Modelling Dominant Language Constellation for Language Awareness

Thematic Section: Linguistic landscapes and multilingual materiality in flux: promoting language awareness in bi/multilingual education 

linguistic landscapes, language awareness, bi/multilingual education, material culture

Larissa Aronin, Oranim Academic College of Education, Israel

Material culture of multilingualism draws on Linguistic Landscape (LL) studies and goes beyond it in its purview. In addition to public spaces, streets, walls and shop window investigated in LL, material culture encompasses private spaces and dimensions through an array of dynamic and portable tangible material objects such as goods and products, food and utensils, furniture, pieces of art, technical artefacts and medications (Aronin et al., 2018).
Not only materialities, whether invoked or used directly for their feature of 'affective understanding' are employed in education. Novel forms of visualization and tangibilization are brought to a classroom. The presentation will discuss DLC modelling, i.e., creating and manipulating external representations of individual Dominant Language Constellations (Aronin, 2019; Lo Bianco & Aronin, forthcoming).
In this presentation, I will describe the session dedicated to creating visual representation of one’s own language identity by the trainee teachers at a college in Israel, and will demonstrate how 3D plasticine models of a personal or group DLCs serve both as cognitive extension and material symbols of one’s own sociolinguistic existence.
Apart from engagement and fun, the students reported having associations and thoughts that might not appear if it weren’t for the process of making models. Since a DLC pattern is not hierarchical, that is, it does not arbitrarily assign one language as more important than others, pondering their own linguistic assets or the DLCs of their pupils while creating tangible models in class, enhances students' language and cultural awareness and increases the consciousness of hierarchies between languages and linguistic varieties.