English Language and Linguistics
My main research interests are language testing, and reading and listening in a foreign language (in particular in an academic context). I am currently working on research using eye tracking to look into reading task completion processes and research on diagnosing second and foreign language proficiency. Recently completed work includes a project on standard setting and research on the relationships between text characteristics of task input, knowledge of response options, L2 proficiency, working memory capacity and task difficulty in L2 listening assessment (see Revesz and Brunfaut, 2013; Brunfaut and Revesz, 2014). Past research dealt with the impact of linguistic, metacognitive and affective factors on students' academic reading proficiency in L1 and FL. Previous work also includes language test development and research in developing countries.
PhD Supervision Interests
I am especially interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of language testing (in particular, testing reading, testing listening, and testing for academic purposes) and reading research (in particular, reading in a foreign language and academic reading). My present and former PhD students' topics relate to testing reading (item difficulty and processing, test specifications, washback), integrated tasks (reading-to-write, listening-to-write, listening-to-speak), Language in Use tasks, and academic listening needs.
Some of my most recent publications include:
(for a more extensive list, see the 'Publications' tab)
Brunfaut, T., & Revesz, A. (2014). The role of task and listener characteristics in second language listening. TESOL Quarterly. doi: 10.1002/tesq.168
Alderson, J.C., Brunfaut, T., & Harding, L. (2014). Towards a theory of diagnosis in second and foreign language assessment: Insights from professional practice across diverse fields. Applied Linguistics. doi: 10.1093/applin/amt046
Brunfaut, T. (2014). Language for specific purposes: Current and future issues. Language Assessment Quarterly 11(2), 216-225. doi:10.1080/15434303.2014.902060
Brunfaut, T. (2014). A lifetime of language testing: An interview with J. Charles Alderson. Language Assessment Quarterly 11(1), 103-119.
Revesz, A., & Brunfaut, T. (2013). Text characteristics of task input and difficulty in second language listening comprehension. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 35(1), 31-65.
Some of my recent presentations include:
Brunfaut, T., & McCray, G. (2014). Looking into reading: The use of eye-tracking to investigate test-takers's cognitive processing. Featured talk, Language Testing Forum (LTF), Southampton (UK).
McCray, G., & Brunfaut, T. (2014). Modelling reading item difficulty with the Explanatory IRT model LLTM+e: Applying an L1-framework to L2-items. Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC), Amsterdam (The Netherlands).
Kremmel, B., Brunfaut, T., & Alderson, C.J. (2014). Exploring the role of phraseological knowledge in second language reading test performance (poster). Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC), Amsterdam (The Netherlands).
Brunfaut, T., & Harding, L. (2014). Standard setting in Europe and Asia: Linking listening tests to the CEFR. European Association for Language Testing and Assessment conference (EALTA), Warwick (UK).
Alderson, J.C., Brunfaut, T., & Harding, L. (2013). Towards a theory of diagnosis in second language assessment: Lessons learnt from diagnosis in other professions. Symposium presentation at the Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC), Seoul (South Korea).
McCray, G., Brunfaut, T., & Alderson, J.C. (2012). Combining eye-tracking with post test interview data to examine gap-fill items: triangulation of tribulation, European Association for Language Testing and Assessment conference (EALTA), Innsbruck (Austria).
McCray, G., Alderson, J.C., & Brunfaut, T. (2012). Multilevel IRT in the Explanation of Cross-national and Cross-linguistic DIF in Reading Comprehension 2009. American Educational Research Association conference (AERA), Vancouver (Canada).
Alderson, J.C., Brunfaut, T., McCray, G., & Nieminen, L. (2012). Component-Skills Approach to L2 Reading: Findings, Challenges, and Innovations. American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), Boston (USA).
I coordinate the Language Testing Research Group, together with my colleague Luke Harding.
I am the Director of the Department's MA in Language Testing (by Distance) and I often teach the following modules:
- Language Test Construction and Evaluation
- Background to Applied Linguistics
- Issues in Language Testing
- Research Issues in Applied Linguistics
- Classroom Language Assessment
- Language Test Construction and Evaluation
- Postgraduate Academic Study Skills
On the undergraduate programme, I contribute to:
- Introduction to Linguistics
During summer, I teach on the Language Testing at Lancaster course.
No publications found
This funded project aims to examine English second language (ESL) test-takers’ cognitive processing whilst completing reading comprehension tasks. By means of a combination of eye-tracking and retro ... Read more»
This funded research investigates the relationship between English second language reading comprehension and a range of eye-tracking metrics. The study aims to assess whether metrics found to be assoc ... Read more»
This funded research project aims to conduct a linking study, relating the listening tests of the General English Proficiency Test (GEPT) to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). The stud ... Read more»
This project involves the training of a team of English language teachers in language test design and evaluation, and the development of a CEFR A2-level test for use in secondary schools in Luxembourg ... Read more»
This funded project explored the effect of a number of variables on L2 listening difficulty, in relation to L2 proficiency. More specifically, we investigated the relationships between text characteri ... Read more»
In this funded research project, we investigated the relationships between text characteristics of task input, task difficulty, and test takers' perceptions of difficulty in L2 listening assessment. I ... Read more»
This study looked into the socio-pragmatic competence of doctors using an L2 on the workfloor. L2-doctors' use of modification when communicating with patients and colleagues, and the declarative and ... Read more»
This empirical study looked into the relative contribution of three factors to academic reading: academic language knowledge, metacognitive knowledge, and perceptions with regard to academic reading. ... Read more»
In the language testing sub-project of Le3o we investigated the development process of test materials for profession-oriented education in the first language (Northern Sotho) and second language (Engl ... Read more»