The advantages and disadvantages of quantitative methods in schoolscape research (2022)

Table of Contents
Linguistics and Education Abstract Introduction Section snippets What is schoolscape? Previous schoolscape and linguistic landscape research Conducting quantitative LL research Units of analysis − physical and semantic definitions Multidimensional multimodal data annotation scheme Multidimensional data analysis Conclusion Acknowledgments References (125) Landscape and Urban Planning Chinatown by numbers: Defining an ethnic space by empirical linguistic landscape Linguistic Landscape Linguistic landscapes: A comparative study of urban multilingualism in Tokyo (From statistical data to geolinguistic data: For a mapping of the new multilingualism) Dai dati statistici ai dati geolinguistici: Per una mappatura del nuovo plurilinguismo Studi Italiani di Linguistica Teorica e Applicata For a mapping of urban linguistic repertoires: New tools and methodologies) Per una mappatura dei repertori linguistici urbani: Nuovi strumenti e metodologie A mapping technique and the linguistic landscape The critical turn in LL: New methodologies and new items in LL Linguistic Landscape Simulacra and simulations Linguistic landscape and multiculturalism: A Jewish-Arab comparative study Linguistic landscape as symbolic construction of the public space: The case of Israel International Journal of Multilingualism Introduction: An approach to an ‘ordered disorder' Time and landscape Current Anthropology Content analysis in communication research Ways of seeing Writing in multimodal texts: A social semiotic account of designs for learning Written Communication The linguistic landscape of the Mediterranean: French and Italian coastal cities LL explorations and methodological challenges: Analysing France's regional languages Linguistic Landscape Ethnographic linguistic landscape and social change: A case study Tilburg Papers in Culture Studies Ethnography, superdiversity and linguistic landscapes: Chronicles of complexity The origin of values: Sociology and philosophy beliefs Outline of a theory of practice The logic of practice Estonian schoolscapes and the marginalization of regional identity in education European Education The linguistic landscape of educational spaces: Language revitalization and schools in southeastern Estonia Learning to read the world, learning to look at the linguistic landscape: A primary school study (Language on display in Montreal from 1997 to 1999) La langue de l'affichage à Montréal de 1997 à 1999 (Language on commercial display on the island of Montreal in 2010) La langue de l'affichage commercial sur l’île de Montréal en 2010 Prospect, perspective and the evolution of the landscape idea Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers Landscape and the obliteration of practice Linguistic landscape and language awareness Introduction: Iconography and landscape A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia Foucault Postscript on the societies of control The post card: From Socrates to Freud and beyond Limited inc Affective habit ecologies: Material dispositions and immanent inhabitations Performance Research Non-representational landscapes and the performative affective forces of habit: From ‘live' to ‘blank' Cultural Geographies Signgeist: Promoting bilingualism through the linguistic landscape of school signage International Journal of Multilingualism Language in the landscape Landscape (Re)reading the landscape Environment and Planning D Doing landscape interpretation Place/culture/representation The city as text: The politics of landscape interpretation in the Kandyan Kingdom The archaeology of knowledge and the discourse on language Truth and power Two lectures Afterword: The subject and power Cited by (8) ATTITUDE AND COMPETENCE TO USE MADRASATI (M LMS) AMONG SCHOOL TEACHERS IN RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA More than writing on the wall An examination of writing and image in a Finnish primary and secondary level learning environment Sitting on the fence A geosemiotic analysis of school perimeters Italian Linguistic Schoolscape: Neoplurilingualism in an Age of Migration Understanding the interplay between support agencies and small and medium-sized enterprises in a conflict environment from an institutional theory perspective Recommended articles (6) FAQs
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Linguistics and Education

Volume 44,

April 2018

, Pages 31-44

Abstract

This article focuses on the application of quantitative methods in schoolscape research, including a discussion of its advantages and disadvantages. This article seeks to rehabilitate the quantitative by re-theorizing the landscape in linguistic landscape (LL), moving from an area based study of visible forms to a poststructuralist and postempiricist interpretative study of landscapes. The article discusses previous quantitative LL research and introduces a quantitative approach developed by the author during a data gathering and annotation of 6016 items. Quantitative methods can provide valuable insight to the ordering of reality and the materialized discourses. Furthermore, they can mitigate personal bias. They cannot provide in-depth understanding of the analyzed items due to the inherently reductive nature of classification. However, considering that the objects of inquiry are discourses, not the artifacts themselves, the issue is not paramount. Nevertheless, large scale data gathering and annotation is time consuming, which sets practical limitations to research.

