Atta
Gebril

Position
Associate Professor
Department
Department of Applied Linguistics
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Profile

Brief Biography

Atta Gebril is professor and MATESOL program director 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 as an associate editor of Language Assessment Quarterly and he is also on the editorial boards of Assessing Writing, and TESOL Journal. His work has appeared in top-tier journals including Language Assessment Quarterly, Language Testing, Assessing Writing, Second Language Writing, Assessment in Education, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, and Teacher Development. His book entitled Assessment Myths, coauthored with Lia Plakans was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2015.

  • 2021

    • Gebril, Attta. (2021). Learning-oriented language assessment: Putting theory into practice. New York: Routledge.
    • Gebril, A. (2021). Learning-oriented assessment: Mai questions and an overview. In A. Gebril, Learning-oriented language assessment: Putting theory into practice. New York: Routledge.
    • Gebril, A. (2021). Nation-wide assessment reform in Egypt: Challenges and potentials of learning-oriented assessment in an examinations-based instructional setting. In A. Gebril, Learning-oriented language assessment: Putting theory into practice. New York: Routledge.

    2020

    • Gebril, A., & G. Brown. (2020). Quality of feedback in TESOL: A learning-oriented assessment perspective. In J. Agudo (Ed.), Quality in TESOL and teacher education: From results culture to quality culture. New York: Routledge.
    • Gebril, A. (2020). The interface between teaching, research, and service: An interview with Jim Purpura. Language Assessment Quarterly, 17(3), 316-326. https://doi.org/10.1080/15434303.2020.1771342

    2019

    • Gebril, A. (2019). Assessment in secondary schools in Egypt. In Bloomsbury Education and childhood studies.  London: Bloomsbury
    • Brown, G., Gebril, A., & Michaelides, M. (2019). Teachers’ conceptions of assessment: A global phenomenon or a global localism. Frontiers in Education, 4, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2019.00016
    • Plakans, L., Gebril, A., & Bilki, Z. (2019). Shaping a score: The impact of fluency, accuracy, and complexity on integrated skills performances. Journal of Language Testing, 36 (2), 161–179. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532216669537
    • Gebril, A. (2019). Assessment in primary schools in Egypt. In Bloomsbury Education and childhood studies.  London: Bloomsbury.
    • Gebril, A. (2019). Assessment in higher education in Egypt. In Bloomsbury Education and childhood studies.  London: Bloomsbury.
    • Gebril, A., & Hidri, S. (2019). Language assessment in the Middle East and North Africa. Arab Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4 (2). (Guest editor)

    2018

    • Ohta, R., Plakans, L., & Gebril, A. (2018). Integrated writing scores based on holistic and multi-trait scales: A generalizability analysis. Assessing Writing, 18, 21-36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asw.2018.08.001
    • Gebril, A. (2018). Test preparation in the accountability era: Toward a learning-oriented approach. TESOL Journal, 9 (1), 4-16. DOI: 10.1002/tesj.30
    • Brown, G., Gebril, A., Michaelides, M., &, Remesal, A.  (2018). Assessment as an emotional practice: emotional challenges faced by L2 teachers within assessment. In J. Agudo (Ed.), Emotions in second language teaching: Professional challenges and teacher education (pp. 205-222). London: Springer.
    • Gebril, A. (2018). Integrated-Skills Assessment. In John Liontas (Ed.), The TESOL encyclopedia of English language teaching.  Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Gebril, A., Boraie, D., & Arrigoni, E. (2018). Assessment literacy. In John Liontas (Ed.), The TESOL encyclopedia of English language teaching.  Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Boraie, D., Gebril, A., Gabriel, R. (2018). The interface between religious values and language pedagogy in Egypt: What do teachers think? In Mary Shepard Wong and Ahmar Mahboob (Eds.), Spirituality and language teaching: Religious explorations of teacher identity, pedagogy, context, and content (pp. 151-171). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
    • Gebril, A.  (2018). Arabic language teachers’ conceptions of assessment. In A. Benmamoun and R. Bassiouney (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of Arabic linguistics (pp. 560-574). New York: Routledge.

