Language assessment in the Middle East and North Africa: An Introduction


  • Atta Gebril The American University in Cairo
  • Sahbi Hidri Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, University of Tunis, Tunisia


Assessment in language programs has constantly received substantial attention by different stakeholders in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) given the dependence on examinations in various instructional settings in this context. Research (e.g., Gebril & Hozayen, 2014) has shown language assessment being used for a wide range of purposes including screening, admission, scholarship selection, placement, and program exit. National assessment centers have also contributed to testing practices in public schools in the MENA countries.

Author Biographies

Atta Gebril, The American University in Cairo

Atta Gebril is an associate professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. He teaches courses in language assessment and research methods in applied linguistics. His research interests include writing assessment, reading-writing connections, and test validation. He has been a language educator in the USA, UAE, and Egypt.He has also worked on a number of test development projects in different parts of the world.He serves on the editorial board of Journal of Language Testing and Language Assessment Quarterly. His work has appeared in top-tier journals including, Language Testing, Language Assessment Quarterly, Journal of Second Language Writing, Assessing Writing, and Assessment in Education.

Sahbi Hidri, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, University of Tunis, Tunisia

Dr Sahbi Hidri is currently working as an assistant professor of Applied Linguistics at the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences of Tunis, Tunisia. Dr Hidri is the founder of Tunisia TESOL, the Arab Journal of Applied Linguistics and the Tunisian Association of Language Assessment and Evaluation. He is also the local chair of the Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC, ILTA) to be held in Tunisia in 2020, first time in Africa and the MENA region. His research interests include language assessment, testing & evaluation, assessment literacy, test-taking strategies, statistics, measurement, specs validation, curriculum design, SLA and dynamic assessment. He has authored several journal articles, book chapters, and entries on item analysis and discrete vs. integrative testing in TESOL International Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching. He is the editor of four books: (a) Assessment in the MENA Region, (b) Evaluation in Foreign Language Education, (c) Revisiting the Assessment of the Language Skills, and (d) the Status of ELT Research Practices in the MENA Region.




How to Cite

Gebril, A., & Hidri, S. (2019). Language assessment in the Middle East and North Africa: An Introduction. Arab Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4(2), i-iv. Retrieved from