Prof Cecilia Guanfang ZHAO

Prof Cecilia Guanfang ZHAO

Associate Professor

Programme Coordinator of MA in Second Language Acquisition

Consultation Hours
Tuesday and Wednesday, 4pm to 5pm, or by appointment

Or by appointment via

  • 2005-May.2010: New York University, Ph.D. in TESOL
  • 2003-Jun.2005: The Ohio State University, M.A. in English (literature)
  • Sep.1998-Jul.2002: Tianjin University of Commerce, B.A. in English (for business purposes)
Research Interests
  • Second Language writing
  • Language Assessment
  • English for Academic Purposes
  • L2 Teaching and Learning

Cecilia is interested in supervising doctoral and MA students with similar research interests.

Courses Regularly Taught
  • Current: Second Language Acquisition; Evaluation and Assessment of Language Use; Supervised Teaching Planning and Practice; Advanced Research Writing; Understanding and Interpreting Research
  • Previously: Analytical Writing, Academic Reading & Writing, Consecutive Interpreting, Academic Written Discourse, Language Assessment & Evaluation

Cecilia Guanfang Zhao joined University of Macau in 2017 as Associate Professor of English. Previously she has taught at Ohio State University and New York University as postgraduate teaching and research fellow, and most recently at Shanghai International Studies University as Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and Assistant to Dean in the School of English Studies. Her research so far has focused on issues of second language writing and writing assessment, particularly the construction, development, and assessment of authorial voice in written discourse. Her work in this area appears in field-top SSCI journals and academic handbooks and encyclopedia volumes, and is recognized with two international best dissertation awards and three other national and local research paper awards. She is currently PI and Co-PI on two research grants funded by the National Social Science Research Foundation, China, and serves as manuscript reviewer for various SSCI journals, and grant/proposal reviewer for various organizations and programs such as the Changjiang Scholars Program under the Ministry of Education, China.

Professional Affiliations
  • International Association of Language Testing
  • American Educational Research Association
  • Shanghai Foreign Language Association
  • Executive Board Member of CALTA (China Association of Language Testing & Assessment)
  • Section Editor, The Journal of Asia TEFL
Awards & Honors
  • 2016: The 15th National Young Faculty Career Award from Fok Ying Tung Education Foundation
  • 2015: Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) Excellent Research Paper Award
  • 2014: The 12th Shanghai Excellent Social Science Research Paper Award
  • 2013: SISU Excellent Research Award, Casio Best Paper award
  • 2012: Christopher Brumfit Ph.D./Ed.D. Thesis Award
  • 2012: Jacqueline Ross TOEFL Dissertation Award
  • 2011: Shanghai Pujiang Talent Award from Shanghai Government
  • 2009: Russell N. Campbell Dissertation Proposal Award from The International Research Foundation (TIRF) for English Language Education
Conference Papers and Other Presentations

Recent Invited Conference Talks & Workshops:

Zhao, C. G. (2019, Nov.). Alternative Approaches to Writing Assessment in Higher Education. Invited talk at the third Assessing World Languages Conference, Macau, China.

Zhao, C. G. (2019, October). L2 voice construction across L1 languages and contexts. Paper presented at the International Conference on Metadiscourse across Languages and Contexts. Jilin, China.

Zhao, C. G. (2018, October). Writer Background and Voice Construction in L2 Writing. Paper presented at the 2018 International Conference on Teaching and Researching EFL Writing / 第11届全国英语写作教学与研究国际研讨会, Nanjing, China.

Zhao, C. G. (2017, Nov.). Teaching and Assessing Second Language Writing. Invited workshop at Assessing World Languages Conference, Macau, China.


Recent Refereed Conference Presentations: 

Zhao, C. G. (2019, June). A modest proposal for theory-informed writing assessment by design. Paper to be presented at the 17th Asia TEFL International Conference, Bnagkok, Thailand.

Liao, L., & Zhao, C. G. (2018, October). Test takers’ cognitive and metacognitive strategy use in L2 writing assessment. Paper presented at the 2nd Assessing World Languages Conference, Macau, China.

Zhao, C. G. (2018, October). Theory-based approach to writing assessment: A conceptual framework for assessment design and development. Paper presented at the 5th Annual International Conference of the Asian Association for Language Assessment (AALA), Shanghai, China.

