our individual expert members

In March 2020, ALTE introduced a new category of membership: Individual Expert Members, for notable individuals in the field of language assessment who have had prior engagement with ALTE in some form. It recognises the contribution these individuals have made to ALTE and the wider langauge testing community, and provides a platform for continued collaboration.

More information about the role of Individual Expert Members can be found here.

Dr Sibylle Bolton, Consultant to Goethe-Institut and to ALTE


Dr Bolton's 1982 Doctoral thesis was entitled Die Gütebestimmung kommunikativer Tests. Between 1989 and 2006, she worked at the Head Office of the Goethe-Institit (an ALTE Member) in Munich, Germany.  Her responsibilities included the revision of the examinations from A1 to C2 of the CEFR offered worldwide,  developing a new examination on B2. She led seminars on test development in many countries. Since 2006 she has been a consultant for the Goethe-Institut. She has run a two-year online training course (Goethe-Institutes Minsk, Moskow, and Kiev), and seminars on test development for ministries of education (Tblisi, Kiev, and Tashkent). As a consultant for ALTE she has carried out audits for ALTE members, workshops on the ALTE Auditing System and workshops for auditors.

Gilles Breton, Consultant to FEI (previously CIEP) and to ALTE

Titular of the Ministry of education and master of American literature and applied linguistics,  Gilles Breton has been working in the field of language assessment since 1975. He has worked as head of the pedagogical department of the Alliances françaises of Sao Paulo, Mexico and Paris and as head of the TCF (Test de connaissance du français) and the Quality and Expertise Unit which also offers psychometric expertise, in the assessment and certification department of CIEP now FEI,  French Ministry of Education. He worked as editor at Nathan Publishers in the department of French as a foreign language (CLE International). More recently he was a member of the Relang team (ECML) which aims at assisting teachers and teacher trainers all over Europe to develop training materials related to the CEFR. He has been an active participant in many ALTE projects and SIG (« special interest groups » : groupes d'intérêt spécifiques), having been in charge of the auditors’ training workshops and still carries out ALTE audits.

Bart Deygers, Professor of second language acquisition and second language testing, Ghent University


Bart’s research interests include language testing for migration purposes and for the purpose of university admission, the impact of language testing on human rights and on social justice, and language testing policy. An active member of ALTE since 2010, he serves on the Board of Trustees and has been a member of the Standing Committee since 2012. He (co) chaired the CEFR special interest group from 2011 until 2020. Bart also takes on responsibilities in ALTE’s sister organisations EALTA (chair of the Migration SIG) and ILTA (jury for Best Article Award).

Anthony Green, Professor in Language Assessment and Director of the Centre for English Language Learning and Assessment at the University of Bedfordshire

Anthony Green is Professor in Language Assessment and Director of the Centre for English Language Learning and Assessment at the University of Bedfordshire, UK and a former President of the International Language Testing Association. He has consulted, presented and published on a wide range of language assessment issues around the world including for many ALTE members. He is the author of Exploring Language Assessment and Testing (Routledge), Language Functions Revisited and IELTS Washback in Context (both Cambridge University Press). His main research interests lie in the relationships between assessment, learning and teaching.

Professor Cecilie Hamnes Carlsen, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Professor Cecilie Hamnes Carlsen teaches SLA, language assessment, language policy and multilingualism at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. From 1997 she has worked mainly in language testing and validation projects for adult migrants, a work she was leading from 2011 to 2017. She has also been part of the development team of national tests in English for young learners in Norway and is involved in the development of Norwegian tests for migrant adolescents in upper secondary school. Her publications include Vurdering av språkferdigheter (“Assessment of language proficiency”) (2019, with Eli Moe), Norsk profil (“Norwegian Profile”) (2012, Ed.), and A Human Touch to Language Testing (2007, with Eli Moe, Eds.). Her research interests cover topics related to the use, and misuse, of language tests in the immigration and citizenship policy, in the labour market and in education, with a particular focus on the impact of language tests on low-literate adult learners. In ALTE she is a member of the Standing Committee and a co-chair of the LAMI SIG. https://www.hvl.no/en/employee/?user=6021377

