Open Journal Systems

Exploring linguistic signage in higher education: An empirical study of a linguistically diverse context

Frenz Djaxxas Daleon Clorion, Aubrey Jane Bulado, Bernadeth A. Encarnacion, Alexandhrea Hiedie Dumagay, Guiller A. Ellomer, Salman E. Albani, Anthony O. Pil, Aprillette C. Devanadera, Richard M. Rillo, Yasser Alrefaee, Ericson O. Alieto

Article ID: 2049
Vol 6, Issue 1, 2024, Article identifier:

VIEWS - 249 (Abstract) 155 (PDF)


This study offers a comprehensive examination of the linguistic landscape in a nonmetropolitan university, focusing on the dominant language used in university signage. The study primarily delves into the multilingual characteristics and nature of Western Mindanao State University, situated in a linguistically-diverse environment. The study employed analytical categories, which was utilized to serve as basis in selecting and gathering data from various signages across the university, to ensure the accuracy of the data collection. The findings of the study indicated that the university contains five (5) languages that make its linguistic landscape, specifically: English (95.51%), Filipino (7.81%), Chavacano (3.07%), Tausug (1.28%), and Bisaya (0.64%). The data was analyzed using the content analysis to accurately interpret the taken photographs in the university. The study also uncovers the inequality of the number of signages, wherein majority of the signages are monolingual nature, and only limited on the bilingual and multilingual signs. The investigation also revealed a significant result that English is the dominant language used on signages despite the locale’s diverse linguistic and cultural background. The major findings of this study portray that Western Mindanao State University employs both official and non-official signages throughout the campus and in terms of linguistic diversity, local languages are not entirely prevalent and observable on the signages across the entire campus. Consequently, despite the university’s focus towards internationalization and global excellence, there is observable scarcity in multilingual signages. It is imperative to acknowledge the value of multilingual signages, not only for the purpose of communication, but for the preservation of local languages, that are crucial for cultural and ethnic representations.


linguistic landscape; multilingual characteristics; signage; nonmetropolitan university; language; dominance; internationalization; diversity

Full Text:



Abbas, J. H., Samad, B. M. A., Imam, M. H. M., & Berowa, A. M. C. (2023). Visuals to Ideologies: Exploring the Linguistic Landscapes of Mindanao State University Marawi Campus. Lingua Cultura, 16(2), 187–192.

Alomoush, O. I. S., & Al-Na’imat, G. K. (2018). English as the lingua franca in visual touristic ordan: The case of Petra. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 7(4), 1-13.

Al-Qenaie, S., & Naser, M. (2023). Mapping sounds in the commercial linguistic landscape of Kuwait: A workable solution. Ampersand, 10(4), 100120. https://doi: 10.1016/j.amper.2023.100120

Astillero, S. (2017). Linguistic Schoolscape: Studying the place of English and Philippine languages of Irosin secondary school. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Arts and Sciences, 4(4), 30-47.

Backhaus, P. (2006). Multilingualism in Tokyo: A look into the linguistic landscape. International Journal of Multilingualism, 3(1), 52-66.

Backhaus, P. (2007). Linguistic landscapes: A comparative study of urban multilingualism in Tokyo. Multilingual Matters. https://doi: 10.21832/9781853599484

Barni, M., & Cadierno, T. (2020). The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Landscape. Routledge.

Barrios, A. L. (2006). Austronesian elements in Philippine Creole Spanish. Philippine Linguistics Journal, 37, 34-49.

Ben-Rafael, E., Shohamy, E., Amara, M., & Trumper-Hecht, N. (2006). Linguistic landscape as symbolic construction of the public space: The case of Israel. International Journal of Multilingualism, 3, 7-30.

Blommaert, J., & Verschueren, J. (2020). Language, Superdiversity, and the City. Routledge.

Blommaert, J. (2013). Ethnography, superdiversity and linguistic landscapes: Chronicles of complexity. Tilburg Papers in Culture Studies, 28(1).

Blommaert, J., Collins, J., & Slembrouck, S. (2020). Language, Superdiversity, and Complexity. Cambridge University Press.

Cao, H. Z., Liu, Y. Q., & Chen, H. Y. (2022). Mapping the Linguistic Landscape in a Chinese University. Open Access Library Journal, 9: e9585.

Cenoz, J., & Gorter, D. (2006). Linguistic landscape and minority languages. International Journal of Multilingualism, 3, 67–80.

