Since its inception, the Language Testing Research Centre (LTRC) has carried out many major projects for institutions and government agencies throughout the world.
Established in 1990, the Language Testing Research Centre (LTRC) at the University of Melbourne has become an international leader in research and development in language assessment and language program evaluation.
‘The History of the LTRC: 1990-2020’ was written by former LTRC Directors Cathie Elder and Tim McNamara in November 2020. This documents the journey of the Centre, from establishment in 1990 through to recent times. Follow the link below to read this.
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
Mission and purpose
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.
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
Professor Ute Knoch
Professor Ute Knoch is the Director of the Language Testing Research Centre (LTRC) at the University of Melbourne. Her research interests are in the areas of assessing languages for academic and professional purposes, policy and language assessment, validation in language assessment, rater-mediated assessment and placement testing. Her recent books include Diagnostic Writing Assessment (2009, Peter Lang), Fairness, Justice and Language Assessment (2019, OUP, with Tim McNamara and Jason Fan), 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), and Scoring second language spoken and written performances (2021, Continuum, with Jin Yan and Judith Fairbairn).
Ute was the Co-president of the Association for Language Testing and Assessment of Australian and New Zealand (ALTAANZ) from 2015-2016, and currently serves as the Vice-President. She also served on the Executive Board of the International Language Testing Association (ILTA) from 2011-2014 and 2017-2019. She has been the recipient of a number of awards. In 2014, Dr Knoch received the TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award by the Educational Testing Service (Princeton, US); in 2016, Dr Knoch was awarded a Thomson Reuter Women in Research citation award, and in 2020 she was awarded the Language assessment advocacy award by the International Language Testing Association (with Tim McNamara and Cathie Elder) and the Reviewer of the Year award by the journal Language Testing.
Associate Professor Jason Fan
Associate Professor Jason Fan is Deputy Director and Principal Research Fellow at the Language Testing Research Centre (LTRC), University of Melbourne. His research interests include a) validity theory and validation of language assessments, b) Rasch measurement theory, and c) language assessment policy and practice. He is the author of The Development and Validation of Standards in Language Testing (Fudan University Press, 2018), the co-author (with Tim McNamara and Ute Knoch) of Fairness, Justice and Language Assessment (Oxford University Press, 2019), and the co-author (with Li Wang) of Working Towards a Proficiency Scale of Business English Writing: A Mixed-Methods Approach (Springer, 2021). Jason is the current 2nd Vice President of the Asian Association of Language Assessment (AALA) and a Member-at-Large of the International Language Testing Association (ILTA, 2020-2021). He serves on the editorial board of Language Testing, and is the co-editor (with John Read) of Studies in Language Assessment.
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.
|Professor Ute Knoch||Director||+61 3 8344 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Associate Professor Jason Fan||Deputy Director||+61 3 8344 email@example.com|
|Ms Kathryn Weller||Research Centre Administrative Officer||+61 3 8344 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ms Annemiek Huisman||Administrative Officer and Research Fellow||+61 3 8344 email@example.com|
|Mr Rohan Chandran||Test Development Specialistfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dr Ivy Chen||Research Fellow||+61 3 9035 email@example.com|
|Ms Michelle Czajkowski||Research Fellowfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dr Sally O’Hagan||Research Fellow||+61 3 9035 email@example.com|
The Advisory Board has a membership of highly regarded industry representatives, external to the university and high level internal colleagues.
Advisory Board terms of reference
The Advisory Board Terms of Reference are to:
- provide expert external advice on current LTRC projects
- comment on proposed new LTRC projects
- advise on strategic opportunities for research and consultancy work
- advise on current issues and trends in industry, government and education
- assist with dissemination of research outcomes and applications
- assist in raising awareness of LTRC expertise within the University of Melbourne, in the wider tertiary sector and beyond
- review the terms of reference of the advisory group on an annual basis
Advisory Board members
- Helen Zimmerman (Chair) Advisor, Navitas; Past President, International Education Association of Australia
- Gabriella Bertolissi – Immediate Past President, Modern Language Teachers' Association of Victoria (MLTAV)
- Brett Blacker – Chief Executive Director, English Australia
- Associate Professor Russell Cross – Associate Professor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Melbourne Graduate School of Education
- Penny Addison – Director, Learning and Teaching Branch, Department of Education and Training
- Associate Professor Cathie Elder – Principal Fellow (Honorary), School of Languages and Linguistics, University of Melbourne
- Robert Foote – Manager, Development, National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI)
- Anna Ivanova – Head of Development, Australian Defence Force School of Languages
- Kathy Kirby – Director of the Asia Education Foundation (AEF)
- Professor Joe Lobianco – Professor of Language and Literacy Education (Honorary), Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne
- Professor Tim McNamara – Professor Emeritus in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics (Honorary), School of Languages and Linguistics, University of Melbourne
- Professor Alfredo Martinez-Esposito – Professor In Spanish Languages And Linguistics, School of Languages and Linguistics, University of Melbourne
- Mark Melican – Principal, Blackburn English Language School
- Associate Professor Angela Scarino – Director, Research Centre for Languages and Cultures, University of South Australia
- Dr Annie Brown – Australian Council for Education Research (ACER)
- Associate Professor Catherine Elder – University of Melbourne (Honorary)
- Dr Kellie Frost – University of Melbourne
- Professor Luke Harding – Lancaster University
- Dr Kathryn Hill – La Trobe University
- Associate Professor Noriko Iwashita – University of Queensland
- Dr Tom Lumley – Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) (retired)
- Professor Tim McNamara – University of Melbourne (Honorary)
- Dr Kieran O’Loughlin – University of Melbourne
- Associate Professor Carsten Roever – University of Melbourne
- Kerry Ryan – Swinburne University of Technology
- Professor Gillian Wigglesworth – University of Melbourne
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