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Asian Association for Language Assessment (AALA)
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Asian Association for Language Assessment (AALA)


The Asian Association for Language Assessment (AALA) was established in June 2014, when a working group of language assessment specialists in Asia decided to form an association to promote language assessment activities in the region during the Language Testing Research Colloquium in Amsterdam. Through discussions after the initial meeting, the formal name for the association was chosen, and the Executive Board for 2014-15 was formed. Since then, AALA is growing steadily, with over 300 current Individual Members from various countries and regions not only in Asia but also in other parts of the world.


Current Executive Board members

President: Jessica Wu (Language Training and Testing Center, Taiwan)

Co-President: Yan Jin (Shanghai Jiaotong University, China)

First Vice President: Jirada Wudthayagorn (Chulalongkorn University, Thailand)

Second Vice President: Thi Ngoc Quynh Nguyen (Vietnam National University, Vietnam)

Immediate Past President: David Qian (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)

Secretary/Treasurer: Yasuyo Sawaki (Waseda University, Japan)

Communication Officer: Yasuhiro Imao (Osaka University, Japan)

Member-at-Large: Yo In’nami (Chuo University, Japan)

Member-at-Large: Alan Urmston (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)



The AALA Student Committee publishes a biannual newsletter, In Conversation, in order to promote engagement of Student Members into the association’s activities. Since 2016, the Committee has published three issues, which are all available online at:


Current membership numbers (as of March 26, 2018):

348 Individual Members (261 Regular Members and 87 Student Members)

7 Institutional Members

Recent activities

The Fourth Annual International Conference of AALA was held in Taipei, Taiwan from June 21 to 23, 2017. Information about past AALA conferences can be found at:


Conferences, events, and awards

(1) The 5th Annual International Conference of the Asian Association for Language Assessment (AALA) was held in Shanghai, October 18-20, 2018. Hosted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University and co-hosted by Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, the conference attracted more than 300 participants from 19 countries and regions. Featuring one keynote speech, 4 plenary speeches, 54 parallel paper presentations and 15 poster presentations, the conference provided excellent opportunities for researchers, practitioners, teachers and students from Asia and other parts of the world to exchange views and experiences. The conference also paid a special tribute to Professor Cyril Weir, who passed away on September 28, 2018. During the commemoration session, Professor Barry O’Sullivan reviewed Professor Weir’s great contribution to the field of language testing and assessment.

The theme of this year’s AALA conference was Standards in Language Assessment. The four pre-conference workshops attracted more than 150 researchers, teachers and students. In the workshops, the participants were guided to work through different tasks that helped enhance their knowledge of automated feedback on performance assessment, rating scale development, frameworks and models for reading assessment, and online resources for identifying suitable reading texts for learning and assessment. In the keynote speech, Dr. Ute Knoch from The University of Melbourne addressed the issue of context in rating scale development. In the four plenary speeches, Dr. Xiaoming Xi from Educational Testing Service focused on new advances on the construct definition for language standards and frameworks. Prof. Barry O’Sullivan from British Council presented his ideas on the theory and practice of localisation in language assessment. Dr. Nick Saville from Cambridge Assessment English presented a multilingual perspective on setting standards for language learning and assessment. Prof. Yan Jin from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Dr. Jessica Wu from Language Training and Testing Center proposed to develop guidelines for language assessment practice in Asia.

(2) Awards: All awards described below were established in 2016. For further information, see the AALA Awards menu of the Association’s website at:

AALA Conference Student Awards: Two merit-based awards, the AALA Best Student Paper Award and the AALA Best Student Poster Award, were established in 2016 to support the attendance of the winners at the AALA annual conference. All single-authored/individual paper and poster submissions for our annual conference by graduate students are automatically considered for these awards.

The AALA Outstanding Dissertation Award: This award aims to express AALA’s commitment to recognizing Asia-based outstanding doctoral dissertation research that makes a significant contribution to the field of language assessment. Further details about the 2018 awards will be announced shortly.



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