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Research group

Language Assessment and Testing Unit (LATU)

looking downwards at people sitting around a table with their laptops

LATU’s mission is to further innovative language assessment and testing research in a multicultural and multimodal world in the digital age and to promote knowledge exchange and dissemination.


Welcome to LATU! 

We are a new research unit within the Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) at the University of Southampton. The PGR Special Interest Group in Language Testing and Assessment (SIGLTA) that has been running for 10 years is now part of our research unit. 

Our vision is to provide a forum for knowledge generation, dissemination and exchange in language assessment and testing and to build new collaborations in this important applied linguistics field. Our research expertise covers the following areas:

  1. language performance assessment  
  2. corpus-based approaches to language assessment 
  3. writing assessment, assessing multimodality 
  4. assessment in English-medium instruction 
  5. standard setting, large-scale testing, comparative judgement  
  6. testing validation and psychometrics 

People, projects and publications


Mr Ahmad Alzahrani

Research interests

  • Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 
  • Assessment Identity 
  • English as a Medium of Education 
Connect with Ahmad

Dr Duygu Candarli

Lecturer in ELT/TESOL

Research interests

  • Second language writing, writing assessment
  • Corpus linguistics, learner corpora, phraseology
  • Academic discourse, discourse analysis

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Duygu

Miss Jiachen Pan

Research interests

  • Chinese as a second language;
  • Language assessments
Connect with Jiachen

Ms Maishael Alsanad Mrs

Research interests

  • L2 Writing Assessment 
  • Feedback Assessment 
  • Generative technology for Writing Assessment
Connect with Maishael

Dr Özgür Şahan PhD

Teaching Fell in Applied Linguistics/ELT

Research interests

  • Language performance assessment
  • Second language writing
  • English as a medium of instruction

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Özgür

Dr Ying Zheng PhD

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Psychometrics and test validation; Human scoring vs. machine scoring; Statistics in applied linguistics; Comparative Judgement in language testing
  • Mandarin exams in the UK school system, including A-Level and GCSE exams; Mandarin Chinese teachers’ professional development
  • Learner motivation and language teaching pedagogy; ESL/EFL learner characteristics and test performance

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Ying