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Professor Guoxing Yu

Professor Guoxing Yu

Professor Guoxing Yu
B.A., PhD(Bristol)

Professor of Language Assessment

Office 308
Helen Wodehouse Building,
35 Berkeley Square, Clifton BS8 1JA
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 4436


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, students and publications

In his main research area (language assessment), Guoxing has directed several research projects on IELTS and TOEFL iBT funded by British Council and Educational Testing Service (USA). His four IELTS reports are available to download from , and currently he is working on his 5th research report on IELTS. His TOEFL iBT report on Speaking test preparation is also available to download.


Dr Yu (ORCIDis Professor of Language Assessment, and Director of PhD Programme. He was 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.

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 Covenor for a few years.

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

Dr Yu is an Executive Editor of Assessment in EducationHe is also on Editorial Board of:

Dr Yu is also a referee for other academic journals including:


Dr Yu is a referee for Economics and Social Research Council (ESRC)


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

  • A qualitative analysis of the writing processes and features of IELTS test-takers with reference to their eye-movements (Principal Investigator, funded by 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: From Concurrent Think-aloud to Eye-tracking with Retrospective Interviews, (Principal Investigator, funded by 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)
  • The Cognitive Processes of Taking IELTS Academic Writing Task One (Principal Investigator, Funded by IELTS Partners - British Council)
  • 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 supervised 28 doctoral students to successful completion. His previous and current doctoral students (incl. co-supervisees) have worked on dissertation projects such as:

  • lexical diversity of teacher talk and the predictive validity of IELTS (Dr Slim Khemakhem, University of the West of England)
  • writing assessment (Dr Muhibullah Abdur-Rahman, Dr Mikako Nishikawa)
  • speaking assessment (Dr Helen Tan; Katsuya Yokomoto; Dr Zhouyang Lv, Zhejiang University China)
  • listening assessment (Dr Haiping Wang, Shanghai International Studies University China)
  • assessment of critical thinking in Liberal Studies in Hong Kong (Dr Lai Sim Leung)
  • assessment of learning power and authentic pedagogy (Dr Shaofu Huang, Dr Nigel Newton)
  • assessment of young learners (Wenjun Ding)
  • acquisition of synatic knowledge and working memory (Dr Sami Alsalmi)
  • the micropolitics of assessment in ESP programmes (Dr Faisal Al Maamari)
  • teacher assessment literacy (Dr Lin Fang, Jing Zhang)
  • formative feedback and learner uptake in language classrooms (Dr Beibei Zhao; Dr Rashid Al-Hinai)
  • feeback in student collaborative writing in higher education (Dr Walter Ng)
  • feedback in automated writing evaluation (AWE) system (Sha Liu)
  • the use of English in teaching and assessing mathematics in secondary schools (Dr Elvinia Chan)
  • corpus-based collocation learning and assessment (Dr Irene Tsai)
  • school effectiveness, and educational quality (Dr Massoud Mohamed Salim; Tarmidi Dadeh; Dini Jiang)
  • international schools, and school leaderships (Zhuoren Sun)

He has published in international academic journals including:

  • Applied Linguistics
  • Assessing Writing
  • Assessment in Education
  • Comparative Education
  • Educational Research
  • International Review of Education
  • Language Assessment Quarterly
  • Language Teaching
  • Language Testing, plus several book chapters

al aie assw edr laq lt lteach teic ce 


Book Review Editor of British Association for Applied Linguistics News (ISSN 0965-5638) for seven years. 

Co-editor of book series (Pedagogical Content Knowledge for EFL teachers) - see the Introduction (in Chinese)


Edited Book:

Assessing Chinese Learners of English: Language Constructs, Consequences and Conundrums (Palgrave, 2015; with Prof. Jin Yan)


Journal Special Issues:

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) for English Language Assessment in China (Language Testing in Asia, 2017, with Prof. Jin Yan)

English Language Assessment in China: Policies, Practices and Impacts (Assessment in Education, 2014, with Prof. Jin Yan)

Integrated Writing Assessment (Language Assessment Quarterly, 2013)

Preparing for Admission Tests in English (Assessment in Education, forthcoming, with Prof. Tony Green)



  • language testing and assessment
  • applied linguistics in education
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • school effectiveness
  • education quality
  • educational assessment
  • measurement of learning power


  • British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL) European Association for Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA) Individual affiliate of Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE) International Language Testing Association (ILTA) Association Internationale de Linguistique Appliquée (AILA) International Association of Applied Linguistics International Test Commission



School of Education

Selected publications

Read more >

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Professor Yu currently teaches 4 courses:

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