Dr. Gary Buck started his career as an English teacher and taught for many years at a college in Japan. He became interested in testing during the 1980s, when he was asked to help with the design and development of the college’s English entrance exam. This was followed by a PhD in assessment at Lancaster University, England. His 1990 dissertation was entitled, The Testing of Second Language Listening Comprehension.
After a short period teaching graduate school in the U.S. in 1993, Educational Testing Service (ETS) awarded him the First TOEFL Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Research on Second/Foreign Language Testing and invited him to join the research division at ETS. Since that time, Gary has worked full-time in the testing industry. At ETS, Gary worked on a number of research projects on the TOEFL program, the SAT and Advanced Placement tests, and for a number of years, he served as chairman of the TOEIC Research Committee.
In 1999, he took a year sabbatical to write a book, Assessing Listening Comprehension. This book, published by Cambridge University Press, has since become the standard textbook on testing second-language listening comprehension.
In 2000, Gary began working as director of a number of high-stakes testing programs in the U.S. He first worked as the Dean of Testing at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA, where he led the design and development of many of the U.S. Department of Defense’s high-stakes language tests, overseeing test development in over 40 different languages. He worked as the Director of Testing for Ballard & Tighe, designing tests to meet the No Child Left Behind legislation. He also held the position of Director of Testing in the English Language Institute at the University of Michigan, where he directed a large suite of tests, the “Michigan Tests,” and oversaw the development of a new testing system to supplement the established programs.
During his career, Gary has been active as a consultant, providing assessment advice and assessment services to a wide range of universities, government agencies, and companies. In 2003, Gary founded Lidget Green, Inc. Lidget Green has continued his original focus on language testing—carrying out many projects for both high-stakes and low-stakes programs—in both K-12 and adult education.
During his career, Gary has published extensively in the assessment field of literature and has given many presentations at national and international assessment conferences. He remains active, managing Lidget Green and providing assessment services to our clients.