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Cambridge English

A broad and interdisciplinary focus on the English language, uniting academic research and the professional goals of Cambridge English Language Assessment and Cambridge University Press

Expertise in the English language, from across the University, represents a major asset for Cambridge.

Cambridge English teacher
A new website for English language teachers published by Cambridge ESOL and Cambridge University Press

Cambridge English is used by Cambridge University Press and Cambridge English Language Assessment to refer to their work in developing materials for English language learning, teaching and assessment, and to their associated research programmes into the outcomes of learning.

As two outward-facing departments within the University, both play a key role in representing the University of Cambridge around the world and in promoting its educational values. For example, Cambridge English Language Assessment (part of the Local Examinations Syndicate also known as Cambridge Assessment) develops and administers English language examinations to over 3.5 million learners each year, and is the world’s leading agency for English language assessment with a presence in over 130 countries.

In recent years, a number of interdisciplinary research projects have been set up involving Cambridge English Language Assessment, Cambridge University Press and other University departments, including the Department for Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (DTAL), the Faculty of Education, the Computer Laboratory and the Speech Group within the Engineering Department. 

ALTA Institute (Automated Language Teaching and Assessment)

Funded by Cambridge English Language Assessment, the ALTA Institute is administered by the Computer Laboratory but includes Principal Investigators from Engineering and Linguistics. Its remit is to conduct research in computer systems and platforms, corpus linguistics, computational linguistics, speech processing and machine learning.

Corpus development

Cambridge English is at the foreground in the development and analysis of learner corpora and other forms of learner data, and corpus research underpins the development of a range of materials for English language teaching and assessment. The Cambridge English Corpus, a database of several billion words, contains written and spoken English from a wide range of sources, and also includes The Cambridge Learner Corpus, a unique collection of error-coded exam scripts written by students taking Cambridge exams all over the world. 

Other research interests

Cambridge English also encompasses:

  • the use of technology in English language education, including learning-oriented assessment (LOA)
  • research in second language acquisition, experimental psychology and education where these inform the learning and teaching of English 
  • the development of materials for English Language Teaching and teacher training.


Dr. Nick Saville, Director Research and Validation Group, Cambridge English Language Assessment


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