Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Dr. Xun Yan

Supervisor, English Placement Test (EPT)
Assistant Professor of Linguistics
Affiliated Faculty, Asst. Professor of Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education

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  • Address:
    Department of Linguistics
    4080 Foreign Language Building, MC-168
    707 S. Mathews Ave.
    Urbana, IL 61801
  • Telephone: 217-265-7903
  • Email:


  • My research interests include the development and quality control of post-admission language assessments, assessment literacy for language teachers, formulaic language acquisition and lexical development by L2 speakers, L2 pronunciation and intelligibility, and test score use in educational settings.


  • Ph.D., English, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, 2015
  • M.A., TESOL, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA, 2009
  • B.A., English, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China, 2008

Current Projects

  • On Humanities Released Time - Spring 2018
  • Investigating lexico-grammatical complexity as construct validity evidence for the ECPE writing tasks: A multidimensional analysis Funded by: SPAAN Research Grant, CaMLA Role: Principle Investigator (PI); Co-PI: Shelley Staples (Purdue University)
  • Developing Chinese college students' academic writing ability Funded by: National Social Science Funds, China Role: Co-PI; PI: Cecilia Guanfang Zhao (Shanghai International Studies University)
  • Publications

    Journal Articles

    • Ginther, April, and Xun Yan. "Interpreting the relationships between TOEFL iBT scores and GPA: Language proficiency, policy, and profiles." Language Testing 35.2 (2018): 271-295.
    • Yan, Xun, Cong Zhang, and Jason Jinsong Fan. "“Assessment knowledge is important, but…”: How contextual and experiential factors mediate assessment practice and training needs of language teachers." System 74 (2018): 158-168.
    • Zhang, Cong, and Xun Yan. "Assessment literacy of secondary EFL teachers: Evidence from a regional EFL test." Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics 41.1 (2018): 25-46.
    • Kim, Ha Ram, Melissa Bowles, Xun Yan, and Sun Joo Chung. "Examining the comparability between paper- and computer-based versions of an integrated writing placement test." Assessing Writing 36 (2018): 49-62.
    • Yan, Xun, Lixia Cheng, and April Ginther. "Factor analysis for fairness: Examining the impact of task type and examinee L1 background on the internal structure of an ITA speaking test." Language Testing (2018):
    • Fan, Jinsong, and Xun Yan. "From test performance to language use: Using self-assessment to validate a high-stakes English proficiency test." The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher 26.1-2 (2017): 61-73.
    • Yan, Xun, Maeda Yukiko, Jing Lv, and April Ginther. "Elicited imitation as a measure of second language proficiency: A narrative review and meta-analysis." Language Testing 33.4 (2016): 497-528.
    • Banerjee, Jayanti, Xun Yan, Mark Chapman, and Heather Elliott. "Keeping up with the times: Revising and refreshing a writing rubric." Assessing Writing 26 (2015): 5-19.
    • Zhang, Cong, Xun Yan, and Xiangdong Liu. "The development of EFL writing teaching and research in China: An update from the International Conference on English Language Teaching." Journal of Second Language Writing 30 (2015): 14-18.
    • Yan, Xun. "An examination of rater performance on a local oral English proficiency test: A mixed-methods approach." Language Testing 31.4 (2014): 501-527.

    Book Contributions

    • Yan, Xun, and April Ginther. "Listeners and raters: Similarities and differences in evaluation of accented speech." Assessment in L2 Pronunciation. Ed. Okim Kang and April Ginther. Routledge, 2017.
    • Yan, Xun, Suthathip Thirakunkovit, Nancy Kauper, and April Ginther. "What do test takers say: Test-taker feedback as in put for quality control." Post-admission Language Assessments of University Students . Ed. John Read. Springer, 2016. 113-136.