Professor Cyril Weir

Powdrill Professor in English Language Acquisition

Cyril Weir

Cyril Weir, the Powdrill Research Professor in English Language Acquisition at the Centre for Research in English Language Learning and Assessment (CRELLA), University of Bedfordshire, sadly died on Friday 28 September 2018.

Cyril founded CRELLA back in 2005 and grew it to become the successful research institute that it is today. When he relinquished the Directorship of CRELLA, he continued as our Research Excellence Framework lead for the area until his death. He also held the funded Powdrill Chair in English Language Acquisition, was awarded the OBE in 2015 for his services to English Language Assessment, and a number of other prestigious markers of esteem.

CRELLA’s research was shaped by Cyril’s ground-breaking socio-cognitive framework which led to a step-change in English Language testing that endures today and that underpins the country’s major tests, including IELTs and the Cambridge Assessment tests.

Cyril also recently completed two major works which captured his lifelong interest and research in the history of English Language testing and in academic literacy. One of his legacies will be the Bedfordshire Academic Reading (and Writing) Tests, informally known by colleagues as the 'CRELLA diagnostic' which has been used by courses across the University.

Colleagues that know Cyril will, however, most of all miss his warm and supportive personality. He mentored and enabled his original team to achieve great success and he will be terribly missed. In due course the University will consider how Cyril’s achievements can be recognised in a more formal manner, but for now any messages of condolence may be passed to Cyril’s family through Professor Tony Green


Professor Tony Green
Director of CRELLA
University of Bedfordshire
Putteridge Bury
Hitchin Road
Luton, Bedfordshire


+44 (0)1582 489086