PGR Network

The UKALTA PGR (Postgraduate Researcher) Network aims to bring together UKALTA members who are in the process of completing their master’s or doctoral studies in language testing, as well as early-career researchers (ECRs) who have completed their studies within the past five years. PGR Network’s aims and objectives are:

  1. to offer an accessible opportunity for UKALTA PG and ECR members to network.
  2. to further build an online and face-to-face community of practice of UKALTA PG and ECR members.
  3. to support the language testing research community and new and emerging researchers working in the field of language testing.
  4. to encourage greater partnership between postgraduate students and early-career researchers to exchange information and research as well as to encourage discussions on language assessment on a broad range of languages in the UK.

*At present, activities are being conducted through the Microsoft Teams online platform, but in future, we envisage offering both online Microsoft Teams-based events and face-to-face events. Go to the PGR Network Events page for details of upcoming plans.

To join the UKALTA PGR Network and the Microsoft Teams area, please fill in this brief survey. We also request that you Join UKALTA first.

UKALTA PGR Network steering group members 2021-2022:

Elin Arfon, PhD student at the School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University

Elin’s PhD looks at plurilingual learning, teaching and assessment within secondary schools across Wales. Elin’s research is centred around the Wales education context in terms of the new Curriculum for Wales 2022 and the new 16-year-old qualifications due to be introduced in 2027 to students in Wales.

Jane Lloyd, part-time PhD student at CRELLA, University of Bedfordshire

Jane is carrying out a systematic study of the decision making processes of expert judges who take part in standard setting panels for English language proficiency reading exams. Ideally, the judgements should be informed by the underlying theory of reading comprehension the test is based on, and by the performance level descriptors (PLDs) the test is aligning to. She is investigating how panel judgements could be made more valid, based on a series of amendments to standard setting activities.

Dr Olena Rossi, the Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University

Olena’s PhD study looked into the nature of item-writing skills and their development. Her current research interests include test development, item writing, item-writer training, and assessment literacy for test stakeholders.

Johnathan Jones, PhD candidate at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London 


Johnathan investigates the efficacy of traditional listening prompts used in L2 speech perception testing, comparing isolated words with connected speech. Though his academic work examines theoretical and methodological gaps in research and assessment, his interests are practical, refining assessments to better reflect language learners’ present abilities.


Santi B. Lestari, PhD student at the Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University

Santi’s PhD research investigates the scoring of integrated reading-into-writing performance using analytic rating scales. More specifically, she looks at how the reading and source use-related aspects of the performance are evaluated by raters using two different analytic rating scales.