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MS Sally O'Hagan


  • specific purpose language assessment, assessment in higher education, academic literacy, English for academic purposes, communication in healthcare



  • Sally O’Hagan is a Research Fellow at the Language Testing Research Centre in the School of Languages where she works on test development projects, program evaluation, and research and validation relating to language testing in a range of contexts including the K-12 sector, pre-university language preparation, post-entry assessment in higher education, and specific-purpose language assessment. She has also taught general English (ELICOS) to adults and English for school preparation to teens and younger learners. Sally has also lectured in the Linguistics & Applied Linguistics and ESL programs at the University of Melbourne. Sally’s doctoral research examined assessor behaviour and variability of judgement in the context of discipline-based academic writing tasks. She maintains active research interests in learner and teacher assessment literacy, development and validation of speaking and writing rating scales, standard-setting in language assessment for academic and professional purposes, assessing young learners, and communication in healthcare. Sally serves on the executive committee of the Association for Language Testing of Australia and New Zealand (ALTAANZ) and is the co-editor of the international journal, Papers in Language Testing and Assessment (PLTA).   


Member of

  • International Language Testing Association. Member 2016 -
  • Association for Language Testing and Assessment of Australia and New Zealand (ALTAANZ). Executive Committee Member 2012 -
  • Applied Linguistics Association of Australia (ALAA). Member 1995 -


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • MA, University of Melbourne
  • BA, University of Melbourne
  • PhD, University of Melbourne

Awards and honors

  • MAK Halliday Scholarship (supporting doctoral research), Applied Linguistics Association of Australia, 2002
  • IELTS MA Dissertation Award 2000 for the MA thesis making the best contribution to performance assessment and language testing, UCLES/British Council and IELTS Australia, 2001



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Research areas: • Language assessment for specific purposes • Rater cognition in the assessment of writing and speaking • Assessment in higher education • Assessing young language learners • Communication in healthcare