Eiko Torii-Williams

Senior Lecturer in Japanese

Co-director of Japanese Program; study abroad advisor in Japan; applied linguist.

My dissertation, An Analysis of Japanese “Synonymous” Adverbs and Its Pedagogical Implications, explores a number of largely unstudied semantic dimensions of adverbs and offers pedagogical materials that are intended to assist learners in acquiring closely related families of adverbs. I have published many articles derived from my dissertation chapters. In addition, I am interested in second language acquisition, bilingual education, and sociolinguistics. I have also published articles on CALL (computer assisted language learning), pragmatics, discourse analysis, and bilingualism.

I have designed and taught all levels of language courses from the introductory level to advanced, including Beginning Japanese, Intermediate Japanese, and Selected Readings in Advanced Japanese I & II. I have also taught 300-level courses, such as Readings in Contemporary Japanese Social Science for a group of heritage students, and Contemporary Japanese Narrative with Professor Zimmerman.In addition, I assisted the Education Department in developing a Japanese Teacher Certificate Program, and have been serving as a Japanese Subject Teaching Advisor, offering independent study courses on topics in Japanese linguistics and pedagogy.

Since 1995, I have been serving as a reviewer of manuscripts submitted for publication in the journal of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL), Foreign Language Annals . I have also been reviewing manuscripts for Language Learning and Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Language. I have been a member of several professional organizations, such as The Association of Teachers of Japanese (ATJ), The Association for Asian Studies (AAS), New England Japanese Language Teachers Association (NEJLT), and The Northeast Associations of Secondary Teachers of Japanese (NEASTJ).


I love spending time with my children, playing the piano, reading, traveling, and snorkeling and scuba diving.


  • B.A., Kansai University (Osaka)
  • Ed.M., Boston University
  • Ph.D., Boston University

Current and upcoming courses

  • This course is designed for the students who have completed the second year of Japanese (JPN 201-JPN 202). Each lesson introduces you to practical vocabulary items, grammatical structures, and cultural orientations that give you the ability to discuss such topics in a more advanced and culturally appropriate manner. Throughout the course, the development of more fluent speech and stronger literacy will be emphasized by studying more complex and idiomatic expressions. Acquisition of an additional few hundred kanji characters will be part of the course. The class will be conducted entirely in Japanese. Three classes per week.