An EFL teacher by background, I worked for many years for Eurocentres. There I became interested in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and for a while specialised in this field, developing materials and approaches. I was always more interested in what teachers and learners can do with computers than with the technology itself.
I also became interested in Self Access Learning and undertook several consultancy projects in this field and in CALL, in Brazil and China among other countries.
In 1998/9 I designed the Windows interface of the innovative Eurocentres testing program Itembanker, and so got involved in assessment. I worked for City & Guilds as a test developer, and for Pearson, first as a test development manager than as a researcher.
Since 2013 I have worked as a freelance consultant while studying for my PhD. Much of my work is concerned with the CEFR: aligning materials to the framework, standard setting, and familiarisation training.
Many years ago I studied Modern Languages (German and French) at Oxford, and I followed this with an MA in Linguistics at SOAS in London. Much later I learned a little (Brazilian) Portuguese by self-instruction, partly to test the approaches I was advocating regarding self-access learning (putting my money where my mouth was), partly out of fascination with Brazil, its people and its music.
I live in London with my wife and a grown-up daughter. When I’m not doing anything concerned with language learning or assessment I help look after the bees that we keep at the bottom of our garden, I play the trumpet, and I sing (tenor) with the Queen’s Park Singers.