Associate Professor
Department of Applied Linguistics
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Brief Biography

Atta Gebril is an associate professor at the Department of Applied Linguistics, The American University in Cairo. He obtained his PhD in foreign Language and ESL Education with a minor in language testing from the University of Iowa. His dissertation work focused on score generalizability of academic writing tasks. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Language Testing, Language Assessment Quarterly, and Assessing Writing. His work has appeared in top-tier journals including Language Assessment Quarterly, Language Testing, Assessing Writing, Second Language Writing, Assessment in Education, and Teacher Development. His book entitled Assessment Myths, coauthored with Lia Plakans, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2015.


PhD, 2006, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

Research Interests

  • Language assessment
  • Second language writing
  • Teacher beliefs 
  • Test validation 
  • Generalizability theory 
  • Reading-writing connections

Courses Taught

  • Assessment in Lang Learning.
  • Proposal Writing.
  • Research Methods in Applied Linguistics



Assessment myths , Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.

Score generalizability in writing assessment: The interface between applied linguistics and psychometrics research,Saarbruecken: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller.

Edited Volume

Ed., Revolutionizing TESOL: techniques and strategies, Cairo : Nile TESOL.

Ed., Applied Linguistics in the Middle East and North Africa, Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Ed., Navigating a way forward: Innovating and e-innovating in TESOL,.

Book Chapter

“ESL assessment in the Middle East,” in The Companion to Language Assessment,.

“Assessing Arabic,” in The Companion to Language Assessment, Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

“Writing effective research questions ,” in The Cambridge guide to language research , Cambridge University Press.

“Generalizability theory in language assessment,” in The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics , (Carol Chapelle) Ed(s), Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2252-9.

“Reading-to-Write Assessment Tasks: Fundamental Issues in Reliability, Validity, and Task Development,” in Readings in Professional Development in Teaching English as a Second Language, Selangor, Malaysia: Universiti Putra Malaysia Press.

“ACTFL and ILR oral proficiency interviews: A tale of two scales,” in The fundamentals of language assessment: A practical guide for teachers, Dubai: TESOL Arabia Publications.

“Assessment literacy,” The TESOL encyclopedia of English language teaching.

“Integrated-Skills Assessment,” TESOL encyclopedia of English language teaching.

“Assessment literacy training for English language educators in Egypt.,” in Current Trends in Language Testing in the Pacific Rim and the Middle East: Policies, Analyses, and Diagnoses ,.

“Arabic language teachers’ conceptions of assessment,” New York City: In A. Benmamoun and R. Bassiouney (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of Arabic linguistics. New York, Routledge.

“Creating effective research questions,” in The Cambridge Guide to Research in Language Teaching and Learning, (J.D. Brown and C. Coombe) Ed(s), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

“Educational assessment in Muslim countries: Values, polices, and practices,” Human and social factors in assessment. New York: Taylor and Francis..


“Towards a transparent construct of reading-to-write assessment tasks: The interface between discourse features and proficiency,” Language Assessment Quarterly / Taylor and Francis,2013-01-20.

“Importance, origin, and synthesis: Using multiple sources in a listening and reading-based writing assessment task,” Journal of Second Language Writing ,2013-11-01.

“The effect of high-stakes examination systems on teacher beliefs: Egyptian Teachers’ Conceptions of Assessment,” Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy, and Practice,2014-05-01.

“A close investigation of source use in integrated writing tasks,” Assessing Writing ,2012-01-15,18-34.

“Bringing reading-to-write and writing-only assessment tasks together: A generalizability analysis,” Assessing Writing / Elsevier,2010-07-01.

“Score generalizability of academic writing tasks: Does one test method fit it all?,” Language Testing / Sage Publications,2009-12-15.

“Investigating source use, discourse features, and process in integrated writing tests,” 2009-10-01.

“Test preparation beliefs and practices: A teacher’s perspective.,” Language Assessment Quarterly,.

“Test preparation in the accountability era: Toward a learning-oriented approach,” TESOL Journal,.

“Language teachers’ conceptions of assessment: An Egyptian perspective,” Teacher Development ,.

“Using multiple texts in an integrated writing assessment: Source text use as a predictor of score,” Journal of Second Language Writing / Elsevier,2013-04-01,22217-230.

“Exploring organization in integrated writing assessment: Patterns, coherence, and cohesion in second language writing,” Assessing Writing / Elsevier ,.

“Source-based tasks in L2 writing assessment: Lexical diversity, textual borrowing and proficiency.,” .

“Shaping a score: The impact of fluency, accuracy, and complexity on integrated skills performances,” .


“Assessing speaking through oral proficiency interviewing: A panacea for our testing dilemma? ,”.


Committee Chair, Distinguished visiting professor

Faculty Advisor, Course registration advising

Faculty Mentor, Statistical consultancy for TEFL thesis writers

Committee Member, Grading literacy initiative

Committee Member, Academic Affairs Committee

Chairperson, Institutional Review Board

Committee Member, Institutional Review Board

Editorial Review Board Member, Journal of Language Testing

Editorial Review Board Member, Language Assessment Quarterly

Editorial Review Board Member, The American University in Cairo (AUC) TESOL Journal

In the Media

Contributor to a recruitment CD at the University of Iowa., Recruitment materials ( Video) , 2005-06-01.