Linguistic Landscape: History, Trajectory and Pedagogy

  • Thom Huebner San Jose State University, California, USA


Language as it appears in the public space, often referred to as “linguistic landscape,” has been the object of serious academic study for over a decade, resulting in several singled-authored and edited volumes, numerous articles in international journals, theses, dissertations, eight international workshops on four continents and at least one dedicated web site. In Asia, studies have been conducted in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Malaysia, among other countries. A 515 item bibliography compiled by Chula alum Robert Troyer can be found at > groups > linguistic landscape bibliography. 

Increasingly, researchers have explored the relationship between linguistic landscape and education, both inside and outside of schools. In educational settings, studies have explored the connection between the linguistic landscape and linguistic awareness and language learning input. Other intersections of linguistic landscape and education are the dynamics of language and power and of language and identity. Yet the full potential for using linguistic landscape as a pedagogical tool have gone relatively unexplored in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia. The purpose of this paperis to begin the first steps in filling this gap. It provides a brief history of the development of the field, describes various methodologies employed and identifies some current and future research trajectories for the study of LL. It also introduces five student papers from a course taught at Chulalongkorn University in the 2015 academic year. Each paper exemplifies issues found in the public space. Together they begin a dialog about the implications of language in the public sphere in Thailand.

Author Biography

Thom Huebner, San Jose State University, California, USA