    2017

    • Gebril, Atta. (2017). Applied linguistics in the Middle East and North Africa: Current practices and future directions. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
    • Coombe, C., Davidson, P., Gebril. A., Boraie, D., & Hidri, S. (2017). Language assessment in the Middle East and North Africa: Theory, practice, and future trends. Dubai: TESOL Arabia.
    • Gebril, A. (2017). Applied linguistics research in the Middle East and North Africa: An Overview. In A. Gebril (Ed.), Applied Linguistics Research in the Middle East and North Africa: Current practices and future directions. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
    • Gebril, A. (2017). Applied linguistics in the MENA countries: A Research agenda. In A. Gebril (Ed.), Applied Linguistics Research in the Middle East and North Africa: Current practices and future directions. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
    • Gebril, A., & Eid, Michael. (2017). Test preparation beliefs and practices: A teacher’s perspective. Language Assessment Quarterly, 14 (4), 360-379.
    • Plakans, L., & Gebril, A. (2017). An assessment perspective on argumentation in writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 36, 85-86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2017.05.008
    • Plakans, L. & Gebril, A. (2017). Exploring the relationship of organization and connection with scores in integrated writing assessment. Assessing Writing, 31, 98-112. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asw.2016.08.005
    • Gebril, A. (2017). Language teachers’ conceptions of assessment: An Egyptian perspective. Teacher Development, 21(1), 81-100. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13664530.2016.1218364

    2016

    • Gebril, A. & Plakans, L. (2016). Source-based tasks in L2 writing assessment: Lexical diversity, textual borrowing and proficiency. Journal of English for Academic Purposes (JEAP), 24, 78-88. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2016.10.001
    • Crusan, D., Plakans, L., & Gebril, A. (2016). Writing assessment literacy: Teachers' knowledge, beliefs, and practices. Assessing Writing Journal, 28, 43-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asw.2016.03.001
    • Gebril, A., Boraie, D., Arriogni, E. (2016). Assessment literacy training for English language educators in Egypt. In S.V. Aryadous and J. Fox (Eds.), Current Trends in Language Testing in the Pacific Rim and the Middle East: Policies, Analyses, and Diagnoses (pp. 416-437). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    • Gebril, A. (2016). Educational assessment in Muslim countries: Values, polices, and practices. In G. T. L. Brown & L. R. Harris (Eds.), Handbook of Human and Social Conditions in Assessment (pp. 420-435). New York: Routledge.
    • Boraie, Deena, & Gebril, Atta. (2016). Proceedings of the 19th and 20th NileTESOL /AUC Conference. Cairo: Nile TESOL.

    2015

    • Boraie, D., & Gebril, A. (2015). Writing effective research questions. In J.D. Brown & C. Coombe (Eds.), The Cambridge guide to language research (pp. 190-197). Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press. 
    • Plakans, Lia, & Gebril, Atta. (2015). Assessment myths: Applying second language research to classroom teaching. Ann Arbor, Michigan: The University of Michigan Press.

    2014

    • Gebril, A. & Plakans, L. (2014). Assembling validity evidence for assessing academic writing: Rater reactions to integrated tasks. Assessing Writing, 21 (2), 56-73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asw.2014.03.002
    • Gebril, A., & Brown, G.T.L. (2014). The effect of high-stakes examination systems on teacher beliefs: Egyptian Teachers’ Conceptions of Assessment. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy, and Practice, 21 (1), 16-33. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0969594X.2013.831030
    • Gebril, A. & Hozayin, R. (2014). Assessing English in the Middle East and North Africa. In Antony Kunnan (Ed.), The companion to language assessment: Assessment around the world (pp. 1649- 1658). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Gebril, A. & Taha-Tamure, H. (2014). Assessing Arabic. In Antony Kunnan (Ed.), The companion to language assessment (pp. 1781-1789). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Boraie, Deena, & Gebril, Atta. (2014). Navigating a way forward: Innovating and e-innovating in TESOL. Cairo: Nile TESOL.

     2013

    • Gebril, A. (2013). Generalizability theory in language assessment. In C. Chapelle (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (pp. 2252–9). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Plakans, L. & Gebril, A. (2013).Using multiple texts in an integrated writing assessment: Source text use as a predictor of score. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22, 217-230.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2013.02.003
    • Gebril A. & Plakans, L. (2013). Towards a transparent construct of reading-to-write assessment tasks: The interface between discourse features and proficiency. Language Assessment Quarterly, 10 (1), 9-27 - A Special Issue on the Use of Integrated Writing Tasks in Language Assessment. DOI: 10.1080/15434303.2011.642040
    • Boraie, Deena, & Gebril, Atta. (2013). Revolutionizing TESOL: Techniques and strategies. Cairo: Nile TESOL

    2012

    • Plakans, L. & Gebril, A.  (2012). A close investigation of source use in integrated writing tasks. Assessing Writing, 17(1), 18-34. doi.org/10.1016/j.asw.2011.09.002.

