Professor Glenn Fulcher

Dr Glenn FulcherProfessor of Applied Linguistics and Language Assessment

Contact details

Tel: 0116 2297508

Email: gf39[at]

Personal details

  • BD, AKC (King's College, London)
  • MTh. (King's College, London)
  • MA in Applied English Linguistics (Birmingham)
  • PGCE (Christ's College, Cambridge)
  • PhD (Lancaster)

I'm an applied linguist with particular interests in the field of language testing and educational assessment. I have extensive research experience in test design and development projects, including the design and creation of test specifications, item/task design and prototyping, item/task review procedures, pre-testing, test analysis and assembly, and the design of both paper and computer delivery systems.

I  receive regular invitations to talk at national and international conferences, and have recently given keynotes on topics as diverse as assessment literacy, social issues for examination boards, litigation in testing, and assessing language in the military domain.

I also frequently act as a consultant to testing and assessment agencies. I've been a member of the TOEFL Committee of Examiners and the TOEFL Research Committee, and was President of the International Language Testing Association (ILTA) in 2006. I was the longest serving Editor of the premier journal Language Testing (Sage) from 2006 to 2015, and continued to edit the journal podcast until issue 34 in 2021. You can listen to my podcasts on this webpage. In 2021 I received the Messick Memorial Award for my contributions to educational assessment and validation theory. You can watch my lecture here.



I contribute to the MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, MA TESOL, PhD and EdD programmes.

In 2013 I was awarded a University Teaching Fellowship for the development of a model of assessment literacy, and innovative materials (text and internet-based) to teach language assessment. These resources are widely used in teaching language testing around the world. In 2014 my contribution to teaching and learning excellence in the field of language testing was recognized by the Higher Education Academy which made me a National Teaching Fellow.

Selected Publications

Fulcher, G. & Harding, L. (2022). The Routledge Handbook of Language Testing. 2nd Edition. London and New York: Routledge.

Fulcher, G. (2021). "Calls to decolonise assessment do students a disservice." Times Higher Educational Supplement. Online edition 12th October. Print edition 14th October. Download a copy here.

Fulcher, G. (2015). Re-examining Language Testing. A Philosophical and Social Inquiry. London and New York: Routledge. Winner of the 2016 SAGE/ILTA Book Award (jointly with Fulcher and Davidson, 2012): Click Here for further information, read press release 1, read press release 2 and download a photo.

Browne, K. & Fulcher, G. (2017). Perception and Pronunciation in Fluency Assessment. In Isaacs, T. & Trofimovich, P. (Eds.) Interfaces in Second Language Pronunciation Assessment: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (pp. 37 – 53). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Open Access: Download the Complete Book Here.

Fulcher, G. (2014). Philosophy and Language Testing. In Kunnan, A. J. (Ed.) The Companion to Language Testing. London: Wiley-Blackwell. This chapter has been selected as a free sample to promote the book. You can read it in html or download a free pdf just by clicking here.

Fulcher, G. & Svalberg, M. A-L. (2013). Limited Aspects of Reality: Frames of reference in language assessment. International Journal of English Studies 13(2), 1 - 19. Second language testing: Interfaces between Pedagogy and Assessment. Download the PDF here.

Fulcher, G. and Davidson, F.  (2012). The Routledge Handbook of Language Testing. London and New York: Routledge. Winner of the 2016 SAGE/ILTA Book Award (jointly with Fulcher, 2015): Click Here for further information, and read the press release.

Fulcher, G. and Davidson, F. (2009). Test architecture, test retrofit. Language Testing 26(1), 123 - 144. Winner of the 2011 International Language Testing Association Best Article Award.

More publications


  • Construct definition and operationalization
  • Designing test specifications
  • Task design, prototyping and piloting
  • Content analysis for EAP or specific purposes testing
  • Investigating task difficulty
  • Designing rating scales for performance assessment
  • Interface issues in computer based testing
  • Validation
  • Pragmatic notions of validity and the philosophy of educational assessment
  • Ethics and Standards in language testing practice
  • Test use, political mandates and philosophy


My main expertise are in the design and development of rating instruments for performance assessments, particularly those in the assessment of speaking and communication. I developed the first data-based rating scales for speaking tests, and continue to conduct research in this area. My work on test retrofit has also drawn international attention, receiving an International Language Testing Association prize in 2011.


Read about my inaugural lecture in January 2013. You can also watch a video of the lecture

Watch a recent video on language testing and research that I made for TESOL Academic

Recent success of my students:

Jong-Il Yi awarded TOEFL grant for doctoral research 2011.

Kevin Browne awarded TOEFL grant for doctoral research 2012

Nathaniel Owen awarded TOEFL grant for doctoral research 2014

Kunlaphak Kongsuwannakul awarded TOEFL grant for doctoral research 2015

Keke Zhang awarded TOEFL grant for doctoral research 2015

Katerina Young awarded TOEFL grant for doctoral research 2016

Yohana Gratiana awarded TOEFL grant for doctoral research 2018

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