January 2, 2021 at 5:00 pm

Linguistics Colloquium | Welcome to Sun Devil Country: Using Schoolscapes to Investigate Representation of Multilingualism on ASU, Jan. 29

Asri Nurul Qodri, portrait

Asri Nurul Qodri

The Linguistics Colloquium series presents Asri Nurul Qodri discussing “Welcome to Sun Devil Country: Using Schoolscapes to Investigate Representation of Multilingualism on Arizona State University” on Friday, Jan. 29, from 12:55-1:50 p.m. via Microsoft TEAMS.

Contact Dr. David Bell, Chair of Linguistics at Ohio University,

Qodri is a Ph.D student in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at Arizona State University. She is also an Ohio University alumna, having earned an M.A. in Linguistics in 2018.

Abstract:  Using the idea of schoolscape (Brown, 2012), the study investigates how multilingualism is represented in the physical environment and whether it aligns with Arizona State University’s mission and ideology. Data includes more than 250 photographs of signs documented on the ASU Tempe campus areas as well as the interior of six main buildings. Data is analyzed using a geo-semiotic approach (Scollon and Scollon-Wong, 2003); an adjusted tripartite visual analysis (Serafini, 2014); and a multilingual text approach (Sebba, 2012). Results show consistent branding of ASU identity through official signs which communicate legal and geographical boundaries. However, a surprisingly small number of multilingual and transgressive signs indicate a lack of representation of diversity that misaligns with ASU’s ideology of inclusivity. Studies suggest the benefits of multilingual signs in promoting openness to other cultures, shaping linguistic identities, and influencing school ideologies (Brown, 2018; Menken et al., 2019; Pakarinen & Björklund, 2018), which are needed in increasingly international higher education settings such as ASU.


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