    2010

    • Gebril, A. (2010). Bringing reading-to-write and writing-only assessment tasks together: A generalizability analysis. Assessing Writing, 15, 100-117. doi.org/10.1016/j.asw.2010.05.002.
    • Gebril, A. (2010). Reading-to-write assessment tasks: Fundamental issues in reliability, validity, and task development. In Arshad Samad & Sharifah Rahman, Readings in professional development in teaching English as a second language, pp 89-106.  Selangor, Malaysia: Universiti Putra Malaysia Press.

    2009

    • Gebril, A. (2009). Score generalizability of academic writing tasks: Does one test method fit t all? Journal of Language Testing, 26, 507-531.  doi: 10.1177/0265532209340188
    • Gebril, A. & Plakans, L. (2009). Investigating source use, discourse features, and process in integrated writing tests. Spaan Fellow Working Papers in Second / Foreign Language Assessment 7, 47-84. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan.
    • Gebril, A. (2009). ACTFL and ILR oral proficiency interviews: A tale of two scales. In C. Coombe, P. Davidson, & D. Lloyd. The fundamentals of language assessment: A practical guide for teachers, 2nd edition, pp. 132-146. Dubai, UAE: TESOL Arabia Publications.
    • Gebril, A. (2009). Assessing speaking through oral proficiency interviewing: A panacea for our testing dilemma? Proceedings of the UAE University 10th Annual Conference, Alain, UAE.
    • Gebril, Atta. (2009). Score generalizability in writing assessment: The interface between applied linguistics and psychometrics research. Saarbruecken, Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller.
  • PhD, 2006, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

    • Assessment in Lang Learning
    • Proposal Writing
    • Research Methods in Applied Linguistics
    • Scopus award as the most highly cited researcher in the field of education in Egypt from  Elservier & Egyptian Knowledge bank (October 2019)
    • George Forster Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, Humboldt Foundation, Germany (2021-2024).
    • The 2017 Best Article in the Field of Language Testing Award. The International Language Testing Association (ILTA).
    • Founding chair of the International Perspectives on Assessing World Languages (IPAWL) Conference.
    • Founding chair of the International Language Assessment Conference in Egypt (ILACE).
    • Founding chair of the Testing, Assessment, and Evaluation (TEA) Special Interest Group at Nile TESOL.
    • Finalist, The 2014 Best Article in the Field of Language Testing Award. The International Language Testing Association (ILTA).
    • Honorable Mention. JSLW Award for the Best Article Published in 2013.Journal of Second Language Writing, 2014.
    • Member, TOEFL Committee of Examiner (COE) (2021-2025), Educational Testing Service (ETS).
    • Member, Nomination Committee for the Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTA) Program at Fulbright (September 2019)
    • Chair, the 2nd International Perspectives on Assessing World Languages (IPAWL), The American University in Cairo, Egypt. (January 2020).
    • Founding Chair, The First International Perspectives on Assessing World Languages (IPAWL), The American University in Cairo, Egypt. (January 2019).
    • International Language Testing Association (ILTA) Best Article Award Selection Committee Chair (2019).
    • International Language Testing Association (ILTA) P-CLASS  Committee member (2020).
    • International Language Testing Association (ILTA) Nominating Committee member (2017-2018).
    • International Language Testing Association (ILTA) Membership Committee member (2018- until now)
    • Member, Selection committee, the Fulbright Egyptian Student Program (September, 2016)
    • Founding Chair, The First International Language Assessment Conference in Egypt (ILACE), The American University in Cairo, Egypt. (Sep. 2- Sep.3 , 2015).
    • Consultant, UNICEF and Save the Children Whole of Syria Project: Early Literacy Assessment for Syrian Refugees (2018-2019).
    • Member, Scientific Council for Language Testing​​ (SCLT) at the National Center for Assessment in Higher Education (Qiyas), Saudi Arabia.
    • Advisory board member, Standardized Arabic Proficiency Test (SAPT), The American University in Cairo (2015-2016). 
    • Consultant, the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) (2012-2017).
    •  Consultant, UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research: Arabic admission test for the UAE federal universities (2008-2010).
    • Consultant, Al Ayn Proficiency Test, University General Requirements Unit (UGRU), The United Arab Emirates University (2008-2010). 
    • Consultant, Second Language Testing International Inc. in (2007-2012).
    • Reviewer of the Defense Language Proficiency Test 5 (DLP5) in 2007
    • Certified ACTFL and ILR OPI interviewer
Research Interest
  • Language assessment
  • Learning-oriented assessment
  • Second Language Writing
  • Teacher Beliefs 
  • Test Validation 
  • Generalizability Theory 
  • Reading-writing Connections