been the Director of Psychometrics at Measurement Incorporated, where he leads a staff of psychometricians, applied mathematicians, data analysts, and database specialists.

In the past, Craig has served the International Language Testing Association (ILTA) as archivist, member-at-large and treasurer, and helped organize two LTRCs. He presently serves on the editorial board of Language Testing.

In addition, he has served on dissertation committees, taught measurement classes, conducted workshops, presented at professional conferences, and contributed to scholarly publications as author, editor, and reviewer. His Ph.D dissertation was awarded the Jaqueline Ross TOEFL Dissertation Award; he is co-author of a chapter in the 4th edition of Educational Measurement.

Dr. Craig Deville

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.

Professor JIN Yan