Whereas there is no doubt that the world is becoming increasingly multilingual, examining linguistic landscapes, i.e., "linguistic objects that mark the public space” (Ben-Rafael et al., p. 1, 2006) has the potential “to raise awareness of issues of identity, power, privilege and discrimination associated to language representation” (Vinagre, 2022, p. 3). Thus, partnering language learners from two different countries in a telecollaborative environment can serve the purpose of encouraging learners to explore and compare the uses, purposes, and spaces (Ben-Rafael et al., 2006; Vinagre & Llopis-García, in press) in which different languages are used to reach out and represent different communities. In line with this, this study partnered two cohorts of students and set out to examine:
1. To what extent the use of English in Valencia (Spain) and Spanish in the Baltimore-Washington corridor (USA) differed in terms of spaces and use?
2. What sociocultural issues were raised when students analyzed language representation in the linguistic landscapes in Valencia and the Baltimore-Washington corridor?
3. What did the use of English in Valencia and Spanish in the Baltimore-Washington corridor illustrate regarding power relations, prestige, and representation of different communities?
Two groups of learners from a university in Spain (advanced English language class) and another in the US (Spanish heritage language class) engaged in a telecollaborative encounter during one semester. Using WordPress, each learner wrote three blog posts and a reflection in which they presented and discussed images where English was used in Spain and Spanish, in the United States. In addition, learners completed pre- and post-questionnaires. To analyze the data, the researchers coded the images by top-down and bottom-up signs (Ben-Rafael et al., 2006) and analyzed the blog entries and questionnaires applying grounded theory (Glase & Strauss, 1967). Preliminary results indicate that, whereas English in Spain was used to reach out mostly to global communities and as a sign of prestige, Spanish in the United States was frequently employed to connect with global and local communities for practical purposes. Further results and pedagogical implications will be provided in the presentation.
This study focuses on data collected in a telecollaboration project between higher-intermediate EFL students in Spain and students of Spanish as a Heritage Language in the USA. The project aimed to encourage the learners to reflect upon examples of linguistics landscapes, i.e., “linguistic objects that mark the public space” (Ben-Rafael et al., p. 1, 2006) using English in Spain and using Spanish in the US, both in public and private spaces. Data was collected through photographs and written blog posts and through a pre- and post-questionnaire. The researchers analyzed the posts applying Grounded Theory (Glase & Strauss, 1967). Preliminary results indicate that, whereas English in Spain was used to reach out mostly to global communities and as a sign of prestige, Spanish in the United States was frequently employed to connect with global and local communities for practical purposes.
Ana Oskoz, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), United States
Ana María Gimeno Sanz, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain
About the Presenter(s)
Dr Ana Oskoz is a University Professor/Principal Lecturer at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in United States
See this presentation on the full schedule – Sunday Schedule