The Linguistic Landscape as an Identity Construction Site of a United States’ Higher Educational Institution in the Time of COVID-19
Keywords:linguistic landscape, schoolscape, Covid-19, institutional identity, translanguaging
This study examines how the linguistic landscape of a university in the midwestern United States has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic, and how that change has discursively constructed the identities of the university and its community. The focus lies in the newly displayed semiotics that provides information about preventing the virus from spreading. By analysing public signs such as flyers, posters, and banners whose contents have to do with COVID-19, this study found the following five ways in which the institution and community express their identities and voices. The university’s identity has shifted to that of an agent that acts to encourage a united effort to protect itself and its community; a caring entity that cares about community members; a site for community members’ voice expression; a space creator to expand interaction from physical to online discourses; and an information deliverer for international members of the community. This study calls for research that investigates the global pandemic’s influence on the linguistic landscape.
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