Linguistic Landscape

Linguistic Landscapes

Intercultural multilingual teaching with Linguistic Landscapes - an international student research project of EC2U 
Linguistic Landscape
Image: Teilnehmenden der Friedrich-Adolf-Richter-Schule in Rudolstadt

Published: | By: Alexandra Funk und Jun.-Prof. Dr. Lukas Eibensteiner

Within the framework of the European Campus of City-Universities (EC2U), the Junior Professorship for Didactics of Romance School Languages of the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena initiated and accompanied an international research project at city schools together with the Faculty of Modern Philology of the Universidad de Salamanca (project coordination: Alexandra Funk; project management: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Lukas Eibensteiner). The project not only aimed at networking students from three schools related to the University Alliance, but also included the promotion of language awareness by dealing with linguistic signs in public spaces, so-called Linguistic Landscapes. Students aged 14 to 16 from the Colegiul Economic Administrativ in Iaşi (Romania), the IES Lucía de Medrano in Salamanca (Spain) and the Friedrich-Adolf-Richter-Schule in Rudolstadt (Germany) conducted a parallel series of lessons supported by the University of Jena, which was subsequently concluded with a joint digital final meeting in May 2023. The series of lessons comprised five lessons of 90 minutes each, beginning with a thematic introduction by the teachers and a virtual city walk through Salamanca, with which the pupils playfully discovered the diversity of the linguistic signs of this city. After a theoretical introduction to the topic of Linguistic Landscapes, the students conducted real city walks in groups and explored the linguistic landscape of the three participating university cities. The linguistic signs photographed on the city walks were evaluated by the students in their groups in the following lesson and summarised in presentations. The students and teachers gained comprehensive insights into the linguistic landscapes of the other two university cities in the 90-minute final session on Zoom, in which the groups presented their presentations with photographs and analyses in English and then discussed them.

In order to scientifically record the promotion of language awareness, the pupils from Rudolstadt filled out learning diaries in which they documented their learning progress. The evaluations of the learning diaries show not only an increase in the learners' language awareness, but also a sensitisation to multilingual and intercultural aspects. The students' and teachers' assessment of the motivation to participate and the learning progress of the teaching series was positive, which is why the international student research project on Linguistic Landscapes was successful on several levels.