Prof Cecilia Guanfang ZHAO

Prof Cecilia Guanfang ZHAO

Associate Professor

Programme Coordinator of MA in Second Language Acquisition

Consultation Hours
Tuesday and Friday, 3pm to 4pm

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
  • 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 reviewers for various SSCI journals, and grant/proposal reviewers 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
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
Selected Publications
  • Zhao, C. G. (2019). Writer background and voice construction in L2 writing. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 37, 117-126. DOI:
  • Zhao, C. G. (2017). Voice in timed argumentative essay writing. Assessing Writing, 31, 73-83. DOI:
  • 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.
  • Zhao, C. G. (2013). Studies on voice in written discourse: Review, analysis, and implications. Foreign Language World,156:67-76.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.