A collection of papers from the 2010 LTF conference has been published as a Special Issue in the journal Language Assessment Quarterly (Vol. 11: 2, 2014): Issues in Language Testing Revisited: Exam Board Perspectives and Future Directions

Conference Theme: “30 years of LTF – Issues in Language Testing Revisited”

The Language Testing Forum was held in Lancaster on November 19th -21st, 2010. This was the 30th anniversary of the first Language Testing Forum, which gave rise not only to the Language Testing Newsletter, which later morphed into the journal Language Testing and the newsletter Language Testing Update, but also to ELT Documents 111: Issues in Language Testing, which Charles Alderson and Arthur Hughes edited and which was eventually published by the British Council in 1981.

We decided that the theme of the 2010 LTF would be Issues in Language Testing Revisited , and that the three main issues addressed in 1980, namely General Language Proficiency, Testing for Specific Purposes and Communicative Language Testing, would be revisited in invited presentations. Discussants from academia and from language testing organisations were invited to present a reaction to the relevant account of the 1980 discussions, from the perspective of 30 years on, and to reflect on developments since then (if any).

We have been given permission by the British Council to produce an electronic copy of the book resulting from the first LTF gathering in 1980: Alderson, J. C., & Hughes, A. (1981). Issues in Language Testing. ELT Documents 111. London: The British Council.

Downloads are PDF files (Adobe) and the file size is indicated.

Introduction and Epilogue (5 MB)

Section 1: Communicative Language Testing (21 MB)

Section 2: Testing English for Specific Purposes (23 MB)

Section 3: General Language Proficiency (26 MB)

A review of Issues in Language Testing can be found in the journal Language Learning:
Rea, P.M. (1984). Review Essay. Language Learning, 34(3), 175-188.

Participants at the Language Testing Forum 2010

Participants at the Language Testing Forum 2010


View the Final conference programme

Organising Committee

Charles Alderson

Tineke Brunfaut

Dianne Wall

Conference Location

Lancaster University, Bailrigg Conference Centre.


We thank the generous contributions from the following testing organisations:

Pearson Language Tests, to subsidise the cost of dinner on Friday evening,


Trinity College London, to subsidise the cost of dinner on Saturday evening.