Professor Charles Alderson

Professor Charles Alderson

Emeritus

County South
Lancaster University
Bailrigg
Lancaster
United Kingdom
LA1 4YL


Affiliations

LTRG - Language Testing Research Group

Profile

For the next two years, I have been awarded a research grant from the Economic and Social Research Council to lead a research project entitled "Diagnosing Reading Proficiency in a Second or Foreign Language". The research grant for this project buys out all my teaching, administration and research time.

Courses I have taught in the past include:

Undergraduate courses:

  • Language Teaching Methodology (LING271)
  • Interpreting Language in Use (LING261)
  • Introduction to General Linguistics (LING151)
  • Language Acquisition (LING235)

Masters level:

  • Background to Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching
  • Evaluating Language Education
  • Issues in Language Testing
  • Language Test Construction and Evaluation
  • Language Testing Techniques
  • Language Test Research and Development
  • Professional Issues in Language Teaching
  • Research Issues in Applied Linguistics
  • Research Design and Experimentation in Language Teaching
  • Research Issues in Applied Linguistics
  • Reading in a Foreign Language
  • Statistics

PhD level:

  • Introduction to Quantitative Methods
  • Critical Approaches to Social Data for Applied Linguistics
  • Language Testing

Research Interests

Charles Alderson is Professor of Linguistics and English Language Education in the Department of Linguistics and English Language, and was Head of Department from 1994 to 1997. From 1997 to 2001, Charles was co-editor, with Professor Lyle Bachman of UCLA, of the international journal Language Testing, and is co-editor, also with Lyle Bachman, of the Cambridge Language Assessment Series (CLAS), published by Cambridge University Press in which the following books have already appeared:

  • Assessing Reading (Alderson, 2000)
  • Assessing Vocabulary (Read, 2000)
  • Assessing Languages for Specific Purposes (Douglas, 2000)
  • Assessing Listening (Buck, 2001)
  • Assessing Writing (Weigle, 2002)
  • Assessing Speaking (Luoma, 2004)
  • Assessing Grammar (Purpura, 2004)
  • Statistical Analysis for Language Assessment (Bachman, 2004)
  • Assessing Young Learners (McKay, 2006)
  • Assessing Language through Computer Technology (Chapelle and Douglas, 2006)

He is also editor of the series Into Europe , published by the British Council and the Teleki Foundation, Budapest, in which Reading and Use of English (Alderson and Cseresznyés, 2003), The Speaking Handbook (Csépes and Együd), The Writing Handbook (Gyula Tankó) and Listening (Katalin Fehérváryné H. and Karmen Pizorn) have been published.

From 1998 till Summer 2000, Charles was on leave of absence in Hungary, where he was Adviser to the British Council, on the English Examinations Reform Project, and Director of Studies of the PhD in Language Pedagogy at ELTE, Budapest.

He was Scientific Co-ordinator of the EU-funded DIALANG project, and welcomes applications from students wishing to engage in research in any aspect of the work of DIALANG or computer-based assessment more generally.

In 2003, Charles received a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to conduct research on DIALANG which resulted in his 2005 book Diagnosing foreign language proficiency: the interface between learning and assessment, published by Continuum

Before joining the Department in 1989, he was a Senior Teaching Fellow and Director of the Institute for English Language Education from 1985 to 1987. Prior to coming to Lancaster in 1980, he was Director of the University of Michigan's Testing and Certification Division, and he taught EFL and Applied Linguistics in West Germany, Algeria, Scotland and Mexico.

He has published many articles in professional journals on language testing, course design and evaluation, and reading in a foreign language. His most recent edited, co-edited and co-authored publications are:

  • Constructing School-leaving Examinations at a National Level - Meeting European Standards. Ljubljana: British Council and Državni izpitni center. (ISBN 961-6322-37-0) with Karmen Pižorn.
  • Into Europe: Reading and Use of English. Budapest: Teleki László Foundation. ISBN 963 86388 3 4.
  • Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment. Case Studies. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing. ISBN 92-871-4983-6.
  • The language assistant scheme in Slovenia: A baseline study. Ljubljana: The British Council, with K. Pižorn, N. Žemva and L.Beaver
  • English Language Education in Hungary, Part II: Examining Hungarian Learners' Achievements in English with colleagues Edit Nagy and Enikö Öveges, published by the British Council Hungary.
  • He is also co-author, with colleagues Caroline Clapham and Dianne Wall, of Language Test Construction and Evaluation, published by Cambridge University Press in 1995.

He has also co-edited:

  • Issues in Language Testing (1981)
  • Reading in a Foreign Language (1984)
  • Evaluation (1985)
  • Evaluating Second Language Education (1992)
  • Language Testing in the 1990s: The Communicative Legacy (1991).

