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Barry O’Sullivan

Professor Barry O’Sullivan is the Head of Assessment Research and Development at the British Council. He has undertaken research across a range of areas in language testing and assessment and its history and has worked on the development and refinement of the socio-cognitive model of test development and validation since 2000. He is particularly interested in the communication of test validation to various stakeholder groups, seeing this as a major weakness in current practice. He has presented his work at over 150 conferences around the world, while almost 100 of his publications have appeared in a range of international journals, books and technical reports. In addition, he has published five books in the area, the most recent being English on the Global Stage: The British Council and English Language Testing 1941-2016 (2017, Equinox). He has worked a series of test development and validation projects around the world over the past 25 years and advises ministries and institutions on assessment policy and practice.

Professor O’Sullivan is the founding president of the UK Association of Language Testing and Assessment (UKALTA) and is particularly keen on providing opportunities for coming generations of language testing and assessment professionals. He holds honorary and visiting chairs at the Universities of Reading and Roehampton (UK) and at the University of Lisbon (Portugal). In 2016 he was awarded fellowship of the Academy of Social Science in the UK, and in 2017 he was elected to Fellowship of the Asian Association for Language Assessment.