Professor Guoxing Yu

B.A., PhD(Bristol)

  • BS8 1JA

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Personal profile

Research interests


CALL FOR PAPERS (Special Issue: Multimodal constructs of language assessment in a digital age)


Dr Yu is Professor of Language Assessment, and Director of Education. He was Director of PhD Programme (2020-2023), PhD Admission Tutor, Director of Doctor of Education (Hong Kong, 2016-17), Director of Doctor of Education Applied Linguistics pathway (2010-16), and Director of Centre for Educational Assessment and Evaluation at University of Bristol.

He is an Expert Member of European Association for Language Testing and Assessment.

Dr Yu was the winner of the Jacqueline A. Ross Award (2008) for the outstanding doctoral dissertation in the area of Language Testing (awarded by the TOEFL Program of Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ. USA). He completed his PhD dissertation - Towards a model of using summarization tasks as a measure of reading comprehension - under the supervision of Professor Pauline Rea-Dickins at University of Bristol (2005), with the support of ORS and UoB Postgraduate Research Scholarships.

He spearheaded the establishment of BAAL Testing, Evaluation and Assessment SIG in 2009, and was the Deputy Convenor for a few years.

He is a founding member of the British Council Eye-Tracking Special Interest Group.

Dr Yu is currently on Editorial Board of:

Dr Yu is a co-editor of two book series: 

Dr Yu was


Main research themes:

  • language testing and assessment,

  • applied linguistics (language teaching and acquisition)

  • educational assessment: school effectiveness and educational quality in relation to language and literacy development, measurement of learning power, assessment policies

Research methods:

Research projects and publications

In his main research area (language assessment), he has directed several research projects on IELTS and TOEFL iBT funded by British Council and Educational Testing Service (USA). His five IELTS reports are available to download from , and currently he is working on his 6th research report on IELTS. His TOEFL iBT report on Speaking test preparation is also available to download.

Dr Yu has directed or co-directed several funded research projects including:

  • Preparing for IELTS Speaking test in Sino-UK transnational higher education (TNHE) programmes in Chinese Universities (Principal Investigator, funded by IELTS Partners - British Council)
  • A qualitative analysis of the writing processes and features of IELTS test-takers with reference to their eye-movements (Principal Investigator, funded by IELTS Partners- British Council)
  • Secondary school students’ cognitive processing in integrated writing tasks in Chinese (L1) and English (L2), Co-Investigator, funded by Research Grants Council, Hong Kong University Grants Committee, PI: Prof. Zhu, Hong Kong Polytechnic University).
  • Audio-visual Lexical Tone Perception: Evidence from Eye-tracking Studies (Co-Investigator, funded by British Academy/Levelhulme Trust, PI: Dr Zeng)
  • The Cognitive Processes of Taking IELTS Academic Writing Task One (Principal Investigator, Funded by IELTS Partners - British Council)
  • The Cognitive Processes of Taking IELTS Academic Writing Task One: From Concurrent Think-aloud to Eye-tracking with Retrospective Interviews, (Principal Investigator, funded by IELTS Partners - British Council)
  • Establishment of WUN Language Assessment Research Network (LARN), with partners from Auckland, Bristol, Chinese University Hong Kong, Penn State, Sydney, Western Australia, Zhejiang, Funded by Worldwide Universities Network)
  • Preparing for TOEFL iBT speaking tasks – An investigation of the iBT-ed journeys of Chinese test-takers (Principal Investigator, Funded by Educational Testing Service, USA)
  • A Comparability Study on the Cognitive Processes of Taking GEPT (Advanced) and IELTS (Academic) Writing Using Graph Prompts (Principal Investigator, Funded by GEPT Taiwan)
  • Examining the linguistic aspects of speech that most efficiently discriminate between the upper levels of the revised IELTS pronunciation scale (Co-Investigator, PI Dr Talia Isaacs, Funded by IELTS Partners - British Council)
  • Lexical Diversity in MELAB Speaking and Writing Task performances (Principal Investigator, Funded by University of Michigan Spaan Fellowship)
  • Towards a Model of Using Summarization as a Measure of Reading Comprehension (PhD project,  Funded by University of Bristol Postgraduate Scholarships and UniversitiesUK Overseas Research Studentship Award Scheme)
  • Summarization as a Measure of Reading Comprehension (Principal Investigator, Educational Testing Service TOEFL Small Grant for Doctoral Research)
  • Students Performance in National Examinations (SPINE) – the dynamics of language (Key researcher, Funded by ESRC/DFID, PI: Prof. Rea-Dickins)
  • School Effectiveness and Educational Quality in Low-income Countries (Co-Director, Funded by DFID) – a large scale project within EDQUAL Consortium led by Professor Leon Tikly
  • Student Identity, Learning and Progression: with specific reference to Successful IELTS students (Co-Applicant, Funded by IELTS Partners - British Council), PI: Prof. Rea-Dickins).
  • Policy Effects of PISA (Co-investigator, Funded by Pearson International, PI: Prof. Baird)
  • Improving Teacher Development and Quality in China (Named researcher in application, Funded by ESRC/DFID, PI: Prof. Thomas)
  • Improving Educational Evaluation and Quality in China (Named researcher in application, Funded by ESRC/DFID, PI: Prof. Thomas)
  • Language Testing and Assessment in Applied Linguistics: identifying reciprocity in applied linguistic research (Co-Applicant, Funded by British Academy, PI: Prof. Rea-Dickins)
  • Language Testing and Assessment in Applied Linguistics: conference (Co-Applicant, Funded by British Association for Applied Linguistics and Cambridge University Press, PI: Prof. Rea-Dickins)
  • Systematic Review on Impact of Student Self- and Peer-Assessment on Student Outcomes (Co-Applicant, Funded by DfES through EPPI Centre)
  • Underachievement and learning power (Funded by University of Dundee)
  • Desk Based Review of Effective Policies and Strategies to Improve Education Quality - in the framework of the preparation for 2008 EFA Global Monitoring Report (Co-Author, Funded by UNESCO)