Recent and current research projects directed by Charles include:

  • Diagnosis of reading proficiency in a second or foreign language
  • ELPACS - The validation of a test of English for air traffic controllers, funded by Eurocontrol, Luxembourg, 2006-7.
  • The Dutch CEF Construct Project, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, 2003-7
  • ESRC-funded project on Metalinguistic Knowledge, Language Aptitude and Language Proficiency
  • LUCAS Language Testing Software Development
  • For the Australian Government on the testing of migrant health professionals
  • For the Overseas Development Administration on the development of proficiency tests in Sri Lanka, and on the washback of a revised O-Level examination of English on Sri Lankan classrooms and teachers
  • For the British Council and Innovation in Higher Education on computer-based English language testing
  • For the ELTS Revision Project for the British Council, the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate and the Australian International Development Program.

Charles was Co-ordinator of the ENLTA Project (European Network for Language Testing and Assessment), funded by the European Commission from 2003 to 2005 to create EALTA, an organisation of individuals involved in language testing or assessment at any educational level.

Current interests include all aspects of language testing, course evaluation, reading in a second or foreign language, and in-service teacher training. He is a member of the Reading Experts Group for PISA 2009 and at Lancaster he is a member of the Language Testing Research Group.

See full CV(PDF).

2014

Issues in language testing revisited

Alderson, C., Brunfaut, T. & Harding, L. 2014 In: Language Assessment Quarterly. 11, 2, p. 125-128 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

2011

Can research into the diagnostic testing of reading in a second or foreign language contribute to SLA research?

Alderson, C. & Huhta, A. 2011 In: EUROSLA Yearbook. 11, p. 30-52 23 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

A lifetime of language testing

Alderson, C. 2011 Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press. 323 p. (Applied Linguistic Series)

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

2010

A survey of aviation English tests.

Alderson, J. C. 01/2010 In: Language Testing. 27, 1, p. 51-72 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2009

Setting the Scene.

Alderson, J. C. 2009 The politics of language education: individuals and institutions. Alderson, J. C. (ed.). Bristol: Multilingual Matters, p. 8-44 37 p. (New perspectives on language and education)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

The Micropolitics of research and publication.

Alderson, J. C. 2009 The politics of language education: individuals and institutions. Alderson, J. C. (ed.). Bristol: Multilingual Matters, p. 222-236 15 p. (New perspectives on language and education)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Air safety, language assessment policy and policy implementation: the case of aviation English.

Alderson, J. C. 03/2009 In: Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. 29, 1, p. 168-187 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Studying the English language: reflections.

Culpeper, J. & Alderson, C. 2009 English language: description, variation and context. Culpeper, J., Katamba, F., Kerswill, P., McEnery, T. & Wodak, R. (eds.). Basingstoke: Palgrave, p. 659-666 8 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

The Politics of Language Education: Individuals and Institutions.

Alderson, J. C. & Alderson, J. C. (ed.) 15/03/2009 Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 208 p. (New Perspectives on Language and Education)

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

2007

Judging the Frequency of English Words.

Alderson, J. C. 2007 In: Applied Linguistics. 28, 3, p. 383-409 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2006

Analysing tests of reading and listening in relation to the Common European Framework of Reference: The Experience of the Dutch CEFR Construct Project.

Alderson, J. C., Figueras, N., Kuiper, H. & Nold, G. 1/01/2006 In: Language Assessment Quarterly An International Journal. 3, 1, p. 3-30 28 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Implementing and evaluating a self-assessment mechanism for the web-based Language and Style course.

Alderson, J. C. & McIntyre, D. 1/08/2006 In: Language and Literature. 15, 3, p. 291-306 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2005

The development of a suite of computer-based diagnostic tests based on the Common European Framework.

Alderson, J. C. & Huhta, A. 1/07/2005 In: Language Testing. 22, 3, p. 301-320 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Editorial.

Alderson, J. C. 1/07/2005 In: Language Testing. 22, 3, p. 257-260 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Diagnosing foreign language proficiency: the interface between learning and assessment.

Alderson, J. C. 2005 London: Continuum.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

2003

Reading and use of English.

Alderson, J. C. & Cseresznyés., M. 2003 Budapest: Teleki László Foundation. 289 p. (Into Europe)

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

2002

State of the art review: language testing and assessment (part two).

Alderson, J. C. & Banerjee, J. 17/04/2002 In: Language Teaching. 35, 2, p. 79-113 35 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2001

Impact and washback research in language testing.

Banerjee, J. & Alderson, J. C. 2001 Experimenting with uncertainty: Essays in honour of Alan Davies. Cambridge University Press, 150 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

A jelenlegi angol érettségi vizsga.

Alderson, J. C. & Szollas, K. 2001 In: Iskolakultúra. 11, 8, p. 48-60 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

The language assistant scheme in Slovenia: a baseline study.

Alderson, J. C., Alderson, J. C. (ed.), Pizorn, K. (ed.), Zemva, N. (ed.) & Beaver, L. (ed.) 2001 Ljubljana: The British Council. 183 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Az angol nyelvi érettségi vizsgareform.

Alderson, J. C., Nagy, E. & Öveges, E. 2001 In: Iskolakultúra. 11, 8, p. 93-98 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Language testing and assessment: state of the art review, part one.

