David Matley

David Matley, Dr.


Phone: +41 44 634 36 79



I work as a Lektor / Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter at the English Department of the University of Zurich. My teaching includes academic writing courses at both BA and MA level, cultural / media studies courses and linguistics classes. I have also occasionally taught linguistics courses at the University of Bern English Department, and have taught academic writing skills courses at a postgraduate level at the University of Lucerne. I also led a three-day workshop on postgraduate academic writing for Mental Health PhD students in Geneva (MARATONE) in January 2016.

I gained my MA in Modern Languages (German and French) at Edinburgh University in 1990, and completed my doctorate in applied English linguistics at the University of Tübingen, Germany, in 2011, published as Exploratory Grammar Learning in a Multimedia Environment by Tectum in 2013. My research interests are second language acquisition, language and the media, media studies, the pragmatics of social media and sociolinguistics in the very broad sense. I am currently conducting research into presentation of the self on Instagram.

Courses taught (selection)

Culture #Online (Colloquium, HS 2017)

Second Language Acquisition (BA seminar, HS 2017, FS 2011)

British Society and Culture 1945-present (lecture series, HS 2017, FS 2010)

Language and Power (BA seminar, HS 2016)

Language and Identity Online (BA seminar, FS 2016)

Language and Power (BA seminar, HS 2014, University of Bern)

Language and (the) Media (lecture series, FS 2014)

Language and the Law (BA seminar, HS 2013)

Language and Ethnicity (BA seminar, HS 2012)

From Affluence to Anger: British and American Films of the Fifties (MA seminar, co-taught with Frances Ilmberger, FS 2012, FS 2017)

Britain on the Big Screen: British Society and Culture in British Cinema (lecture series, HS 2011 and HS 2014)

An Introduction to the Study of Second Language Acquisition (lecture series, HS 2011)


2018. "Let's See How Many of You Mother Fuckers Unfollow Me for This": The Pragmatic Function of the Hashtag #sorrynotsorry in Non-Apologetic Instagram Posts. Journal of Pragmatics 133, 66-78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2018.06.003

2018. "This is NOT a #humblebrag, this is just a #brag": The pragmatics of self-praise, hashtags and face work in Instagram posts. Discourse, Context and Media 22, 30-38. Special issue on the discourse of social tagging. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcm.2017.07.007

2013. Exploratory Grammar Learning in a Multimedia Environment. Marburg: Tectum.

2009. Exploratory grammar learning with multimedia CALL. In: Dimensionen der Zweitsprachenerwerbsforschung / Dimensions of Second Language Research Festschrift für Kurt Kohn. Ed. Michaela Abl-Mikasa, Sabine Braun and Sylvia Kalina Tübingen: Gunter Narr. 349-362.

Conference papers (selection)

"I miss my old life": an analysis of narratives of regretting motherhood on mumsnet.com and quora.com. 7th CADAAD conference, Aalborg (DK), 4-6 July 2018.

'And with her milk there flowed the deepest thoughts, concepts and dreams': The Meta-Discourse of Breastfeeding Images on Instagram. Visualizing (in)the New Media Conference, Neuchâtel, 8-10 November 2017.

"I can’t believe #Ziggy #Stardust died": reactions to celebrity death on Instagram. 15th International Pragmatics Conference (IPrA), Belfast, 16-21 July 2017.

"Isn’t working on the weekend the worst? #humblebrag": the impact of context incongruity and hashtag use on attitudes towards ironic and literal self-praise in Instagram posts. Sociolinguistics Symposium 21, Murcia, 15-18 June 2016.

"Let’s See How Many of You Unfollow Me for This”: Presentation of the Self and the Pragmatic Function of the Hashtag #sorrynotsorry in Non-Apologetic Instagram Posts. Second International Conference on Linguistics and Language Studies (ICLLS), Hong Kong, 23-24 June 2016. Award for Best Presentation.