He has published in academic journals including:

  • Applied Linguistics
  • Applied Linguistics Review
  • Assessing Writing
  • Assessment in Education
  • Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics
  • Comparative Education
  • Educational Research
  • Interactive Learning Environments
  • International Review of Education
  • International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
  • International Journal of Listening
  • Journal of Computers in Education
  • Journal of Eye Movement Research
  • Language Assessment Quarterly
  • Language Learning & Technology
  • Language Teaching Research
  • Language Testing
  • Language Testing in Asia
  • Reading and Writing
  • System
  • The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher
  • The Interpreter and Translator Trainer

Edited Books and Journal Special Issues:

Doctoral supervision

He has supervised 30+ doctoral students to successful completion. His previous and current doctoral students (incl. co-supervisees) have worked on dissertation projects such as:

  • impact/washback/fairness of language testing, and test preparation (Dr Tony ClarkESRC-funded; Dr Shwu-wen Lin; Dr Suyun Choi; Dr Shasha Xu, Zhejiang University China; Dr Vasiliki Papafilippou, ESRC-funded; Juan Zhang, Zhejiang University China)
  • writing assessment (Dr Muhibullah Abdur-Rahman, Dr Mikako Nishikawa; Felicia Fang; Daniel Chang)
  • speaking assessment (Dr Helen Tan; Dr Eric Ho, Dr Zhouyang Lv, Zhejiang University China; Dr Wenjun Ding) and pronunciation teaching and assessment (Dr Katsuya Yokomoto, Dr Hassan Qutub, Dr Olive Yuet Ying Cheung)
  • listening assessment (Dr SK Kwon, Dr Haiping Wang, Shanghai International Studies University China; Sharon Wong)
  • predictive validity of IELTS (Dr Slim Khemakhem, University of the West of England)
  • vocabulary learning and assessment (Dr Haoran Xie on game-based learning; Dr Irene Tsai on corpus and collocation; Maggie Pu Pu)
  • assessment of critical thinking (Dr Lai Sim Leung; Dr Xuelian Li, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies)
  • assessment of learning power and authentic pedagogy (Dr Shaofu Huang, Dr Nigel Newton)
  • acquisition and assessment of syntactic knowledge (Dr Sami Alsalmi)
  • the micropolitics of assessment in ESP programmes (Dr Faisal Al Maamari)
  • teacher assessment literacy (Dr Lin Fang, Dr Jing Zhang)
  • teacher feedback and formative assessment (Dr Beibei Zhao; Dr Rashid Al-Hinai; Yasaman Ibayeva)
  • feedback in automated writing evaluation (AWE) system (Sha Liu)
  • peer assessment in student collaborative writing in higher education (Dr Walter Ng)
  • the use of English in teaching and assessing mathematics in secondary schools (Dr Elvinia Chan); assessment of EAL learners in England (Samira Moradi, ESRC-funded)
  • school effectiveness, and educational quality (Dr Massoud Mohamed Salim; Dr Tarmidi Dadeh; Dr Dini Jiang)
  • international schools, and school leaderships (Zhuoren Sun)

He has supported his PhD students and academic visitors to win competitive grants and scholarships from ESRC (x4), British Council Assessment Awards (x5), China Scholarship Council (x8), Newton Fund, Alumni Foundation (x2), WUN Research Mobility, The International Research Foundation for English Language Education (TIRF), TOEFL Small Grants for Doctoral Research (x3), TOEFL YSS Grants for Graduate Students, and Duolingo Doctoral Research Awards (x3),


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