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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Dr John Williams

Professor of Applied Psycholinguistics
Linguistics Tripos Coordinator/Director of Undergraduate Teaching
Theoretical and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages & Linguistics
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)1223 767386

Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics
University of Cambridge
English Faculty Building
9 West Road
United Kingdom


John Williams specialises in the cognitive mechanisms of second language learning and second language lexical and syntactic processing. His work draws on theoretical concepts and experimental methodologies from cognitive psychology and applies these to second language processing and learning using laboratory-based methods. His recent research focuses on implicit learning of form-meaning connections (recently funded by the ESRC,, and incidental learning of word order regularities.

He has published numerous articles on these topics in journals such as Language LearningStudies in Second Language Acquisition, and Applied Psycholinguistics. He has also recently written overview chapters on implicit learning (New Handbook of Applied Linguistics, Emerald) and working memory in second language acquisition (Handbook of Second Language Acquisition, Routledge) and is area editor of the Cognitive Approaches to Second Language Acquisition section of the Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (Wiley Blackwell,

Prof Williams welcomes inquiries from potential MPhil and PhD students with research interests relevant to his interests.