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Professor Rodney Jones 

Professor Rodney Jones head shot
  • +44 (0) 118 378 8515
  • Professor of Sociolinguistics, Head of Department


Professor of Sociolinguistics

Areas of interest

Rodney's main areas of interest are discourse analysis, interactional sociolinguistics, and language and digital media. He is particularly interested in how digital media affect the way people conduct social interactions and manage social identities.

For the past 25 years he has been involved with the late Professor Ron Scollon and other colleagues in developing the theory and analytical practices of mediated discourse analysis, which he has applied to studying a range of contexts including HIV/AIDS prevention, classroom discourse, digital literacies, and creativity in professional contexts. He has authored or edited fifteen books and over one hundred journal articles and book chapters. His books include Health and Risk Communication: An Applied Linguistic Perspective (Routledge, 2013), Spoken Discourse (Bloomsbury, 2016), Understanding Digital Literacies: A practical introduction, 2nd edition (Routledge, 2021) and The Routledge Handbook of Language and Creativity (2015).

He has recently edited a collection about the language of COVID-19 entitled Viral Discourse with Cambridge University Press, as well as co-authoring the textbook Introducing Language and Society, also with CUP.  In March 2022 he was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. 


Postgraduate supervision

Rodney is interested in supervising projects on language and (new) media, mediated discourse analysis/nexus analysis, language and gender/sexuality, language and creativity, and health and risk communication.


Rodney teaches the following modules:
  • LS2SLG: Sociolinguistics
  • LS2LNM: Language and New Media.

Research projects

Developing a Digital Toolkit to Enhance the Communication of Scientific Health Claims (year 2). (Principal Investigator in collaboration with colleagues from University of Reading, Technical University of Munich, and the British Nutritional Foundation) European Institute of Innovation and Technology EIT Food.

Quarantined between cultures: Overcoming communication challenges and building resilience among Chinese students residing in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Principal Investigator in collaboration with Prof Zhu Hua and Dr Sylvia Jaworska) British Academy Special Research Grants: COVID-19 # COV19\201479


Before joining the University of Reading, Rodney worked in the Department of English at City University of Hong Kong, where he was Head of Department from 2012 to 2014. While in Hong Kong he conducted a number of large-scale funded research projects on the digital literacies of secondary school students, HIV prevention and education, food labelling, collaborative writing in the creative industries, and laypeople's communication of scientific and medical information. 

Read Rodney's research story

Awards and honours

Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences


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