Helping Learners Since 1941
The Michigan Tests originated from the first university-based intensive English program in the United States.
Michigan Language Assessment helps people achieve their education and career goals by providing trusted English language exams that draw on the expertise of two of the world’s leading universities.
Our story began in 1941 when the University of Michigan established the English Language Institute (ELI). This pioneering organization was the first university-based intensive English program in the United States and the first language research and teaching program of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Its influence grew in 1953 when the U.S. government commissioned the University of Michigan to develop an English language test. Over the years, we’ve continued developing and administering a portfolio of secure, research-informed exams worldwide.
In 2010, the testing division of the University of Michigan English Language Institute joined with Cambridge Assessment English to form Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments, a not-for-profit collaboration. In 2018, we rebranded to Michigan Language Assessment. As our organization has changed and grown through the years, we have continued to invest in research that ensures our tests are valid, reliable, fair, and accessible. We are committed to delivering outstanding and reliable English language assessments based on our 65+ years of assessment expertise and reflecting the values of two leading, world-renowned universities.
Today, universities, education departments, businesses, and government agencies around the world rely on our English language tests to assess and verify the proficiency of English language learners of all ages and levels. Our comprehensive range of tests enables students worldwide to expand their personal opportunities, gain internationally recognized certification, and improve their educational or professional prospects.
The University of Michigan, founded in 1817, is one of the top public research universities in North America. With more than 575,000 alumni, the University of Michigan is a well-known and highly respected presence in higher education and beyond.
Cambridge Assessment English, part of the University of Cambridge, has over 100 years of experience assessing English language proficiency in 130 countries.
Chief Executive Officer
Sharon Harvey has overall responsibility for the strategic growth and operational performance of Michigan Language Assessment. This includes determining the long-term strategy and short-term goals, formulating policies, and providing direction for the organization in the development, delivery, marketing, and management of product lines and services. Before joining Michigan Language Assessment she spent more than twelve years working for Cambridge Assessment English, where she joined as a business development manager for Latin America before working her way up to a director position. Sharon has a BA (Hons) in Spanish & Portuguese from the University of Southampton, an MA from the University of Cambridge, and an MBA from the University of Nottingham.
Gad Lim, PhD
Director of Assessment
Gad Lim leads the team responsible for designing and developing Michigan Tests, as well as research and validation activities for them. Previously, Gad worked at Cambridge Assessment English, where he led research on IELTS and writing assessment, shaped the development of new exams, helped deliver education reform projects, and advised policymakers. He reviews for all major language testing journals and has presented and published on language teaching, performance testing, test validation, automated assessment, standard setting, and the CEFR. He has taught in higher education and trained language teachers in Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas. His PhD (Education) is from the University of Michigan.
Director of Professional Partnerships
Barbara Dobson leads Michigan Language Assessment’s work in stakeholder relations and global recognition, developing new partnerships and supporting existing ones. As a member of the senior management team, she contributes to the development of strategies and projects to promote Michigan Language Assessment and its products and services. She has published in the areas of language testing and English for academic purposes, presented her assessment-related research at various international conferences, and served on executive boards of ILTA and MwALT. While always principally a language tester, she has also taught writing to both native and nonnative English speakers at the university level. She is an author of the ESL reading textbooks Choice Readings and Reader’s Choice (now in its 5th edition).
Director of Business Management
Amanda McConville is director of business management for Michigan Language Assessment, where she is responsible for all core business administration functions including finance, human resources, information technology, legal, facilities, project management, as well as day-to-day business and administrative support. She has previously held accounting and financial leadership roles in both private and public hospitals and has extensive experience working for academic institutions—including a focus on senior business management. Amanda has a BA in business management and a master’s degree in professional accounting, both from the University of Queensland.
Fernando Fleurquin, MD
Assistant Director of Business Development & Marketing
Fernando Fleurquin is Michigan Language Assessment’s assistant director of business development and marketing. He has presented at conferences in over twenty countries on English teaching, teacher development, language testing, standards, leadership, strategic planning, program evaluation, and marketing. Fernando has a master’s degree in marketing and business management and is currently a doctoral (EdD) candidate in higher education. He is also a medical doctor.
Director of Operations
Elizabeth Flahie is the director of operations at Michigan Language Assessment, where she leads the customer service, production, and exams processing units and is responsible for the conceptualization and delivery of major business change to improve operational efficiency and customer experience. Prior to joining the organization, she was the corporate office manager for a plant services company in the automotive industry located in Leon, Guanajuato. There, Elizabeth oversaw the acquisition and design of new facilities, built robust customer service and purchasing teams, reimagined operational processes to meet and exceed customer expectations, and redefined corporate culture. She has a BA in Spanish (Honors College, summa cum laude) from Eastern Michigan University.