Linguistic Schoolscape of Philippine Elementary School: A Pedagogical Tool for Increasing Critical Language Awareness and Positive Language Attitude

Author: Richard Oandasan (University of Santo Tomas, The Philippines)
Speaker: Richard Oandasan
Topic: Linguistic Landscapes
The GLOCAL CALA 2022 General Session


The prevalence of signs in the public sphere has drawn much attention from scholars in various language disciplines. The focus on languages in these signs resulted in an emerging field termed as Linguistic Landscape (LL) considered a symbolic construction of a public space. Recently, the focus has shifted to the investigation of LL within educational setting. However, there is paucity in literature to support the pedagogical application of LL, especially in the Philippine educational context. With this gap, this study was conceived to explore how the use of signs within the school domain termed linguistic schoolscape (LS) served as a pedagogical tool for improving critical language awareness and language attitude among Filipino learners. Employing linguistic schoolscape-based learning plans (LSB-LPs) anchored on Malinowski’s (2015) LL learning in “three spaces”, this study provided empirical evidence which supports the pedagogical application of LL within the context of a Philippine elementary school. As a theoretical contribution, this study formulated a LS-based pedagogical model which can be very relevant and useful in the field of language education. This study adopted a one-group pretest-posttest design and utilized the concurrent mixed methods research (MMR). The quantitative data included photographs of the signs analyzed using place semiotics principles, language awareness test, and a language attitude survey. To substantiate the quantitative data from this study, a semi-structured interview with randomly selected study participants was conducted. Similarly, content analysis of relevant documents was employed. The results revealed that the use of LS was effective in improving learners’ critical language awareness, but it had little influence on language attitude. Nevertheless, it can be concluded that the LS is a visually rich, ideologically dense, and pedagogically sound space which makes it a relevant and beneficial site for critical language pedagogy in which students (re)shape and contest symbolic representations and ideologies gleaned from the languages displayed in the public and private spaces. Lastly, this study has shown that the pedagogical application of the LS can be fully realized when systematically integrated into language pedagogy in an actual language class.

Keywords: Linguistic landscape, Schoolscape, Critical language awareness, Language attitude