Alderson, J. C. & Banerjee, J. 10/2001 In: Language Teaching. 34, 4, p. 213-236 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Testing is too important to be left to testers.

Alderson, J. C. 2001 Alternative assessment. Coombe, C. (ed.). Arabia: TESOL, p. 1-14 14 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Szertefoszló mítoszok: Számít-e a heti óraszám?

Alderson, J. C. 2001 In: Modern Nyelvoktatás. 7, 2-3, p. 19-28 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

A felvonó nem muködik. Ön ma elviselhetetlen lesz - Avagy a fordítás és az új érettségi.

Alderson, J. C. 2001 In: Iskolakultúra. 11, 11, p. 100-112 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2000

Sequencing as an item type.

Alderson, J. C., Percsich, R. & Szabo, G. 10/2000 In: Language Testing. 17, 4, p. 423-447 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

English language education in Hungary, Part II: examining Hungarian learners’ achievements in English.

Alderson, J. C. (ed.), Nagy, E. (ed.) & Öveges, E. (ed.) 2000 Budapest: The British Council. 416 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Technology in testing: the present and the future.

Alderson, J. C. 12/2000 In: System. 28, 4, p. 593-603 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Assessing reading.

Alderson, J. C. 2000 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 398 p. (Cambridge language assessment)

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Marking the pilot tests.

Szabo, K., Sulyok, A. & Alderson, J. C. 2000 English language education in Hungary. - Part II: Examining Hungarian learners’ achievements in English. Alderson, C., Nagy, E. & Öveges, E. (eds.). Budapest: The British Council, p. 60-74 15 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

The writing test.

Szabo, K., Grof, S. & Alderson, J. C. 2000 English language education in Hungary, Part II: examining Hungarian learners’ achievements in English. Alderson, C., Nagy, E. & Öveges, E. (eds.). Budapest: The British Council, p. 100-122 23 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

The context: the current school-leaving examination.

Alderson, J. C. & Szollas, K. 2000 English language education in Hungary. - Part II: Examining Hungarian learners’ achievements in English. Alderson, C., Nagy, E. & Öveges, E. (eds.). Budapest: The British Council, p. 9-21 13 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Results of piloting.

Alderson, J. C., Szabo, G. & Percsich, R. 2000 English language education in Hungary. - Part II: Examining Hungarian learners' achievements in English. Alderson, C., Nagy, E. & Öveges, E. (eds.). Budapest: The British Council, p. 82-91 10 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Pilot test booklet design.

Alderson, J. C. & Öveges, E. 2000 English language education in Hungary, Part II: examining Hungarian learners’ achievements in English. Alderson, C., Nagy, E. & Öveges, E. (eds.). Budapest: The British Council, p. 47-53 7 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Conclusion: the way forward.

Alderson, J. C., Nagy, E. & Öveges, E. 2000 English language education in Hungary, Part II: examining Hungarian learners’ achievements in English.. Alderson, C., Nagy, E. & Öveges, E. (eds.). Budapest: The British Council, p. 279-284 6 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

What does PESTI have to do with us testers?

Alderson, J. C. 2000 Proceedings of the international language in education conference: discourses and development in language education. Hung, J., Berry, V., Crew, V. & Davison, C. (eds.). Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, p. 215-234 20 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Testing in EAP: progress? Achievement? Proficiency?

Alderson, J. C. 2000 Assessing English for academic purposes. Blue, G. M., Milton, J. & Saville, J. (eds.). Oxford: Peter Lang, p. 21-47 27 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Teljesitményszintek az angol nyelvi érettségi kipróbálásán.

Alderson, J. C. 2000 In: Magyar Pedagógia. 100, 4, p. 423-458 36 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Levels of performance.

Alderson, J. C. 2000 English language education in Hungary, Part II: examining Hungarian learners’ achievements in English. Alderson, C., Nagy, E. & Öveges, E. (eds.). Budapest: The British Council, p. 218-247 30 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Exploding myths: does the number of hours per week matter?

Alderson, J. C. 2000 English language education in Hungary, Part II: examining Hungarian learners’ achievements in English. Alderson, C., Nagy, E. & Öveges, E. (eds.). Budapest: The British Council, p. 248-257 10 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Exploding myths: does the number of hours per week matter?

Alderson, J. C. 02/2000 In: novELTy. 7, 1, p. 17-32 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

  • The Dutch CEF Construct Project

    31/01/2003 → 31/12/2007
    The Council of Europe's Common European Framework (CEF) is a reference document for curriculum and syllabus development, textbook writing and teacher training, and for assessment. It is increasingly r ... Read more»
  • The Interculture Project

    01/09/1998 → 01/11/2002
    A four year project funded by HEFCE under the Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning in HE (FDTL) sub-titled 'Developing intercultural and socio-linguistic competence for periods of study a ... Read more»
  • ESRC study of metalinguistic knowledge and proficiency in French

    01/01/1996 → 01/01/2000
    This research project was funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council. The research was intended to investigate the belief that incoming undergraduate students of French in British universit ... Read more»

 

 

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