Zhao, C. G. (2018, August). Writer Background and Voice Construction in L2 Writing. Paper presented at the 17th Symposium on Second Language Writing, Vancouver, Canada.

Zhao, C. G. (2018, June). Writer Background and Voice Construction in L2 Writing. Paper presented at the 16th Asia TEFL/ 1st MAAL & 6th HAAL 2018 International Conference, Macau, China.

Zhao, C. G. (2017, July). Voice in Second Language Argumentative Writing. Paper presented at the 16th Symposium on Second Language Writing, Bangkok, Thailand. 

Zhao, C. G. (2017, June). Assessing Authorial Voice in Second Language Argumentative Writing. Paper presented at Faces of English 2: Teaching and Researching Academic and Professional English, Hong Kong, China.

Selected Publications
  • Zhao, C. G. (invited book chapter, under review). Theory-based approach to academic writing assessment: A conceptual framework for assessment design and development. In L. Hamp-Lyons & Y. Jin (Eds.), Assessing the Writing of Chinese Learners of English. Springer.
  • Zhao, C. G. (2019). Chinese EFL learners’ perception of the construct of English academic writing. In R. Damerow & K. Bailey   (Eds.), Chinese-speaking learners of English: Research, theory, and practice (pp.81-95). Routledge.
  • Zhao, C. G. & Lyu, Y. (2019). The construct of EFL academic writing: From the perspective of Chinese undergraduates of English. Foreign Languages and Their Teaching, 309 (6), 69-79. [CSSCI]
  • Zhao, C. G., & Liu, C. J. (2019). An evidence-based review of Celpe-Bras: The exam for certification of proficiency in Portuguese as a foreign language. Language Testing, 36(4), 617-627. DOI: [SSCI-Q1]
  • Zhao, C. G. (2019). Writer background and voice construction in L2 writing. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 37, 117-126. DOI: [SSCI-Q1]
  • Zhao, C. G. (2017). Voice in timed argumentative essay writing. Assessing Writing, 31, 73-83. DOI: [SSCI-Q1]
  • Zhao, C. G. (2016). The role of voice in L2 argumentative writing: The development and validation of an analytic rubric. In M. A. Christison & N. Saville (Eds.), Studies in Language Testing (SiLT), volume 46. Advancing the Field of Language Assessment: Papers from TIRF Doctoral Dissertation Grantees 2009 – 2013 (pp. 24-56). Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate.
  • Zhao, C. G. (2016). ‘Authorial voice’ in the assessment of writing. In D. Tsagrai & J. Banerjee (Eds.), Handbook of Second Language Assessment, (pp. 397-412). Boston/Berlin: De Gruyter.
  • Zhao, C. G. (2014). Authorial voice in second language writing. In C. A. Chapelle (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Zhao, C. G. (2014). English Content course instruction and the development of EFL writing ability. In Wang Zhenping & Jin Liming (Eds.), EFL Content Course Instruction and Fostering Critical Thinking Ability, (pp. 104-119). Beijing:
  • Zhao, C. G. (2013). Measuring authorial voice strength in L2 argumentative writing: The development and validation of an analytic rubric. Language Testing, 30(2), 201-230. DOI: [SSCI-Q1]
  • Zhao, C. G. (2013). Studies on voice in written discourse: Review, analysis, and implications. Foreign Language World,156:67-76. [CSSCI]
  • Chen, H., & Zhao, C. G. (2013). The application of cognitive diagnosis: A new phase in language testing research. Foreign Language Testing and Teaching, 10:1-9.
  • Llosa, L., Beck, S. W., & Zhao, C. G. (2011). An investigation of academic writing in secondary schools to inform the development of diagnostic classroom assessments. Assessing Writing, 16(4), 256-273. DOI: [SSCI-Q1]
  • Zhao, C. G., & Llosa, L. (2008). Voice in high-stakes L1 academic writing assessment: Implications for L2 writing instruction. Assessing Writing, 13(3), 153-170. DOI: [SSCI-Q1]
  • Liu, M., Zhao, C. G., & Tang, L. (2007). The new TOEFL iBT and its washback effect.Foreign Language Learning Theory and Practice,(1):55-62. [CSSCI]
  • Bang, H. J., & Zhao, C. G. (2007). Reading strategies used by advanced Korean and Chinese ESL graduate students: A case study. The Reading Matrix, 7(1), 30-50.