Jonathan Rees


Deputy Director, Lecturer

Jon Rees

Contact details

EISU, Priorsfield
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


My main responsibilities at EISU as follows:

  • Deputising and representing the unit within and outside the University
  • Taking the lead on testing/assessment related issues
  • Constructing proficiency assessments for special circumstances testing
  • Taking the lead on annual staffing planning issues


  • MA (TEFL/TESL, University of Birmingham)
  • BA Joint Honours (French/German, Durham University)
  • Higher Diploma (French Studies, University of Montpellier)
  • PGCE (French/TESOL, Wolverhampton University)


I have a background in Modern Languages and TEFL and have lived and worked in a number of countries, including Japan, Denmark and France. I have visited a large number of countries for university business or for conferences, including the following: China (7 times), Singapore (3 times), South Korea, Iran and Israel. I have been with the Unit since 1994 and am currently the Deputy Director with special responsibility for staffing and assessment issues.

I have been an External Examiner and Examination Writer for the International Foundation Programme run by the Northern Consortium of United Kingdom (Universities), and an External Examiner for the HEFP at the University of Warwick.

I am currently an External Examiner for the IYA and the KYA programmes at Aston University.


I teach across the whole range of EISU programmes.

Other activities

Other responsibilities

I addition to my main duties, I am responsible for supporting on a one to one basis university staff (academic/administrative) who are experiencing difficulties in the field of academic or social communication within the university context. I also undertake research into areas of particular relevance to the Unit, e.g. the validity of new English language qualifications, the role of presessionals in preparing students for university study.

Academic interests

Language testing, factors affecting foreign language proficiency gains within the study abroad context.

Recent Conference papers

  • "Is Our Taxonomy Good for Our Pedagogy?" (co-presentation with Gail Horton): Teaching and Learning Conference, UoB (Jun 2011)
  • "Evaluating the Effectiveness of EAP/ESP Presessionals" (co-presentation with Sophia Butt): BALEAP Professional Interest Meeting, University of Kent (Feb 2012)
  • "Tracking Foundation, Pre-sessional and EAP Students" (co-presentation with Sophia Butt, Hasan Shikoh): BALEAP Professional Interest Meeting, University of Kent (Feb 2012)
  • "Developing a ‘Quick & Effective’ Tool for Identifying Academic Writing Skills Deficit for University Students" (co-presentation with Els van Geyte): EALTA Conference, Innsbruck, Austria (Testing SIG) (Mar, 2012)
  • "Who Then Really is an International Student?" (co-presentation with Gail Horton): UKCISA Conference, University of Warwick (Jul 2012)


  • “Predicting the Future of Foreign Language Aptitude Testing”. Proceedings of the PACSLRF Symposium on Individual Differences In Foreign Language Learning: Effects of Aptitude, Intelligence and Motivation. Aoyama University, Japan. Oct 1999
  • “Counting the Cost of International Assessment”. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. Vol 24,4. Dec 1999
  • “Reading Together: Capitalising on Inter-disciplinary Work in the Development and Refinement of Reading Tests”. Educational Psychology in Practice. Vol 18, 4 (313-323). Dec 2002
  • “Reviewing the case for explicit grammar instruction in the university foreign language learning context”. Language Teaching Research. Vol 7 (288-314). Oct 2003
  • “Marks, Get, Set, Go: an evaluation of entry levels and progress rates on a university foreign language programme”. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education Vol 29.1. Feb 2004
  • “Researching the benefits of residence abroad for students of modern languages”. International Perspectives on Higher Education Research (Elsevier Science/JAI Press), edited by Prof Malcolm Tight (Warwick University). Oct 2005
  • “Analysing and evaluating the linguistic benefit of residence abroad for UK foreign language students”. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education Vol 32.1 (with J. Klapper). Mar 2007
  • “Issues in the longitudinal measurement of second language progress in a study abroad context” in Ortega, L. and Byrnes, H, (eds.) The Longitudinal Study of Advanced L2 Capabilities. SLA Research Series. Lawrence Erlbaum. New York. (with J. Klapper). Feb 2008
  • “Differential foreign language performance during residence abroad: a review of possible explanations”, Language Learning Journal 39 (2011), 2, 1-24 (with J. Klapper). Apr 2011

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