Linguistic Landscape in Educational Spaces
Educational institutions, whether privately owned or state funded, are a meeting place for students coming from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Educational institutions as learning environments and spaces not only play a fundamental role in the development of an individual, but also perpetuate various ideologies related to languages, politics, cultures, and society among others. In relation to language ideology, linguistic landscape is a novel field which allows sociolinguists to analyze how spaces are constituted through the language(s) employed in public signage as signs enable a dynamic process in which the language(s) used in these signs and those who pass by said signs influence each other to shape the landscape of their community. It enables the identification of the relative power and vitality of the language(s) in a particular community that may or may not appear in public signage. Language(s) displayed in public spaces can also be interpreted as a reflection of the ideological conflicts within a community. Respectively, there is a growing interest towards the study of the linguistic landscape in educational spaces, also known as schoolscape. School, a central civic institution, represents a deliberate and planned environment where learners are subjected to powerful messages about language(s) from local and national authorities. Accordingly, by reviewing past studies, this paper proposes to initiate discussion and investigation of the practices and the language(s) utilized in signs within educational spaces in the United States as institutions can perpetuate language ideologies, which can either foster or hinder bilingual education.
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