About us

Since its inception, the Language Testing Research Centre (LTRC) has carried out many major projects for institutions and government agencies throughout the world.

Clients have included:

  • Educational Testing Service (Princeton, NJ)
  • University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (Cambridge, UK)
  • South East Asia Ministers of Education Organisation (Singapore),
  • OECD (Paris); and
  • Other agencies in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia
LTRC Team 2020
LTRC Team 2020

Language testing and assessment

Language testing and assessment is a discipline with a principled approach to designing and validating tools to assess and evaluate language abilities. The language testing field is informed by the academic disciplines of linguistics, the social sciences and education. The practice of language assessment supports just/sound decision making for policy makers, practitioners and test takers in education, migration and workplace contexts.

LTRC mission

The LTRC serves as a global leader promoting ethical and exemplary research and practice in language testing and assessment. Our aim is to build professional expertise and public understanding of the field and to advocate for appropriate testing practices on behalf of stakeholders. We provide consultancy services, policy advice and public advocacy.

What we do

  • carry out research in language testing and assessment.
  • develop and validate tests and other tools to measure abilities in English and other languages, for various purposes such as:
    • diagnosis of learning needs
    • placement into language programs
    • course admissions
    • program evaluation
    • certification of language abilities for professional / employment needs
  • provide education and training in the area of language testing and assessment
  • provide policy advice and advocate for appropriate testing and assessment practices

The LTRC subscribes to the International Language Testing Association (ILTA) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.

Centre leadership

Associate Professor Ute Knoch, Director

Associate Professor Ute Knoch

Associate Professor Ute Knoch is the Director of the Language Testing Research Centre. She has a strong track record of academic research with over 50 publications published in journals such as Language Testing, Language Assessment Quarterly, TESOL Quarterly, Applied Linguistics, Assessing Writing, Journal of Second Language Writing and Language for Specific Purposes.

Her research interests are in the area of writing assessment, rating processes, test validation, assessing languages for academic and professional purposes, and placement testing. From 2015-2016 she was the Co-president of the Association for Language Testing and Assessment of Australian and New Zealand (ALTAANZ) and from 2011-2014 and 2017-2019 served on the Executive Board of the International Language Testing Association (ILTA).

In 2014, Dr Knoch was awarded the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Outstanding Young Scholar Award by the Educational Testing Service (Princeton, US), recognising her contribution to language assessment. In 2016, Dr Knoch was awarded a Thomson Reuter Women in Research citation award. Her recent books include Fairness, Justice and Language Assessment (2019, Oxford University Press, with Tim McNamara and Jason Fan) and Assessing English for Professional Purposes: Language and the workplace (2020, Routledge, with Susy Macqueen; this book was awarded the ILTA / Sage best book published in language testing between 2017-2020).

Dr Jason Fan, Deputy Director

Dr Jason Fan

Dr Jason Fan is the Deputy Director and Senior Research Fellow at the Language Testing Research Centre, University of Melbourne. Before moving to Australia in August 2018, he was an Associate Professor at College of Foreign Languages and Literature, Fudan University, China. His research interests include the validation of language assessments and research methods. He is the author of Development and Validation of Standards in Language Testing (Fudan University Press, 2018) and the co-author (with Tim McNamara and Ute Knoch) of Fairness, Justice and Language Assessment (Oxford University Press, 2019).

Jason is the current chair of the Nominating Committee of Asian Association of Language Assessment (AALA), a Member-at-Large of the International Language Testing Association (ILTA) 2020-2021. In 2018 he was the conference chair of the Pacific-Rim Objective Measurement Symposium (PROMS). He serves on the editorial board of Language Testing.

Past leaders

Past directors of the Centre include Emeritus Professor Alan Davies (Founding Director), Distinguished Professor Tim McNamara, Professor Liz Hamp-Lyons and Associate Professor Catherine Elder. All are internationally renowned for their scholarship and service in the field of language testing.