Robert Williams is an associate professor of TEFL/Applied Linguistics in the English Language Institute at the American University in Cairo. His main teaching duties are in the master’s program in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (MATEFL), where he regularly offers courses in linguistic analysis, pedagogical English grammar, online learning and teaching, and a range of elective subjects. Professor Williams also teaches undergraduate linguistic courses.
His research interests in the area of language pedagogy include English grammar, online learning, the nature of online classroom talk, refugee education issues, and the social cultural dimension of language instruction. He is the founding president of NileTESOL, Egypt’s International TESOL affiliate, and past co-chair of the Refugee Concerns Interest Section of TESOL International. Professor Williams is also founding director of the Cairo Refugee Language Project, a research umbrella housing a variety of traditional and advocacy research projects, including the Refugee Schools Faculty Development Project.
Professor Williams’ current main research activity is as principle investigator for the Uncunwee (Ghulfan) Documentation Project (UDP), where he leads an international team of linguists who are documenting this endangered Sudanese language. The UDP is funded by the Hans Rausing Endangered Language Project, situated at the School for Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and is also sponsored by the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, where Professor Williams is a frequent visiting scientist.
Professor Williams holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma. He earned an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language and a doctorate in Applied Linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles.