Barry O'Sullivan

Barry's recent work includes the development and validation of a new business to business language test called Aptis. He is the founding president of the UK Association of Language Testing and Assessment and holds honorary and visiting chairs at the Universities of Reading and Roehampton in the UK and the University of Technology MARA (Kuala Lumpur) and at the University of Lisbon.

In 2016 Barry was awarded fellowship of the Academy of Social Science. 

Barry has conducted research into factors affecting spoken performance, assessing rater behaviour, assessing speaking and writing, specific purpose assessment, benchmarking English language tests to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and standard setting in professional contexts.

In addition to his work in the area of language testing, Barry has taught in Ireland, England, Peru and Japan.

Areas of Expertise

  • Issues related to performance testing
  • Test validation
  • Test-data management 
  • Analysis and scaling and calibration


Upcoming Publications

  • Barry is currently finalising (with Cyril Weir) a major project documenting a history of language testing within the British Council to be published by Equinox in 2017
  • Barry is working on two volumes (on validity and localisation) with Micheline Chalhoub Deville for the British Council Monographs Series (also Equinox).


  • PhD at University of Reading, 2000
  • MA TEFL at University of reading, 1995
  • MI at Bolton St. College of Technology, Dublin 1977