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An empirical investigation of the componentiality of L2 reading in English for academic purposesThe focus on careful reading in theoretical literature has meant that we have somewhat ignored reading behaviours such as skimming, scanning and search reading in the teaching and testing of reading. These theories do not explain how readers process texts quickly and selectively. The development of the Advanced English Reading Test (AERT) for university students in the People's Republic of China under the auspices of the National College English Test Committee was the vehicle for investigating the nature of and the relationships between skimming, scanning, search reading and careful reading. This volume reports on the methodological procedures that led to the development of this important test and discusses the results of the empirical investigations that were carried out to establish its validity. As such it offers a blueprint of reading assessment for those wishing to research in the area.
Placing construct definition at the heart of assessment: research, design and a priori validationIn this chapter, we will first highlight Professor Cyril Weir’s major research into the nature of academic reading. Using one of his test development pro- jects as an example, we will describe how the construct of academic reading was operationalised in the local context of a British university by theoretical construct definition together with empirical analyses of students’ reading patterns on the test through eye-tracking. As we progress through the chapter we reflect on how Weir’s various research projects fed into the development of the test and a new method of analysing eye-tracking data in relation to different types of reading.