17. Linguistic landscapes and multilingual materiality in flux: promoting language awareness in bi/multilingual education

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

Sílvia Melo-Pfeifer, Universität Hamburg
Joana Duarte, University of Groningen
Mónica Lourenço, Universidade de Aveiro

The concept of linguistic landscape (LL) has been in flux over the past decades: earlier on, it was used to describe the languages present in written signs and public spaces (Gorter, 2006); more recently, it has been considered far broadly, and used to describe ‘semiotic assemblages’ (Pennycook, 2019), i.e., the combination of semiotic meaning makers and meaning containers in a range of specific contexts from food (foodscaping) to school environments (schoolscaping). What emerged first as a concept in the field of Sociolinguistics, has made its way onto (foreign) Language Education and Applied Language Studies, with a renewal of methods (visual methods) being used to foster and/or research plurilingual and intercultural competences, as well as teachers’ professional development.
In this thematic section, papers will present a state-of-the-art research on how the use of LL and material culture (Aronin, Hornsby & Kiliańska-Przybyło, 2018) can foster plurilingual competence, particularly in what concerns the development of (critical) language awareness (Fairclough, 1998; Hélot, Frijns, Van Gorp & Sierens, 2018). More specifically, this section will discuss how, in bi/multilingual education, the pedagogical use of LL combined with other material resources, can raise awareness of linguistic diversity and promote positive attitudes towards languages and cultures, while at the same time increasing the consciousness of linguistic identity, hierarchies between languages and linguistic varieties and of their different social status and roles. Three features cross the four presentations: i) all papers relate to the use of LL in mainstream education (Kirsch & Duarte, 2020); ii) LLs are seen as pedagogical tools bridging the gap between formal and informal education spaces, and can be used in combination with other real-life resources; iii) researchers put social justice and equality at the center of bilingual and multilingual education, through the development of language awareness.
Aronin, L., Hornsby, M., & G. Kiliańska-Przybyło (Eds.) (2018). The Material Culture of Multilingualism. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Fairclough, N. (1998). Critical language awareness. London: Routledge.
Gorter, D. (2006). Linguistic Landscape A New Approach to Multilingualism. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Hélot, Ch.; Frijns, C.; Van Gorp, K. & Sierens, S. (2018). Language awareness in multilingual classrooms in Europe. From theory to practice. Berlin: De Gruyter.
Kirsch, C. & Duarte, J. (Eds.) (2020), Multilingual Approaches for Teaching and Learning: From Acknowledging to Capitalising on Multilingualism in European Mainstream Education. London: Routledge.
Pennycook, A. (2017). Translanguaging and semiotic assemblages. International Journal of Multilingualism, 14(3), 269–282. https://doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2017.1315810

  1. Modelling Dominant Language Constellation for Language Awareness, Larissa Aronin
  2. Mi calle favorita: linguistic multimodal landscapes in a plurilingual project with School, Families and Museums, Raquel Carinhas, Maria Helena de Araújo e Sá, Danièle Moore
  3. Multilingual Approaches to Literacy and Language, Rahat Zaidi
  4. From LoCALL to Global: Linguistic Landscapes as a means to raise awareness of linguistic (in)equity in education, Joana Duarte, Mónica Lourenço, Sílvia Melo-Pfeifer
  5. Creative English–Korean language play manifested in the linguistic landscape of South Korea, Sugene Kim
  6. New context for the use of minority languages: the (virtual) linguistic landscape, Carmela Perta
  7. Characterizing language-unique words, cognates, and interlingual homographs in the linguistic landscape of four Canadian cities, Esteban Hernandez-Rivera, Naomi Vingron, Olivia Mendelson, Sarah Lee, Katrine Bergeron, Jakob Leimgruber and Debra Titone