Multilingualism as a resource in language policy in education: Examining the linguistic landscapes of Irosin, Sorsogon

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English Language Education


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Dept of English and Applied Linguistics

Thesis Adviser

Paolo Niño M. Valdez

Defense Panel Chair

Eden Regala Flores

Defense Panel Member

Aireen B. Arnuco
Maria N. Cusipag


In the present time when the world is characterized by multilingualism, various systems of the society have employed multiple languages in reiterating different social functions which are realized through the public signs displayed. At present, this sociolinguistic movement is evident through linguistic landscape (henceforth, LL). LL-oriented investigation is a strand in sociolinguistics that studies the utility of language(s) in publicly displayed signs (Landry & Bourhis, 1997). The present study is put forth to determine the linguistic codes and social functions of LL of different domains (church, school, government and business) in Irosin, Sorsogon (an agricultural city in the southern region of Luzon, The Philippines). Informed by the global reality of multilingualism, multilingual education as well as the top-down and bottom-up framework of LL analysis (Ben-Rafael, et al., 2006), and validated by the LL readers interpretation and analyses, the present investigation found that English has been dominantly reflected in the LL of Irosin while it was also observed that public signs with Filipino only, Bikolano only as well as combinations of the three languages have been employed by LL writers thus, appropriating multilingualism in the said locale. Another LL-based concept identified is the presence of linguistically-ambiguous signs inscribed on public spaces. On the other hand, the social functions of the LL in Irosin range from being political, policy-informed, religious, and informative to becoming commercial, decorative, regulatory and executory. Among the four domains investigated, only the business sector has been represented by a larger corpus of bottom-up written signs than their top-down counterpart suggesting that this sector has been an avenue of sociolinguistic competition between the policy-observers and the city's citizens. As argued in this thesis, LL has been a fruitful and critical aspect of social processes because it incorporates the social relationships of the sign creators, the readers and the vii text itself (public signs). Moreover, LL can reflect the social, contextual and linguistic appropriations considered by the city's citizens in constructing and consuming the public signs.

Lastly, this research suggests that LL can be used as basis in informing language policy steps, improving literacy teaching and practices and developing language teaching strategies and materials.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer optical disc ; 4 3/4 in.

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