Antony John Kunnan, Professor, University of Macau; Consultant, Language Assessment

Antony John Kunnan's research interests are in fairness of tests and testing practice, assessment literacy, research methods and statistics, ethics and standards, immigration and citizenship assessment and language assessment policy. His publications include Evaluating Language Assessments (Routledge, 2018) and Statistics for Language Assessment Workbook and CD (Cambridge, 2005; with Lyle Bachman) and the editor of The Companion to Language Assessment (Wiley, 2014) and journal articles and book chapters. He has held professorial positions at CalStateLA, Tunghai, Hong Kong, Nanyang Technological and Macau. He was the past president of the ILTA and the founding president of AALA. He was also the founding editor of Language Assessment Quarterly. He holds a PhD from UCLA in applied linguistics. He has spoken at ALTE meetings in Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Prague, Sofia and Cluj.

Barry O'Sullivan, Head of Assessment Research and Development, British Council

Professor Barry O’Sullivan is the British Council’s Head of Assessment R&D. He has worked on numerous test development and validation projects globally and advises ministries and institutions on assessment policy and practice. His research includes the development (with Cyril Weir) and refinement of the socio-cognitive model and is evidenced in his many conference presentations and publications. His achievements include being the founding president of the UK Association of Language Testing and Assessment, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Science, a Fellow of the Asian Association for Language Assessment, an Advisory Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Visiting Professor at the University of Reading. In 2019 he was awarded an OBE by the government of the UK for his contribution to language testing.

Dr Francesca Parizzi, Consultant to ALTE

Francesca holds a PhD (Dottorato di Ricerca) in Applied Linguistics from the University of Pisa. She worked at CVCL (Centro per la Valutazione e le Certificazioni Linguistiche) of the University for Foreigners of Perugia and has been an ALTE auditor since 2013. Francesca’s expertise lies in quality management, test design, and assessing language for specific purposes. She has taken part in several projects promoted by the Council of Europe and the European Commission and is co-author of Profilo della lingua italiana, the Reference Level Descriptions for Italian.  

José Pascoal, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Bilingual Chinese-Portuguese Teaching and Training Centre, University of Macau and Member of CAPLE Advisory Committee, University of Lisbon


José has been involved in language testing and assessment over the past 30 years. He was the co-founder and director of CAPLE at the University of Lisbon, where his responsibilities included development, administration, validation and promotion of its examinations. Over the years he trained teachers, oral examiners and item-writers worldwide and co-authored reference texts for the Council of Europe and the Portuguese Ministry of Education. He also published paper and online resources for Portuguese. He lectured at the University of Lisbon and was head of the Portuguese Education Department in the UK. His interests are very close to his professional path in language education, language policy and language assessment. José has been involved in ALTE from the very beginning. He took part in publications, committees and SIGs, including QMS, LAMI and Young Learners, and presented at ALTE International Conferences, as well as being an auditor and member of the Standing Committee and Board of Trustees.

James E Purpura, Professor of Linguistics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

James E Purpura has written a number of scholarly books and is currently writing The Writings of L. F. Bachman: “Assuring that what we count counts” in language assessment (with A. J. Kunnan) (Routledge), and Learning-Oriented Assessment in Language Classrooms: Using Assessments to Gauge and Promote Language Learning (with C. E. Turner) (Routledge). He is currently series co-editor of New Perspectives on Language Assessment (Routledge) and was series co-editor of Language Assessment at ETS: Innovation and Validation (Routledge). He was editor of Language Assessment Quarterly (2014 to 2019), and was President of the International Language Testing Association (2007-2008). Jim serves on the U.S. Defense Language Testing Advisory Panel sponsored by the Defense and National Security Office. He has been a long-term consultant for the United States Information Agency. In 2017, Jim was a Fulbright Scholar at the University for Foreigners of Siena. His current research interests include the assessment of grammar and meaning, learning-oriented assessment, and scenario-based assessment.