Introduction

This article focuses on quantitative schoolscape research and the applied methodology. It examines the few existing studies on the linguistic landscapes (LL) of educational spaces and the applied methods. Furthermore, it re-theorizes landscape and introduces a data annotation scheme developed specifically for schoolscapes. The scheme is based on and inspired by an LL data annotation model presented by Barni and Bagna (2009).

(Video) Toward the renewal of spatial practices for multilingualism: Applying a schoolscape approach

The first part of this article discusses moving from a tradition of area based studies of visible forms (cf. Backhaus, 2007, Blackwood and Tufi, 2015, Huebner, 2006, Soukup, 2016) to a poststructuralist and postempiricist interpretative study of landscapes inspired principally by Schein (1997). The second part of the article discusses previous schoolscape research and provides an overview of previous quantitative LL research in the absence of quantitative schoolscape studies. The third part examines conducting quantitative LL research. The fourth part introduces the multidimensional data annotation scheme followed a brief discussion of quantitative data analysis. The fifth and final part addresses its advantages and disadvantages.

Section snippets

What is schoolscape?

Brown (2005, p. 79) defines schoolscape as the physical and social setting of teaching and learning, the context in which the curriculum is implemented and where certain ideas and messages are socially supported and officially sanctioned. Brown (2012) further specifies schoolscape as “the school-based environment where place and text, both written (graphic) and oral, constitute, reproduce, and transform language ideologies” (p. 282). To align it with LL research, Brown (2012, pp. 281–282)

Previous schoolscape and linguistic landscape research

Interest in research of schoolscapes is relatively recent, albeit similar research has been conducted in the past prior the use of the term by Brown, 2005, Brown, 2012. As a result, the existing published literature on schoolscapes is not particularly extensive and best described as qualitative. Firstly, certain studies focus on either demonstrating the educational function of LL in language acquisition (Malinowski, 2015, Rowland, 2013) or examining the utility of LL in promoting awareness and

Conducting quantitative LL research

Backhaus (2007, p. 61) and Blackwood (2015, p. 40) summarize three key steps in conducting quantitative LL research. Firstly, the survey area must be delimited. Blackwood (2015, p. 41) notes the selection of representative survey area remains unresolved in LL research. I agree with Gorter and Cenoz (2015b) that a smaller scale, such as a neighborhood (cf. Schein, 1997, Schein, 2009), a shopping center (cf. Goss, 1993, Goss, 1999) or a school, is more suitable than a large scale unit, such as a

Units of analysis − physical and semantic definitions

LL is generally considered to be embodied on signs, which function as the survey items in much of LL research (cf. Backhaus, 2007, Gorter, 2006, Jaworski and Thurlow, 2010; Shohamy, Ben-Rafael & Barni 2010; Shohamy & Gorter, 2009). In quantitative LL research these signs are often static or fixed items put on public display, such as shop signs. Some include less static items, such as newspapers (Itagi & Singh, 2002), skin (Peck & Stroud, 2015), spoken data (Shohamy & Waksman, 2009) and smells (

Multidimensional multimodal data annotation scheme

The data annotation scheme proposed in this article was created in response to the criticism mounted against quantitative LL studies. As the existing research design options were limited during the planning stage of the author's own research in late 2014 and early 2015, the model presented by Barni and Bagna (2009) served as the basis for this schoolscape specific scheme. Their model proved to contain the most comprehensive and clearly defined data annotation categories available at the time

Multidimensional data analysis

The purpose of this article is to introduce a schoolscape specific data annotation scheme, not to examine the schoolscape used to develop the scheme. Subsequent articles will be dedicated to the examination of the schoolscape in question. Nevertheless, in order to illustrate the potential of the proposed data annotation scheme four figures based on the data are presented. Fig. 16 illustrates languages in the schoolscape:

Based on a cumulative count of language instances (4607 tokens), Fig. 16

Conclusion

Amos (2016, p. 131) aptly summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of quantitative approaches in linguistic landscape research. On one hand, in contrast to the qualitative approaches, they fall short in the detail. There is no denying that. Each item can only be examined to a certain extent, providing only certain types of information applicable to all items. As items must be shoehorned into a limited number of categories, the subtle differences between items within those categories cannot

Acknowledgments

I thank the Editors and the anonymous reviewers for the feedback on the earlier drafts of this manuscript. This research has been supported by the University of Turku.

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    FAQs

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    What is the particular advantage of a quantitative approach? ›

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