Teaching English with Linguistic Landscapes to Saudi Students Studying Abroad
Asian Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies,
Aims: Since many Saudi ESL students studying abroad have limited vocabulary and grammar knowledge and poor reading comprehension skills, this article proposes the integration of linguistic landscapes (LLs) in teaching English to Saudi students studying abroad to supplement the English language courses and textbooks they study.
Definition of LLs: LLs refer to the use of language in the environment, i.e., the words and images displayed in public spaces such as streets, airports, schools, government buildings, shopping centers, tourist attractions, and others. They contain announcements, directions, warnings, services, and commercial ads. They are characterized by brevity, use of authentic language, and specific structures such as commands and ellipted phrases.
Materials, Tasks and Teaching Strategy: Since LLs differ in length and difficulty level, the English LLs selected for instruction should match the students’ proficiency level. Instruction with LLs begins with selecting a Facebook page for posting LLs and discussions about them. The instructor introduces the LLs, gives pre-questions, and sets goals for working on them. The students practice LL text analysis. They predict the topic, pay attention to specific vocabulary and grammatical structures, and use contextual clues and their background knowledge to infer the overall meaning of an LL and the meanings of difficult words. At an advanced stage, students may identify the pragmatic, stylistic and sociocultural features of LLs. The students discuss their answers with the instructor, summarize, retell, or paraphrase an LL, discuss difficulties in vocabulary and grammatical structures. They can identify the number of directions given in a single sign, infer the intention and purpose of the sign, give the pragmatic reasons for the way the sign is worded and connect them with its design, pictures, colors and fonts used.
Reflections and Recommendation: LL pedagogy was beneficial and fun. Use of a Facebook LL repository with explanations is recommended.
- Linguistic landscapes
- street signs
- linguistic features
- pragmatic function
- cultural features
- language pedagogy
How to Cite
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