Joe Sheils, Consultant to the Council of Europe

Joe Sheils was involved in curriculum development in Ireland before joining the Language Policy team at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, initially to support the CEFR project. He subsequently had responsibility for intergovernmental programmes concerning modern languages, minority languages, the languages of schooling; also language policies for the integration of adult migrants, with the support of ALTE which enjoys Participatory Status with the Council of Europe. In retirement, he has been involved in CoE working groups on the languages of schooling and on language policies for adult migrants, and was a member of the Advisory Group for the CEFR-Companion Volume. He has a particular interest in issues impacting on language policies for adult migrants and the important work of the LAMI group.

Lynda Taylor, Visiting Professor in Language Assessment, Centre for Research in English Language Learning and Assessment (CRELLA), University of Bedfordshire, UK

Lynda Taylor has over 35 years' theoretical and practical experience in language testing and assessment. From the 1980s she worked closely with Cambridge English Assessment on the development, research and validation of their English language examinations, including IELTS.  She was Senior Lecturer at CRELLA 2011-2015 and is now Visiting Professor. Over the past 20 years she has published widely in the field and presented at conferences, workshops and training courses worldwide. She has served on the editorial boards for professional journals and on the Executive Board of ILTA. She is currently a series editor for Studies in Language Testing and President of UKALTA (2020-22). 

Julia Todorinova, Consultant to ALTE


Julia Todorinova, master of Applied Linguistics, worked at the Department for Language Teaching, Sofia University (an ALTE member since 2004). As a Head of the Test Centre, she was responsible for the development, administration, and validation of Standardized Test in Bulgarian as a Foreign language. She has been involved in European funded projects related to testing Bulgarian as SL and e-language learning. She was a member of both ALTE Standing and Executive Committees, Chair of QMS working group and participated in ALTE projects, LAMI posters, workshops and ALTE conferences. As an ALTE auditor, she carries out audits for ALTE members.

Piet Van Avermaet, Centre for Diversity & Learning, Linguistics Department, Ghent University


Piet Van Avermaet is Professor in ‘Language and Diversity’ in the Linguistics Department of Ghent University, Belgium, where he teaches 'multicultural studies', 'multilingualism in education', ‘language, diversity and globalisation’ and 'language policy'. He is also Director of the Centre for Diversity & Learning (CDL) at the same University. He has a long-standing expertise in the field of diversity, language and social inequality in education. He is series co-editor (with Kathleen Heugh and Christopher Stroud) of the book series ‘Multilingualisms and Diversities in Education’, Bloomsbury. His expertise and research interests cover topics related to multilingualism in education, social inequality in education, language policy and practice in education, language policy and practice in contexts of (social) inclusion, language assessment, diversity and inclusion, integration and participation, discrimination in education.

Koen Van Gorp, Head of Foreign Language Assessment, Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA), Michigan State University

Koen Van Gorp oversees foreign language proficiency and placement testing, and teaches in the MA TESOL and Second Language Studies Ph.D. Program at Michigan State University. He also serves as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Language and Education (KU Leuven, Belgium) where he worked from 1991 until 2015. From 2010 until 2015, he was the Director of the Certificate of Dutch as a Foreign Language (http://cnavt.org/), and, in that capacity, an active member of ALTE. He chaired the Language for Specific Purposes SIG (20122015) and co-chaired the Young Learners SIG (20132015). Koen serves on the TOEFL Committee of Examiners (20202024) and on the TOEFL Committee of Examiners Young Student Series Research Subcommittee (2020–2023) at Educational Testing Service (ETS). He is Co-Editor of TASK. Journal on Task-Based Language Teaching and Learning (John Benjamins) and Treasurer and Executive Board Member of the International Association for Task-Based Language Teaching (IATBLT). His research interests are task-based language teaching and assessment, and multilingual education and assessment.



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