Dr Huahui Zhao

Dr Huahui Zhao


I joined the University of Leeds in 2017 as a Lecturer in Language Education after working as a Lecturer in TESOL/Applied Linguistics at the University of Liverpool.

I obtained my PhD from the University of Bristol in 2008 before I was appointed as a postdoctoral research fellow in distance education at Umeå University, Sweden.

I have been teaching and researching on language assessment and technology-enhanced teaching and learning. I am also keen to develop innovative research methods to facilitate interdisciplinary research between language education and technology enhanced education.


  • Academic Integrity Lead
  • Programme leader for BA TESOL
  • Undergraduate Assessment Lead

Research interests

My research interests mainly lie in language assessment and feedback (in particular writing assessment) and technology-enhanced teaching and learning (in particular in the context of computer mediated communication). I am particularly interested in exploring learner agency in collaborative learning in assessment and technology-mediated education. I've published widely in these areas in key journals including British Journal of Educational Technology, Assessing Writing, ELT Journal, Learning and Instruction, Language Teaching Research, and Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education.

I am currently working on a two-year IELTS joint funding project (2021-2023), exploring the impact of teaching, learning and assessment on the predictive validity of IELTS for postgraduate academic achievements, the different language demand by IELTS and postgraduate assessment and how language, learning and assessment support fills in the gap. 

I've completed an international collaborative project which explored the applicability of the CEFR for tertiary EAP writing instruction in China, funded by the British Council ELTRA Award. The main aim of the project was to align teaching, learning and assessment in examination-oriented instruction contexts. Further details could be found via the project website.

I’ve also completed a teaching-enhanced project, funded by the Leeds Institution for Teaching Excellence (LITE). The project investigates the introduction, implementation and impact of the undergraduate assessment criteria across disciplines at the University of Leeds, employing multiple research methods. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in TESOL/Applied Linguistics (University of Bristol)
  • MA in Educational Studies (University of York)

Professional memberships

  • British Association for Applied Linguistics
  • International Language Testing Association
  • British Education Research Association
  • BALEP (British Association of Lectures in English for Academic Purposes)
  • UK Association for Language Assessment and Testing

Student education

I've been involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in language assessment and testing, technology-enhanced learning, and language analysis. I've also been supervising undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations within the School of Education. I am currently co-supervising two PhD students in the area of language testing and technology-enhanced language learning, respectively.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Language Education

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>