Veronika Timpe-Laughlin is a research scientist at the Center for Language Education and Assessment Research (CLEAR) at ETS. She holds an M.A. in language testing from Lancaster University, UK, as well as teaching degrees in German and English (Erstes Staatsexamen) and a Ph.D. in applied linguistics/TESOL from TU Dortmund University, Germany. Her dissertation work examined the feasibility of assessing intercultural communicative competence.
Since joining ETS in 2013, her research has focused on three areas: (1) L2 pragmatics learning and assessment, (2) the use of technology (especially video-conferencing technology and spoken dialogue systems) in promoting and assessing oral interaction skills, and (3) early second/foreign language teaching, learning, and assessment. The work in pragmatics has involved the development and evaluation of an immersive, computer-based application with learning and assessment tasks that help to raise adult English learners’ pragmatic awareness. Part of the task development included the design and implementation of fully automated, interactive dialogue tasks. In addition to L2 pragmatics and interaction, a large portion of her work is dedicated to the teaching and assessment of young language learners. She has been leading the development of an online teacher training course for teachers who teach foreign languages to young learners.
Timpe-Laughlin also serves as the research coordinator for the TOEFL® Young Students Series (including the TOEFL Primary® tests and the TOEFL Junior® tests), planning and supervising research agendas, managing two grant programs, and hosting annual meetings with international professors who serve as consultants on the TOEFL Committee of Examiners.
Her publications include monographs, book chapters, and articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Language Teaching, Intercultural Pragmatics, and System. She is the co-editor of the 2021 special ossue in Language Testing on assessing young foreign language learners and gives regular talks and workshops on L2 pragmatics and young learner education.