Photo of Williams, Jessica

Jessica Williams, PhD

Professor Emerita



My research interests are in second language acquisition, specifically on the effect of instruction and second language literacy. I am also interested in second language materials and have written numerous ESL textbooks.

Selected Publications


  • Teaching writing in second and foreign language classrooms. McGraw Hill. (2004).

Books – Edited

  • VanPatten, B., & Williams, J. (2014) Theories in second language acquisition. (Eds.)  Erlbaum. 2nd ed.
  • Form-meaning connections in second language acquisition (Eds.) (with B. VanPatten, S. Rott & M. Overstreet). Erlbaum (2004).
  • Focus on Form in Classroom Second Language Acquisition (with C. Doughty) (1998).


  • Williams, J. (to appear, 2016). 21st Century Communication with TED 2. Cengage/National Geographic Learning.
  • Williams, J., & Weise, D. (2016). Making Connections Intro. Cambridge University Press.
  • Williams, J., & Vittorio, P. (2016). Making Connections 4. Cambridge University Press.
  • Blass, L. & Williams, J. (2015). 21st Century Reading. Book 4Creating Thinking and Reading with TED Talks. Cengage/National Geographic Learning.
  • Williams, J. (2014). Reading Vocabulary Focus, Level 3. Cengage/National Geographic Learning.
  • Williams, J. (2013). Making Connections 1. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press.
  • McEntire, J., & Williams, J. (2013). Making Connections 2. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press.
  • Pakenham, K., McEntire, J., & Williams, J. (2013). Making Connections 3. 3rd ed.Cambridge University Press.
  • Williams, J. (2013). Academic Encounters: American Studies. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press.
  • Williams, J., Brown, K., & Hood, S. (2012). Academic Encounters: Life in Society 2nd ed.Cambridge University Press.

Journal Articles

  • Williams, J. (2012). The role(s) of writing and writing instruction in L2 development. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21, 321-331.
  • Beyond the practicum experience ELT Journal, 68-77. (2009).
  • Focus on form and L2 writing instruction. The Korean Language in America, 12, 1-14 (2008).
  • Tutoring and revision: Second language writers in the writing center. Journal of Second Language Writing, 13, 173-201. (2004). Honorable mention, Best Article of 2004.
  • Second language writers and the writing center. Introduction to special issue of Journal of Second Language Writing, 13, 165-172. (with C. Severino). (2004).
  • Making form-meaning connections while reading: A qualitative analysis of word processing (with S. Rott). Journal of Reading in a Foreign Language, 15 (2003).

Book chapters and encyclopedia entries

  • Manchón, R., & Williams, J. (2016). L2 writing and SLA studies. In. R. Manchón & P. Matsuda (Eds.). The handbook of second language writing. Berlin: de Gruyter-Mouton.
  • Williams, J. (2013). The role of instruction in second language acquisition theories. In C. Chapelle, (Ed.), Encyclopedia of applied linguistics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Williams, J. (2012). Form-meaning connections. In P. Robinson, (Ed.), Encyclopedia of second language acquisition. New York: Routledge.
  • Williams, J. (2011). Classroom research. In S. Gass & A. Mackey (Eds.), The handbook of second language acquisition. Routledge/ Taylor & Francis. (pp. 541-554).
  • Form-meaning relations. In P. Robinson (Ed.). Routledge encyclopedia of second language acquisition. New York: Routledge. (to appear).
  • The role of instruction in second language acquisition theories. In C. Chapelle, (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell (to appear, 2011).
  • Classroom research in second and foreign language environments. In S. Gass & A. Mackey (Eds.), The handbook of second language acquisition. Routledge/Taylor and Francis. (to appear, 2011).
  • Teaching and testing writing. (with C. Polio). In M. Long & C. Doughty (Eds.), The handbook of language teaching. Oxford: Blackwell (pp. 486-517). (2009).
  • The speaking-writing connection in second language and academic literacy development. InD. Belcher & A. Hirvela (Eds.), The oral/literate connection: perspectives on L2 speaking, writing, and other media interactions (pp. 10-25)Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. (2009).
  • The role of interaction in input enhancement. (with C. Fernández) In C. Gascoigne (Ed.), Assessing the impact of input enhancement in second language education (pp. 107-127). Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press. (2007).
  • Early theories in second language acquisition (with B. VanPatten). In B. VanPatten & J. Williams (Eds.), Theories in second language acquisition: An introduction (pp. 17-35). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. (2007).


PhD Applied Linguistics
MA in Linguistics