Linguistic Landscapes is the relatively recent idea that the urban area can be read as a text (Dagenais, Moore, Sabatier, Lamarre and Armand, 2008). This text can lead to all sorts of understandings about how a particular urban area works, the relationships between the languages that make up the area and the relevant status of different languages.
This urban text is made up of or ‘the language of public road signs, advertising billboards, street names, place names, commercial shop signs, and public signs on government buildings’ (Landry and Bourhis 1997) and basically any other language that you come across on a day-to-day basis.
As language teachers we believe this linguistic landscape also offers an excellent opportunity for our learners to use an authentic, free and democratic resource to improve their English. We have both been enthusiastic users of our linguistic landscapes in our classes and in the materials that we write.
But beyond the practical uses and academic analyses of linguistic landscapes, we are interested in this area just because it is so bloody interesting. We love finding new and novel uses of language on the street as we move around our cities, seeing how words take on different shapes and meanings and how different communities adapt language to suit their own needs.
I have been working in ELT for almost twenty years and have experience of teaching in many countries around the world, including Poland, Taiwan, the UK, Russia and Brazil. I currently spend my time teaching classes, developing materials, delivering training courses and providing consultancy work. My main area of interest at the moment is teaching online and taking lots of photos of the fascinating linguistic landscape around me. When I am not teaching I blog about life bringing up a bilingual son in Curitiba, Brazil at Head of the Heard. You can contact me by email at email@example.com
I’ve been working in ELT for nearly twenty years, in various countries, including UK, Russia, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Argentina and Brazil. Nowadays I divide my time between writing coursebooks and books for teachers, training teachers, and assessing training courses around South America. My main interests lie in developing teachers’ critical thinking skills and, of course, snapping countless photos of the urban linguistic landscape. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org