Professor Martin East



Martin East is Professor of Language Education and Head of the School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics where he primarily teaches courses in language teaching and learning. Prior to this appointment, Martin was a language teacher educator in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland, where he worked mainly with pre-service teachers of languages other than English.

Martin is an experienced teacher of languages at both secondary and tertiary levels, and has taught in England and New Zealand. He is an active member of several professional associations. Martin is currently President of the International Association for Task-Based Language Teaching.

Research | Current

  • Second language acquisition
  • Second language assessment
  • Policy development to support language teaching and learning

Martin's research and teaching interests focus on two broad areas: second language acquisition / second language assessment, and the development of policies to support the teaching and learning of languages other than English in contexts where English is the predominant language. He regularly presents at national and international conferences. His articles have appeared in a range of international journals, including Language Teaching, Language Testing, Language and Intercultural Communication, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Language Assessment Quarterly and Assessing Writing. He is the sole author of four books: Dictionary Use in Foreign Language Writing Exams (John Benjamins, 2008), Task-Based Language Teaching from the Teachers’ Perspective (John Benjamins, 2012), Assessing Foreign Language Students' Spoken Proficiency (Springer, 2016), and Foundational Principles of Task-Based Language Teaching (Routledge, 2021).


Teaching | Current

LANGTCHG 710: Task-Based Language Teaching

LANGTCHG 765: Language Testing and Assessment

Postgraduate supervision

Martin supervises both doctoral and masters students in a range of areas centred around effective language teaching, learning and assessment practices.


2019: Faculty of Arts Research Excellence Award

2018: International Federation of Language Teacher Associations (FIPLV) International Award

2016: National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award

2015: University of Auckland Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award

2015: Faculty of Education and Social Work Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award


2021 - date: Head of School, Cultures, Languages and Linguistics

2017 - date: Co-Editor-in-Chief, Assessing Writing

2015 - 2017: Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Education and Social Work

2012 - 2014: Associate Dean Research Development, Faculty of Education and Social Work

Areas of expertise

  • Language teaching, learning and assessment. 
  • Language teacher education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • 2012 - 2013: Acting Chair: University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee B
  • 2012 - 2013: Chair: Faculty of Education Research Committee
  • 2012 - 2013 : Chair: Postgraduate Research Approvals and Examinations sub-committee
  • 2009 - 2010: Faculty of Education Research Committee
  • 2008 - 2010: School of Arts, Languages and Literacies Research Committee

Professional links

  • International Association for Task-Based Language Teaching (
  • New Zealand Association of Language Teachers (NZALT)
  • Association for Language Testing and Assessment of Australia and New Zealand (ALTAANZ)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Leung, C., Davison, C., East, M., Evans, M., Liu, Y., Hamp-Lyons, L., & Purpura, J. E. (2018). Using assessment to promote learning: Clarifying constructs, theories and practices. In J. M. Davis, J. M. Norris, M. E. Malone, T. H. McKay, Y. Son (Eds.) Useful assessment and evaluation in language education (pp. 75-91). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
  • East, M. R. (2018). Learning in the classroom. In A. Burns, J. C. Richards (Eds.) The Cambridge guide to learning English as a second language (pp. 110-117). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Tolosa, C., Biebricher, C., East, M., & Howard, J. (2018). Intercultural language teaching as a catalyst for teacher inquiry. Teaching and Teacher Education, 70, 227-235. 10.1016/j.tate.2017.11.027
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Constanza Tolosa, Christine Biebricher
  • East, M. (2018). How do beginning teachers conceptualise and enact tasks in school foreign language classrooms?. In V. Samuda, K. Van den Branden, M. Bygate (Eds.) TBLT as a researched pedagogy (pp. 24-50). Amsterdam/Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tblt.12.02eas
  • East, M. (2018). Embedding the assessment into the learning: a new direction for high-stakes speaking assessments. In S. Coffey, U. Wingate (Eds.) New directions for research in foreign language education (pp. 183-199). Routledge.
  • East, M. (2017). “If it is all about tasks, will they learn anything?” Teachers' perspectives on grammar instruction in the task-oriented classroom. In M. J. Ahmadian, del Pilar García Mayo M (Eds.) Recent perspectives on task-based language learning and teaching (pp. 217-232). Boston, USA: De Gruyter Mouton.
  • Tolosa, C., East, M., Barbour, M., & Owen, H. (2017). COOL or not COOL? Learning an Asian language online in the context of communities of learning. New Zealand Language Teacher, 43, 51-62.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Constanza Tolosa
  • East, M. (2017). Research into practice: The task-based approach to instructed second language acquisition. Language Teaching, 50 (3), 412-424. 10.1017/S026144481700009X


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 322
New Zealand

Web links