Tania Horak

Dr. Tania Horák

Senior Lecturer & Course Leader: MA TESOL with Applied Linguistics (Preston campus course)

School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies

Adelphi Building, AB105

+44 (0) 1772 89 3055


Subject Areas: English and Linguistics, Languages and International Studies

I have worked at UCLan since August 2010.  My main research and teaching interests lie in the area of foreign language testing and assessment, especially the social consequences of exams.  My PhD was in the field of washback of the ESOL exams which arose from the Skills for Life strategy in the UK.  I also maintain an active involvement in teacher development, currently working primarily on the BA and MA TESOL programmes at UCLan.

Full Profile

I studied for my undergraduate degree at University of Hull and for my MA (1996) and PhD (2012) at Lancaster University.

Previously, I taught English as a Foreign Language in Spain, Germany and Hong Kong for short periods but for four years in both the Czech Republic and Bangladesh.  In Bangladesh, after teaching at the British Council  I went on to work as a teacher trainer on a DFID-funded project which aimed to improve secondary level English teaching in the state sector.  I subsequently worked in Lithuania as the EFL and Education Projects Manager for the British Council.

I have previously taught at Edge Hill and Lancaster Universities and also worked at the latter as a Research Associate on the longitudinal TOEFL IBT Impact Study with Dr, Dianne Wall, as well as on other short-term research projects with Prof. Charles Alderson. 

I am also currently a member of the UCLan exams team, who produces the Test of English Language Level (TELL) exam for international students, and we also undertake related testing research.

When I am not in work-related TESOL-land I am happiest out walking in the fells of the Lake District and The Yorkshire Dales.


Jones, C & Horak, T (2014), Leave it out! The use of soap operas as models of spoken discourse in the ELT classroom, Journal of Language Teaching and Learning,Vol: 4  issue:1  

Wall, D and Horak, T (2011). The Impact of Changes in the TOEFL Examination on Teaching in a Sample of Countries in Europe: Phase 3, The Role of the Coursebook and Phase 4, Describing Change. ETS iBT-Research Series, Princeton: NJ, ETS.

Wall, D and Horak, T (2007) The Role of Baseline Studies, Assessment in Education, Volume 36, March Issue, 56-64.

Horak, T (1999) ‘Issues in oral assessment in Bangladesh’ in T. Hunter (Ed) Proceedings of the papers presented at National and Regional Issues in ELT: an international perspective, February 1999, Dhaka, British Council.


Main areas of interest currently lie in the social consequences of language testing & assessment


  • BAAL


Current and previous research projects:

  • English for UK nursing: Which test is best?
  • Writing Criteria Project - Updating the TELL exam marking criteria - a back to basics approach
  • Lexical Profiling Project - Ensuring the right language level of texts in the TELL exam.
  • Trinity Spoken Corpus project - Establishing a corpus of oral exam performances for further research - lead: Prof. Charles Alderson
  • Metalinguistic Knowledge Project- lead:  Prof. Charles Alderson
  • Aviation English Project-  lead:  Prof. Charles Alderson
  • TOEFL iBT Impact Project-  lead:  Dr. Dianne Wall

Teaching activities and responsibilities

  • Course Leader of the MA TESOL with Applied Linguistics (Preston campus)

External Activities

Peer Reviewer of articles for Journal of Second Language Teaching and Research and Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice.