Head of IELTS Research
Tony Clark is the Head of IELTS Research at Cambridge English, managing research on the IELTS test. Since joining Cambridge English in 2018, he has been responsible for the IELTS Joint-funded Research Programme and the Caroline Clapham Master’s Award, acted as Permanent Secretary/Chair of the IELTS Joint Research Committee, and led on a number of high profile cross-partner research projects, in addition to several standard-setting workshops. His other principal research interests include Chinese and Japanese educational contexts, academic writing for overseas learning, test preparation, pedagogy, diagnostic assessment and lexical studies.
Tony’s PhD (University of Bristol) received a British Council Research Assessment Award in 2014, and in 2015/2016 he was a recipient of the Newton Fund Scholarship. He has also contributed to research projects on language and admissions testing, language acquisition and test development, collaborating with Bristol University, Coventry University, Swansea University and Assessment Europe. Prior to entering full-time research, he was a test preparation instructor for the British Council (Japan and Morocco) and worked as a teacher in Italy, Hungary, and the UK. His first degree was in Philosophy and English Literature (University of Edinburgh).
Prior to his current role, Tony was an exam preparation instructor for the British Council (Japan and Morocco), and worked as a teacher in Italy and Hungary, and as a Cambridge Examiner. In his free time, Tony enjoys playing and watching football, and running.
Key publications and conference presentations
Clark, T and Endres, H (forthcoming 2021) Online diagnostic testing for high school students – an international trial (under review).
Clark, T and Yu, G (forthcoming 2021) IELTS Test Preparation in China: Relearning Academic Writing Conventions (in preparation).
Curry, N and Clark, T (forthcoming 2021) Growth mindsets and language learning: Reconciling opinions, perceptions, and evidence, Special issue of Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching.
Liu, S and Clark, T (forthcoming 2021) Review of the Routledge Handbook of Second Language Research in Classroom Learning by Ronald P. Leow, Journal of Asia TEFL.
Curry, N and Clark, T (forthcoming 2020) Spelling errors in the Preliminary English B1 exam: Corpus-informed evaluation of examination criteria for MENA contexts, in McCallum, L and Coombe, C (Eds) The Assessment of L2 Written English across the MENA Region: A Synthesis of Practice, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Clark, T and Yu, G (forthcoming 2020) Preparing for IELTS and overcoming challenges of writing acquisition: From the perspectives of English native speaker teachers and Japanese learners (under review).
Clark, T (2020) Test preparation and the role of language assessment knowledge in a globally mobile era, EALTA Webinar (invited talk).
Clark, T (2020) Online diagnostic testing for young learners - an international trial, keynote presentation at Lexical Studies Conference, University of Swansea. Paper also presented at EALTA and AAAL (2019).
Clark, T and Fairbairn, J (2020) Careers in language assessment: Our academic trajectories and experiences working at major international testing organisations, University College London, institute of Education (invited talk).
Clark, T and Khabbazbashi, N (2020) Reflections and projections, invited closing remarks at Language Testing Forum (LTF) University of Swansea.
Clark, T and Yu, G (2020) Beyond the IELTS test: Chinese and Japanese postgraduate UK experiences, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism: Language Testing Special Issue.
Gu, Y and Clark, T (2020) Testing practices and construct operationalisation: reflections on Cyril Weir’s view of integrated assessment tasks, in Taylor, L and Saville, N (Eds) Lessons and Legacy: A Tribute to Professor Cyril J Weir 1950–2018, Studies in Language Testing volume 50, Cambridge: UCLES/Cambridge University Press, 159–174.
Clark, T (2019) Working for a large-scale assessment organisation, and the development of a diagnostic test, Bristol Conversations in Education Series, University of Bristol, School of Education (invited talk).
Clark, T (2019) Looking beyond the test: The complex relationship between IELTS preparation in China and subsequent UK study, Keynote presentation, CALTA Conference, Guangzhou, China.
Clark, T (2019) Bridging the gap: The relationship between intensive IELTS Writing preparation in China and Japan and ‘Relearning’ Academic Conventions, BAAL Tea Sig, UCL London.
Curry, N and Clark, T (2019) What can we do? Using research to guide teachers, learners and materials writers towards exam success, IATEFL, Liverpool.
Pickles, M, Clark, T and Elliott (2019) Revising the A2 Key and B1 Preliminary Listening exam, Research Notes 76, 29–38.
Curry, N and Clark, T (2018) Best practice for exam preparation: Focusing on the human learner, paper presented at Better Learning Conference, Churchill College University of Cambridge.
Fitzpatrick, T, Morris, S, Clark, T, Mitchell, R, Needs, J, Tanguay, E and Tovey, B (2018) Rapid Evidence Assessment: Effective Second Language Teaching Approaches and Methods. ,Cardiff: Welsh Government, GSR report number 31/2018.
Yu, G and Clark, T (2017) Extracting words from IELTS Writing Task 1: Is it like extracting sunlight from cucumbers?, paper presented at the British Association of Applied Linguistic Vocabulary Special Interest Group (BAAL SIG) Joint Plenary, University of Reading, UK, August 2017.
Johnson, S, Clark, T and Johnson, R (2015) Grading and standard setting for high-stakes assessment: Review conducted for the Scottish Qualifications Authority, summarised contents presented at University of Bristol, UK.
Brereton, P and Clark, T (2014) IELTS: How to read under exam conditions, The Japan Times, University Times Section (7 July 2014), 34.