The 2024 Call for Proposals is now open! Submissions will be welcomed until
31 March 2024, 23:59 UK time.
Please find the key dates below. If you would like to contact the team, please email

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 their 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.

Key dates for the International Assessment Award 2024

February-March 2024

Accepting nominations

31 March 2024

Deadline for nominations

April 2024

 Preliminary review of nominations

May 2024

 Evaluation and selection of Award winner

30 June 2024

Award winner announced

Previous recipients of the International Assessment Award


Dr Thomas Eckes, (TestDaF-Institut, Germany).

Thomas Eckes received his Ph.D. majoring in psychology at the University of the Saarland (Germany). He taught quantitative research methods, multivariate statistics, data analysis, and cognitive and social psychology courses. In 2001, Thomas joined the TestDaF-Institut (University of Bochum, Germany). Until his retirement in December 2021, he held the position of deputy director and was head of the psychometrics and language testing research division. His current research interests include the psychometric modeling of language competencies, the advancement of many-facet Rasch measurement models, and the analysis of rater effects in language performance assessments.

Thomas has published widely in peer-review journals and contributed numerous chapters in edited volumes. His book Introduction to Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (Peter Lang) was well received by researchers and practitioners and appeared in 2015 in a second, expanded edition. He was on the Editorial Boards of the journals Assessing Writing, Language Testing, and SAGE Open. In 2019, Thomas received the inaugural Language Testing Reviewer of the Year Award.


Professor Gudrun Erickson, (University of Gothenburg, Sweden).

Professor Gudrun Erickson has been an active driver of thinking in language testing in Sweden and across Europe for over 30 years. Her work spans classroom assessment to national language testing policy. She has been a member of two funded projects from the Swedish Research Council and, in 2016, she was elected President of the European Association for Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA). Between 2016 and 2018, she also worked on a project to develop a Quality Assurance Matrix for CEFR use at the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) in Graz, Austria. She teaches language testing and assessment courses and her research focuses on test taker attitudes towards testing and assessment.


Dr Beverly Baker, (University of Ottawa, Canada).

Dr Baker is a founding member of the Canadian Association of Language Assessment (CALA) as well as the new Special Interest Group in Language Assessment Literacy (LAL) for the International Language Testing Association (ILTA). She works and publishes widely in teacher development and language assessment development/validation. Her awards in these areas include two Spaan Fellowships in Language Testing and Assessment, and two Workshops and Meetings Grants from ILTA.


Dr Rukmini Banerji, (CEO Pratham).

Pratham is one of the largest education NGOs in the world. She is credited with transforming the public discourse on assessments in education in India by linking literacy and numeracy assessments to accountability of the public funded primary education system of the country, the largest in the world.

She has been the driving force behind the Annual Status of Education Report, or ASER (the acronym means "impact" in Hindi) since 2005. She was directly involved in the design and implementation of ASER, the largest annual study ever done by Indian citizens to monitor the status of elementary education in the country. ASER surveys about 600,000 children in more than 16,000 villages in 570 rural districts of India. The participation included over 25,000 to 30,000 volunteers and 500 partner organizations and educational institutions.

Rukmini has published extensively on issues in education in both Hindu and English. She is also an enthusiastic writer of imaginative and much loved children’s stories, published by Pratham Books. 

Initially trained as an economist (St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University and Delhi School of Economics), Rukmini was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University between 1981 and 1983. In 1991, she completed her PhD at the University of Chicago’s Education department. For the next several years, she worked in Chicago, first at the Population Research Center of the University of Chicago and later as a Program Officer at the Spencer Foundation.


Carol Spöttl, (Senior Lecturer at the School of Education, University of Innsbruck and Head of the Language Testing Group Innsbruck LTRGI).



Carol has dedicated most of her professional life to the promotion of best practice in language assessment, both nationally and internationally. Most notably, she single-handedly initiated and steered the reform of the school-leaving examination in Austria, leading to the change of an entire country’s examination system. Carol has also contributed to the professional and academic community by serving on the Executive Committees of EALTA and the IATEFL TEASIG. She has published her work in many book chapters and presented it at numerous international conferences including IATEFL, EALTA and EUROSLA.


Sauli Takala (1941-2016)

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 was 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 had 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 published a large number of research reports and articles in Finnish, Scandinavian and international journals, and served as editor for the Finnish Journal of Educational Research, as co-editor of the Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research and as 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 was associated with the Council of Europe’s work on modern languages and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), in particular the Manual for Relating Language Examinations to the CEFR (2009). He was 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.


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.


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.


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.