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Volume 21 Number 1, Spring 2024, Pages 1-269   

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Utilization of Linguistic Landscape: A Cross-Disciplinary Investigation of Informal English Learning of Iranian University Students

    Zahra Ebrahimi & Raqib Chowdhury

In the current context of enhanced distance learning, newer and unique configurations of teaching and learning have prompted the need for a more context-sensitive and learner-oriented pedagogy to ensure an enhanced and holistic platform of the delivery of education outside classrooms. This paper is a critical exploration of how Iranian university students conceptualize, perceive, and utilize their linguistic landscapes (LLs) in learning English as a foreign language in Iran in response to the affordances made available to them through the various manifestations of globalization. It also problematizes how the utilization of these various LLs can enhance the ways that are more efficient than formal face-to-face classrooms, and how this constitutes a substantial investment into their future education. This qualitative case study involves an in-depth investigation of both English and non-English students from a university in Shiraz, Iran, through semi-structured interviews and focus groups to identify perceptions of participants with regard to their use of LLs, and how these external and informal affordances inform their language learning. Findings are likely to inform policymakers, curriculum designers, school leaders, EFL teachers, and students in terms of how to create a more optimized environment that will enhance both teaching and learning.

Keywords: linguistic landscape, linguistic affordances, metacognition, learner identity, student investment