Julia Williams

Chair, Department of Culture and Language Studies | Coordinator, Applied Language Studies

Contact information

julia.williams@uwaterloo.ca | Tel: 519-884-4404 ext. 28658 | Location: REN 2904


  • Teachers of English as a Second Language (TESL) Ontario Certified Supervisor
  • Masters of Public Administration, Queen’s University
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Specialist, Brock University
  • Bachelor of Education (Concurrent), Queen’s University
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), English and French, Queen’s University

Picture of Julia Williams

My scholarly interests lie in the translation of second language acquisition theory into effective pedagogy and teaching materials. These interests have lead to work in curriculum design, textbook development, feedback effectiveness, teacher training, and program assessment. I’m the Director of English Language Studies, which offers courses in English to multilingual speaking students in all faculties at the University of Waterloo. This position makes me attentive to the position of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programs within the Canadian university context, and the evolving institutional response to the presence of international students on campus.

In my first career, I taught French as a second language to secondary school students. I transitioned to teaching English as a second language in secondary schools, colleges, and universities. I teach courses in second language acquisition, second language assessment, and second language teaching methodology, and I co-ordinate the Applied Language Studies minor.

Journal Articles

Corcoran, J., Williams, J., & Johnston, K.P. (2022). English for academic purposes in Canada: Results from an exploratory national survey. BC TESL Journal 7(1), 55-84. https://doi.org/10.14288/bctj.v7i1.498

Corcoran, J., & Williams, J. (March, 2021). English for academic purposes in Ontario: Results from an exploratory survey. TESL Contact 47 (1), 5-12.

Williams, J. (March, 2020). An innovative (and easy) approach to corpus analysis. TESL Contact 46 (1), 14-25.

Williams, J. & Condon, F. (2016). Translingualism in composition studies and second language writing: An uneasy alliance. TESL Canada 33 (2), 1-18.

Williams, J. & Heeney, M. (2016). Developing a culturally mindful curriculum and occupation specific assessment for an optometric bridging program. TESL Contact Research Symposium Special Issue.

Nguyen, T., Williams, J., Trimarchi, A. (2015). Discipline-specific language instruction for international students in introductory economics. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 6 (3), 1-19.

Nguyen, T., Trimarchi, A., Williams, J. (2012). Language diversity and practice in higher education: Can discipline-specific language instruction improve economics learning outcomes? Collected Essays on Teaching and Learning (5), 50-54.


Williams, J. (2019). LEAP 4: Reading and Writing. Montreal: Pearson.

Williams, J. (2018). LEAP 3: Reading and Writing. Montreal: Pearson.

Williams, J. (2013). LEAP Advanced Reading and Writing. Montreal: Pearson.

Williams, J. (2012). LEAP Reading and Writing (2nd ed.). Montreal: Pearson.

Williams, J. (2010). Academic Connections – Book 4. White Plains, New York: Pearson Longman ESL.

Williams, J.  & Hill, D. (2010). Academic Connections – Book 3. White Plains, New York: Pearson Longman ESL.

Williams, J. (2005). Learning English for Academic Purposes.  Montreal: Pearson Longman ESL.

Selected Conference Presentations

Corcoran, J. & Williams, J. (April, 2021). Keynote: Where, how, and by whom? Canadian EAP Programs and Practitioners. TESL Atlantic Conference. Halifax, NS.

Corcoran, J. & Williams, J. (November, 2020). English for academic purposes: Results from an exploratory survey. TESL Ontario Conference. Toronto, ON.

Williams, J. (April 22, 2020). What’s the matter with using model texts? Webinar, Pearson Canada.

Williams, J. (December, 2019). An Innovative (and Easy) Approach to Corpus Analysis. TESL Ontario, Toronto, ON.

Williams, J. (October, 2018). The Dualities of EAP Instruction: Finding a Balanced Approach. Webinar. Pearson Canada.

Williams, J. (September, 2018). A Dynamic Definition of Culture and the Transition to Pluriculturalism. International Symposium on Cultural Identity and Confidence in the Era of Post-multiculturalism. Renison University College, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON.

Williams, J. (May, 2018). Invited Speaker: The Yin and Yang of Materials Development. TESL London, London, ON.

Williams, J. & Wolczuk, A. (April, 2018). From Proving EAP Program Efficacy to Boosting Motivation. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON.

Williams, J. (June, 2017). Invited Speaker. EAP SWOT. TESL Canada, Niagara Falls.

Williams, J. (April, 2016). Translingualism in Composition Studies and Second Language Writing: A Possible Alliance? American Association of Applied Linguistics, Orlando, FL. U.S.A.

Williams, J. & Heeney, M. (November, 2015). Panelist: ESL in the Workplace Research Symposium. Workplace English Language Proficiency Assessment Outcomes. TESL Ontario, Toronto.

Williams, J. (October, 2015). English Literature and Language: An Uneasy Alliance? TESL Canada, Lake Louise, Alberta.

Williams, J., Huang, L., Ilieva, R., Stille, S., Russell, B. & Missere-Mihas, T. (March, 2015). Panellist: Teaching and Learning English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Across Disciplines:  Perspectives from the Canadian University Context. TESOL, Toronto, Ontario.

Williams, J. (May, 2014). A Translingual Approach: Towards a Defined Pedagogy and Methodology. TESL Canada, Regina, Saskatchewan.

Williams, J. (May, 2013) Keynote Address. Trends and Textbooks in EAP. TESL Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.

Williams, J. (November, 2011). Creating Rubrics for Assessment. Webinar for English Tertiary Week. Pearson, U.K.

Williams, J. (November, 2011). Keynote address. Trends and Materials in EAP Over the Last 20 years, and How to Get Published. TESL Nova Scotia, Halifax.

Williams, J., Nguyen, T. & Trimarchi, A. (June, 2011).  Learning Outcomes for Discipline-Specific Language Instruction: ESL for International Students in Introductory Economics. Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. University of Saskatoon, Saskatoon.

Williams, J. (December, 2010). Blending TOEFL preparation with English for Academic Purposes Instruction – Academic Connections. TESL Ontario, Toronto.

Williams, J. (May, 2008). An English Language Proficiency Assessment for Optometrists.  TESL Canada, Moncton.

Williams, J. & Jewinski, J. (April, 2008).  A Quantitative Method for Written Error Correction. TESOL, New York.

Williams, J. (February, 2007).  A New Look at Error Correction.  London TESL Winter Workshop, London, Ontario.


TESL Canada, Textbook Award, Series Category, 2017
Innovation in Canadian Textbooks Award


Renison Research Grant (2019)
Project: English for Academic Purposes at Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions, Charting the Landscape.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Connections Grant (2016)
Project: Mapping the Landscape: Language in the Canadian University.

LITE Grant, Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo (2013-2014)
Project: Enhancing Writing and Communication Skills for Earth Sciences Students.

LIF Grant, Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Watelroo (2009-2011) 
Project: Learning Outcomes of Discipline-Specific Language Instruction: A Proposal to Support International Students in Introductory Economics.

Courses Taught

APPLS 205R: Second Language Acquisition

APPLS 304R: The Foundations of English Language Teaching

APPLS 306R: Second Language Assessment and Testing

ARTS 140: Information and Analysis (EMLS section): Language Learning Truths

EMLS 602R: Scholarly Writing in English

EMLS 129R: Written Academic English

EMLS 102R: Error Correction in Academic Writing