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Dr Alan Tonkyn – University of Reading

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Dr Alan Tonkyn

Alan Tonkyn



  • Internal: Alan was formerly the Programme Director of, and Admissions Tutor for, the MA in Applied Linguistics and MA in ELT (campus-based) programmes, and taught a range of modules on these programmes. He has continued to teach the LSMSP (Spoken Language) module as a Visiting Lecturer in 2012-13. He also supervised a number of PhD students, but will cease to supervise with effect from June 2013.
  • External: Alan has contributed to the MA in ELT and Applied Linguistics programme at St Mary's University College, Twickenham by teaching the Research Methods and Dissertation module. He is on the Editorial Board of the Asian EFL Journal, and reviews for the journals TESOL Quarterly, Applied Linguistics and Second Language Research.

Areas of Interest

Alan's main research and teaching interests are in the area of Second Language Acquisition (SLA), with a special interest in the development and assessment of spoken language proficiency. As a by-product of this work, Alan has collaborated with Pauline Foster of St Mary's University College, Twickenham and Gillian Wigglesworth of the University of Melbourne in the development of a new unit of analysis for L2 speech. (Foster, Tonkyn and Wigglesworth, 2000.) Alan's research interests also led to his being a member of Cambridge ESOL's working party developing the new version of the IELTS Speaking Test. (Tonkyn and Wilson, 2004.)

Alan is a co-investigator in a research project funded by the Nuffield Foundation (Principal Investigator: Prof. Suzanne Graham) involving an investigation of the effects of teaching approaches and other factors in the learning of French in English primary schools.

Research groups / Centres

The Second Language Skills and Processing Research Group


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This list was generated on Mon Jul 13 09:42:51 2020 UTC.

Publications since 2000

Tonkyn, A. 2012. 'Measuring and perceiving changes in oral complexity, accuracy and fluency: Examining instructed learners' short-term gains.' In: Housen, A., Kuiken, F. and Vedder, I. (eds.) Dimensions of L2 Performance and Proficiency: Complexity, Accuracy and Fluency in SLA. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Tonkyn, A. 2012. 'Speaking': Entry in Byram, M. and Hu, A.(eds.) Routledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning. London: Routledge.

Tonkyn, A. 2007. 'Short-term changes in complexity, accuracy and fluency: developing progress-sensitive proficiency tests. In S. Van Daele, A. Housen, F. Kuiken, M. Pierrard and I. Vedder (eds.) Complexity, Accuracy and Fluency in Second Language Use, Learning and Teaching. Brussels: Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and Arts, 263-284.

Tonkyn, A. 2006. 'Assessing speech: what can the spoken language researcher tell the test developer?' In C. Coombe, P. Davidson and D. Lloyd (eds.) Proceedings of the 7th and 8th Current Trends in English Language Testing Conferences. Dubai, TESOL Arabia, 3-22.

Tonkyn, A. 2005. Second Language Learning Principles (Distance Study MA Module Materials Coursebook). Reading: School of Languages and European Studies, University of Reading .

Tonkyn, A. and Wilson, J. 2004. 'Revising the IELTS speaking test.' In L.E. Sheldon (ed.) Directions for the Future, Bern : Peter Lang, 191-203.

Tonkyn, A. 2003. 'Revising a speaking test: a new look at What? Why? and How?' In S. Phipps (ed.) Speaking in the Monolingual Classroom: Need for a Fresh Approach. Ankara: Bilkent University Press, 256-73.

Bygate, M., Tonkyn A., and Williams E. (eds.) 2000. Grammar and the Language Teacher. Harlow: Pearson Education.


BA (Hons) English (Natal); MA English Language and Literature (Oxon); PGCE in TEFL (London); MA in Applied Linguistics (Reading); PhD (Reading).

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