International Assessment Award

The International Assessment Award is made to an individual working for the promotion of excellence in language assessment on the international stage. The award will be made to an individual who is nominated by his/her peers in the area of assessment and will consist of a formal citation and an honorarium of £1,000. Nominations will be judged by a panel of language assessment experts.

RECIPIENT OF THE 2016 INTERNATIONAL ASSESSMENT AWARD

This year's award is presented to Professor Emeritus Sauli Takala.

Sauli Takala received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urban Champaign in 1984.  Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa, Doctor of Education honoris causa, Sauli is now Professor Emeritus in Applied Linguistics at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, where he supervised doctoral dissertations and acted as faculty-appointed examiner for over forty doctoral theses in Finland and other Nordic countries. He has extensive experience of research in language testing and assessment, in language policy and planning, curriculum development and teachers’ in-service education. For 15 years he was a member of the Finnish Matriculation Examination Board and has also had an active role in setting up and revising language examinations in Finland.
Sauli has published a large number of research reports and articles in Finnish, Scandinavian and international journals, and has served as editor for the Finnish Journal of Educational Research, as co-editor of the Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research and is a member of the Editorial Board of Language Testing.
Sauli coordinated the IEA International Study of Writing in the 1980s and participated in the planning and co-ordination of the EU-funded internet-based DIALANG diagnostic assessment project in the 1990s. For many years he has been associated with the Council of Europe’s work on modern languages, most recently with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), in particular the Manual for Relating Language Examinations to the CEFR (2009). He is a founding member of the European Association for Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA), served as a member of its Executive Committee and was elected to a three-year term as its second President in June 2007. He is currently consultant for the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML).

RECIPIENT OF THE 2015 INTERNATIONAL ASSESSMENT AWARD

The 2015 International Assessment Award was presented to Dr Neus Figueras Casanovas at LTF 2015 in Oxford in November.

Dr. Neus Figueras Casanovas has a degree in English Philology and a PhD in Oral Testing, both from the University of Barcelona. Neus started her career as a teacher of English at the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Barcelona where she very quickly began to develop her considerable talents and exert her influence in the world of testing and assessment in Spain. She worked in the Ministry of Education in Catalunya for 20 years, where she coordinated the development and administration of standardised certificate examinations for adult learners of foreign languages. She also collaborates regularly with the Instituto Cervantes and has recently co-authored Pautas para la Evaluación del Español como Lengua Extranjera (Guidelines for the Evaluation of Spanish as a Foreign Language), published by Edinumen.

Neus has also been involved in numerous international research projects including Speakeasy, Dialang, Ceftrain, ENLTA and the Dutch Construct Grid. She collaborates regularly with the Council of Europe in the dissemination of the CEFR within the context of testing and assessment and is one of the authors of the Manual for Relating Examinations to the CEFR (2009). She has published many articles in the field of language teaching and assessment and has delivered courses and presentations in universities across Spain and in other European countries, as well as in Asia and the United States.

Neus was the first elected president (2004-2007) of the European Association for Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA) of which she is now an Expert member. She is well-known for her willingness to collaborate with national and international institutions and assessment and testing events, where she is a very popular figure. She currently lectures part-time at the University of Barcelona and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Catalunya, Spain.

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS 2014

Randolph Thrasher, Professor Emeritus (International Christian University, Japan).

Professor Thrasher has made a significant contribution to the field of language assessment at a national, regional and international level and has facilitated the exchange of ideas and expertise between these contexts. During a career spanning 54 years in higher education in Japan, he taught the theory and practice of language test development and validation to generations of educators. Outside the classroom, he has actively contributed to the development of theory and best practice at all levels of our profession, serving as a founding member and past president of the Japan Language Testing Association (JLTA) and secretary of the International Language Testing Association (ILTA). His commitment and professionalism has promoted the ethics, principles and professionalism of our field, and has contributed to interaction and understanding across professional contexts and national borders.

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS 2013

Dr Christine Coombe, (Dubai Men’s College, UAE).

Dr Coombe has published widely on language testing and presented at over 80 international conferences. She is the driving force behind the growth of language testing interest in the Gulf and in many developing countries. She has been a co-organiser of the Current Trends in English Language Testing (CTELT Conference) and has conducted workshops in every Emirate of the UAE and in 29 developing countries worldwide. She was president of TESOL from 2010 to 2013.

KEY DATE FOR INTERNATIONAL ASSESSMENT AWARD 2016

 30 January 2016  Deadline for submission of nominations