Dr Caroline Tagg


Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics

Dr Caroline Tagg

Contact details

52 Pritchatts Road
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


I am a lecturer in the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham. I have a background in English Language teaching and training. My research focuses on digital interaction, including text messaging and online social media.

For a discussion of my research, here is a podcast recorded in May 2012 with the Ideas Lab at the University of Birmingham.


You can also follow me and colleagues on Twitter @linguasocmedia, where we tweet about language and social media.


  • PhD in English from the University of Birmingham, 2009, ‘A corpus analysis of SMS text messaging’
  • MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL from Leicester University, 2004
  • Trinity College TESOL Certificate, 1997
  • BA (Hons) in History and Politics from the University of Exeter, 1997


I started work at the University of Birmingham in September 2011. Before that, I held a lecturer post at the Open University from 2009 to 2011. I had previously taught English as a foreign language in Spain, Vietnam and Birmingham.


I teach on both the campus-based and distance MA programmes, as well as on undergraduate modules in the English Department at the University of Birmingham.

I am on study leave in the autumn term of 2014-2015. In the spring term, I am teaching on the third-year undergraduate module, 'Ordinary Creativity', and on the postgraduate module, 'Language and New Media'.

Postgraduate supervision

I am interested in supervising students in the following areas:

  • language use and communication on new media sites
  • creativity and code-switching (particularly, but not only, online)
  • projects involving the use of corpus approaches, alongside other methods
  • pedagogic applications of the above.


My research interests lie predominantly in the area of digital interaction, and I am particularly interested in text messaging (which formed the basis of my PhD research) and social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter. I am currently researching multilingual interactions on social media, and particularly the way in which the use of English, alongside other languages, facilitates new translocally-configured communities online.

I am interested in language play and creativity in everyday contexts, including online domains. I have used corpus analysis tools in my research, and am interested in research which combines corpus methods with other approaches.

I am Co-I on the AHRC project 'Translanguaging and translation: investigating linguistic and cultural transformations in superdiverse wards in four UK cities' (PI Angela Creese) which runs from April 2014 for four years. 

Other activities

I am a member of IRiS, the Institute for Research into Superdiversity, at the University of Birmingham.

I am a member of BAAL (British Association of Applied Linguistics).

I am co-founder and secretary of the BAAL SIG, Language and New Media. 


Authored books

  • Tagg, C. (2015) Exploring Digital Communication: language in action. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Tagg, C. (2012) The Discourse of Text Messaging: analysis of SMS communication. London: Continuum.

Edited collections

  • Seargeant, P. and Tagg, C. (eds) (2014) The Language of Social Media: identity and community on the internet. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Hewings, A. and C. Tagg (eds) (2012) The Politics of English: conflict, competition, co-existence. Abingdon: Routledge.

Chapters in books

  • Tagg, C. (forthcoming, 2016) 'Storytelling and identity performance through social media' in Maybin, J. (ed.) Narrative and creativity: contemporary approach.
  • Tagg, C. and Seargeant, P. (forthcoming, 2015) 'Facebook and the discursive construction of the social network' in Georgakopoulou, A. and Spilioti, T. (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Language and Digital Communication. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 339-353.
  • Tagg, C. and P. Seargeant (2014) 'Audience design and language choice in the construction of translocal communities on social network sites’ Seargeant, P. and Tagg, C. (eds) The Language of Social Media: identity and community on the internet. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Tagg, C. (2012) ‘Corpora and texting’ in Hyland, K, Chau, M. H. and Handford, M. (eds) Corpora in Applied Lingusitics: Current approaches and future directions. London: Continuum.
  • Tagg, C. (2012) ‘Good and Bad English’ in Hewings, A. and Tagg, C. (eds) The Politics of English: competition, conflict, co-existence. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Tagg, C. (2012) ‘Digital English’ in Allington, D. and B. Mayor (eds) Communicating in English: text, talk, technology. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Tagg, C. (2010) ‘wot did he say or could u not c him 4 dust? Written and Spoken Creativity in Text Messaging’ in Ho et al (eds) Transforming literacies and language: Innovative technologies, integrated experiences. London: Continuum.
  • Tagg, C. (2007) ‘Corpus-based analysis of SMS text messaging’ in Teo, P. and C. Ho (eds) Discourse in the Modern World: Perspectives and Challenges. Singapore: McGraw Hill, pp. 267-284.

Journal articles

  • Tagg, C. (in prep) 'Monolingual but multivoiced: heteroglossic analysis of a corpus of British text messages'.
  • Littlemore, J. and C. Tagg (in prep) 'Metonymy and text messaging: positing a data-driven framework for understanding creative metonymy'.
  • Drasovean, A. and C. Tagg (forthcoming) 'Evaluative language and its community-building role on TED.com: an Appraisal and corpus analysis' Language@Internet
  • Tagg, C. (2013) '"Scraping the barrel with a shower of social misfits": everyday creativity in text messaging. Applied Linguistics34/4: 480-500.
  • Tagg, C., Baron, A. and Rayson, P. (2013) '“I didn’t spel that wrong did i. Oops”: analysis and standardisation of SMS spelling variation’ Lingvisticæ Investigationes, 35/2: 367-388.
  • Seargeant, P., Tagg, C. and Ngampramuan, W. (2012) ‘Language choice and addressivity strategies in Thai-English social network interactions’, Journal of Sociolinguistics16:4: 510-531.
  • Tagg, C. and Seargeant, P. (2012) 'Writing systems at play in Thai-English online interactions', Writing Systems Research 4/2: 195-213.
  • Seargeant, P. and Tagg, C. (2011) 'English on the internet and a post-varieties approach to language', World Englishes 30/4: 496-514.

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