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 SIGs, having been in charge of the auditors’ training workshops and still carries out ALTE audits.

 Cecilie Hamnes Carlsen

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.  

 Jose Pascoal

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


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