Christine Coombe

Dr. Christine Coombe


Dr. Christine Coombe has a Ph.D in Foreign/Second Language Education from The Ohio State University. She is currently an Associate Professor of General Studies at Dubai Men's College. She is the former Testing and Measurements Supervisor at UAE University and Assessment Coordinator of Zayed University. Christine has over 50 books in various topics in TESOL/ELT and is co-editor of Assessment Practices (2003, TESOL Publications); co-author, A Practical Guide to Assessing English Language Learners (2007, University of Michigan Press); co-editor, Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness in EF/SL Contexts (2007, UMP); co-editor, Language Teacher Research in the Middle East (2007, TESOL Publications), Leadership in English Language Teaching and Learning (2008, UMP) Applications of Task-based Learning in TESOL (2010, TESOL Publications), The Cambridge Guide to Second Language Assessment (2012, Cambridge University Press), Reigniting, Retooling and Retiring in English Language Teaching (2012), University of Michigan Press) and The Cambridge Guide to Research in Language Teaching and Learning (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Volume 8 of the TESOL Encyclopedia of ELT (Wiley Blackwell, 2018), The Role of Language Teacher Associations in Professional Development (2018, Springer) and Professionalizing Your English Language Teaching (2020, Springer) Christine’s forthcoming books are on research questions in TESOL and Applied Linguistics and challenges in language testing around the world. Dr Coombe serves as the editor of Language Teaching Research Quarterly (2017 to present) and as the Editor of the scopus- indexed Q1 Brief Reports section of the Asia TEFL Journal (2016 to present). Christine has lived and worked in the Gulf for the past 28 years. In this capacity, she has served as the President and Conference Chair of one of the largest TESOL affiliates in the world and is the founder and co-chair of its Testing SIG and Leadership/Management SIG.
During her tenure in the Middle East, she has won many awards including 2002 Spaan Fellowship for Research in Second/Foreign Language Assessment; 2002-03 TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award; TOEFL Board Grant for 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08 and 2009-10 for her work in delivering assessment training assessment in developing countries. She served on the TESOL Board of Directors as Convention Chair for Tampa 2006 and was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Teacher of the Year for 2003-04. She served as TESOL President (2011-2012) and was a member of the TESOL Board of Directors (2010-2013). Christine received the British Council’s International Assessment Award for 2013 and was named to TESOL’s 50@50 which “recognizes professionals who have made significant contributions to the TESOL profession within the past 50 years.” Dr Coombe is the 2018 recipient of the James E. Alatis Award which recognizes exemplary service to TESOL. Her most recent honor was being named to the US Department of State’s 30@30 English language specialists in 2021. This list recognizes ElSpecs who have made an impact on the teaching and training of English language teachers around the world in the last 30 years.


Assessing Learning in Online and Digital Contexts/Environments: Opportunities and Challenges

The COVID 19 pandemic has already begun to change the nature of assessment in higher education. In fact, education in general and English language teaching, in particular, has experienced great change through the impact caused by the pandemic. In many areas worldwide, teaching was moved online at a rapid pace with little or no advanced planning. The way educational institutions globally have dealt with both online teaching and assessment issues has differed. Many assessments were simply canceled, others rescheduled or postponed. Gulf countries for the most part moved forward and implemented an online assessment system. As we approach the new normal in what I hope will soon be a post-COVID-19 era, there is a need to consider assessment anew in light of the emerging opportunities that have come up and the challenges we face during this time. One such challenge has been how to assess our students validly, reliably, and fairly during this era. Another is how to ensure ethical online assessments and ways to mitigate or minimize instances of cheating and academic dishonesty.