Tim McNamara

Distinguished Professor Tim McNamara

  • Post Nominals: FAHA, AM
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2010
  • Section(s): Linguistics


Tim McNamara is Professor in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne, where he teaches and supervises graduate students in Applied Linguistics and is active in the Language Testing Research Centre, which he helped to found in 1990. Prior to this, he taught English as a foreign/second language for 13 years in the UK and Australia, and became involved in teacher training through the Cambridge CELTA scheme. Tim has held visiting positions at universities in the US, Canada, Japan and the UK, and most recently at the University of Vienna.

In language testing, he was responsible for the development of the Occupational English Test, a test of the clinical English skills of health professionals, and has made major contributions to the development of IELTS and to the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL-iBT). He is currently researching the use of language analysis in the determination of origin of asylum seekers in a project for the Swiss Government.

A former President of the International Language Testing Association, Tim serves on the editorial boards of several leading applied linguistics journals. He is currently on the Executive of the American Association for Applied Linguistics.

Tim was made Member in the General Division (AM) in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his significant service to tertiary education, and to applied linguistics.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.