Professor ‘Rotimi Taiwo started his academic career at Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo in November, 1995. He later moved to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in February, 1997. His interest lies in text and discourse analysis. At the earlier stage of his career, his research work focused on the challenges second learners of English face while creating text as a process and product. These include textual development through cohesion and coherence, which was the focus of his M.A thesis, and lexical collocation problems, his doctoral research. Working within the traditions of Systemic Functional Linguistics tradition, he also explored the complex relationship between grammar and discourse. His research at this time focused on information packaging and structuring within and beyond the sentence, most especially, in media and political discourses.

Much later in his career, he got interested in the study of discourse, most especially written ones and how they relate to their social contexts. He devoted a lot of attention to the critical approach to analysing discourse, most especially, media, political and religious texts. These three kinds of texts play significant roles in the enactment and framing of beliefs, prejudices and ideologies in the social contexts of their production and his research extensively demonstrates this. 

With the advent of digital online and mobile communication, he developed interest in the study of asynchronous online communication and mobile telecommunications text messages. His research on social media discourse analyses interactants’ negotiation of  meaning and linguistic behaviour applying conversational analytic critical discourse and pragmatic approaches.

In 2008, he won the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, which took him to the University of Freiburg, during the period, he edited a two-volume book titled Handbook of Discourse Behavior and Digital Communication: Language, Structure and Social Interaction. The book, published by Information Science Reference Publishers, New York, USA, is a compendium of 56 scholarly chapters on discourse behaviour in digital communication. The chapters were written by 82 top scholars from 48 institutions that spread across America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Oceanic. These chapters cover different aspects of computer-mediated communication, such as electronic mail, instant message, chat, discussion forum, blog, video conferencing, You Tube, web-based learning and SMS, as well as aspects of behaviour typically associated with online discourse like flaming, scamming, trolling, cyber-bullying, language mixing, repelling and creativity. Approaches of these scholars vary as well as their backgrounds. However, the approaches blend in their descriptions of the different linguistic behaviour and forms deployed for socialisation in digital discourse practices. The book addresses issues such as: identity construction, politeness and face works, rhetorical strategies, humor and language play, gender, power and ideology construction, and so forth.

As part of his research sponsored by Alexander von Humbold Foundation, he authored a book titled: Language and Mobile Telecommunication in Nigeria: SMS as a Digital Age Lingual-cultural Expression (OAU Press, 2012). This book is not just a pioneering book by a linguist in Nigeria on the linguistic and discursive features of text messages, it is also the most comprehensive empirical documentation on this topic in the country to date. On May 22, 2018, he delivered the 319th Inaugural Lecture at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife titled: Beyond the Text: Critical Discourse Analysis and the Quest for Meaning in Cyberspace Interaction. This lecture systematically brought together his over 20 years research efforts in academia and his contribution to knowledge as well as future research projections.

Professor Taiwo has also edited other books, such as Computer Mediated Communication in Africa, with Innocent Chiluwa (Nova Science Publishers, 2012); Pragmatics of Nigerian English Discourse, with Innocent Chiluwa and Presley Ifukor (LINCOM Europa, Germany, 2014); The Discourse of Digital Civic Engagement:  Perspectives from the Developing World, with Tunde Opeibi (Nova Science Publishers, USA, 2016); Analyzing Language and Humour in Online Discourse (with Akin Odebunmi and Akin Adetunji, IGI Global, New York, USA, 2016). He has also published extensively in reputable journal, such as, Nordic Journal of African Studies, Internet TESL Journal for Teachers of English as a Second Language, Linguistik Online, The International Journal of Society, Culture and Language, Issues in Political Discourse Analysis, English Today, Journal of English Scholars’ Association of Nigeria, Journal of Linguistic Association of Nigeria, Language, Text, Society, Discourse and Communication, Ghana Journal of Linguistics, Marang: Journal of Language and Literature, International Journal of Journal of Media & Cultural Politics, California Linguistic Notes, and so forth.

Professor Taiwo has served and is currently serving External Moderator, Examiner for undergraduate and postgraduate studies as well as Assessor for promotion to the following universities: University of Ibadan, Ibadan; University of Lagos, Akoka;  Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko; University of Jos, Jos; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Lagos State University, Ojo; Covenant University, Ota; Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti; University of Benin, Benin-City; University of Ilorin, Ilorin; Osun State University, Osogbo; Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye; Redeemer’s University, Ede; Joseph Ayo Babalola, Ikeji-Arakeji;  and University; Benson Idahosa University, Benin-City and Ajayi Crowder University, Oyo.

Among some of the positions Professor Taiwo has held at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife are: Departmental Examination Coordinator (1997-2000; 2005-2006); Coordinator, Use of English (2006-2008); Chair, LOC, Ife Conference on Language, Literature and Communication Conference Planning Committee (2011); Chair, Publicity Sub-committee, Faculty Conference; Member, Press Council, Representing the Senate (2018 - 2020); Chair, Faculty 2016-2020 Strategic Planning & Quality Control Committee (2015 to date) and Head, Department of English (2018-2020).

He has also served as visiting lecturer and researcher at Covenant University, Ota, University of Freiburg, Germany and University of Munster, Germany. In 2005, he won the award of Outstanding Contribution towards Covenant University’s External Impact Drive Award (2004/2005 Academic Session). He currently serves on the Board of Regents (The University Council), Landmark University, Omu Aran (from June, 2019).

In recognition of his expertise and pioneering work on New Media Discourse Analysis, he has been invited to deliver lead papers and Keynotes at conferences by the National Association of Teachers of English as a Second Language (NATRESL); English Scholars’ Association of Nigeria; Faculty of Arts, OAU Conference and School of Liberal Arts, Yaba College of Technology.

Apart from his supervision of more than 30 postgraduate students, which include 5 doctoral students, Professor Taiwo has mentored a good number of young and intermediate researchers/scholars with interest in Discourse Analysis and Computer Mediated Communication and assisted them to win postdoctoral fellowships and publish scholarly papers. He has also engaged in research collaboration with colleagues within an outside his university.

Professor Taiwo serves in the editorial boards of a number of journals: Linguistik Online, The International Journal of Society, Culture and Language, Covenant Journal of Language Studies, Ife Studies in English Language (ISEL), EKSU Studies in Language and Literature, Obitun, Journal of the Faculty of Arts, Oye, Journal of Language, Literature and Popular Culture, CLAREP Journal of English and Linguistics (C-Jel) and Lafiya Journal of Arts. He has been the Editor of Journal of English Scholars’ Association of Nigeria (JESAN) since 2018.

Outside the university, specifically in Christian circles, Professor Taiwo has served as President, Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship, Ile-Ife; President, Gideons International, Ife North Camp; Chaplain, Gideons International, Central West State Association. He is currently the Vice President, of the same State Association. He also serves as member of the Bible Study Sub-group, as well as a member of the Pastoral Support Group at All Souls Chapel, OAU, Ile-Ife.

Professor Taiwo’s hobbies and pastimes include reading, playing indoor word games, such as Scrabble and Crosswords. He also enjoys travelling and sight-seeing.