Chern, C L., & Dooley, K. (2014). Learning English by walking down the street. ELT Journal, 68(2), 113-123. https://doi: 10.1093/elt/cct067

Creswell, J. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches, 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Cresswell, J. W. (2014). Research Design Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. 4, 131-133. SAGE Publications Thousand Oaks. https://doi: 10.5539/elt.v12n5p40

Devanadera, A., & Cortez, R. (2023). Manila Chinatowns Linguistic Landscapes. Journal of Education & Language Studies, 1(1), 84-106.

Djonda, U., & Madrunio, M. (2023). Multilingual characteristics of touristic linguistic landscape of Labuan Bajo. Journal on English Language Teaching and Learning Linguistics and Literature, 5(1), 44-72.

Eberhard, D., Simons, G., & Fennig, C. (2020). Ethnologue: Languages of the World. SIL International, 22.

Eclipse, A., Patricia, P., & Tenedero, P. (2018). The linguistic landscape of Manila Central Post Office: A macrolinguistic analysis. Asian Journal of English Language Studies (AJELS), 6, 157-176.

Education, D. O. (1987). The 1987 Policy on Bilingual Education. Available online:, in%20Grades%20I%20and%20II (accessed on 9 Juny 2022).

Eijansantos, A., Ventoza, J., Rochelle, I., & Alieto, E. (2023). Zamboanga Chavacano Verbal Aspects: Superstrate and Substrate Influences on Morphosyntactic Behavior. Available online: (accessed on 9 Juny 2022).

Gogonas, N., & Baynham, M. (2019). Language and the City: Urban Language Policies and Language Practices. Routledge.

Gorter, D. (2006). Introduction: The study of the linguistic landscape as a new approach to multilingualism. International Journal of Multilingualism, 3, 1-6.

Gorter, D., & Cenoz, J. (2008). Knowledge about Language and Linguistic Landscape. Encyclopedia of Language and Education, 6, 2090-2102.

Gorter, D. (2013). Linguistic landscapes in a multilingual world. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 33, 190-212.

Gorter, D., & Marten, H. F. (2020). Minority Languages in the Linguistic Landscape. Palgrave Macmillan.

Grant, A. (2007). Some aspects of NPs in Mindanao Chabacano: Structural and historical considerations. Amterdam: Benjamins.

Jaworski, A., & Thurlow, C. (2010). Semiotic landscapes: Language, image, space. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Kallen, J. (2009). Tourism and Representation in the Irish Linguistic Landscape. Routledge.

Kasanga, L. (2012). Mapping the linguistic landscape of a commercial neighborhood in central Phom Penh. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 33(6), 1-15. https://doi: 10.1080/01434632.2012.683529

Kothari, C. (2004). Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques. 2nd Edition. New Age International Publishers, New Delhi.

Krippendorff, K. (1989). Content Analysis. International Encyclopedia of Communication, 1, 403-407. https://doi: 10.4236/ojbiphy.2021.114017

Landry, R., & Bourhis, R. (1997). Linguistic landscape and ethnolinguistic vitality: An empirical study. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 16(1), 23-49.

Lanza, E., & Woldemariam, H. (2018). Multilingualism and the Periphery. Bloomsbury Academic.

Leimgruber, J., & Dagenais, D. (2020). Linguistic Landscape in the City: Multilingualism and Social Diversity in Urban Environments. Springer.

Li, S. (2015). English in the linguistic landscape of Suzhou. English Today, 31(1), 27-33. https://doi: 10.1017/S0266078414000510

Lipski, J. M. (2001). The place of Chabacano in the Philippine linguistic profile. Estudios de Sociolingüística, 2(2) 2. 119-163.

Lu, S., Li, G., & Xu, M. (2020). The linguistic landscape in rural destinations: A case study of Hongcun Village in China. Tourism Management, 77, 104005.

Magno, J. (2017). Linguistic landscape in Cebu City higher education offering communication programs. Asia Pacific Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 5(1), 94-103.

Malinowski, D., & Tufi, S. (2017). Multilingualism in the public sphere: Pedagogy and research. Multilingual Matters.

McDougall, S., Brujin, O., & Curry, M. (2001). Exploring the effects of icon characteristics on user performance: The role of icon concreteness, complexity, and distinctiveness. Journal of Experimental Psychology Applied, 6(4), 291-306. https://doi: 10.1037//1076-898X.6.4.291

Neuendorf, K. (2017). The Content Analysis Guidebook. SAGE Publications, Inc.

Reh, M. (2004). Multilingual writing: a reader-oriented typology—with examples from Lira Municipality (Uganda). International Journal of the Sociology of Language, (170), 1-41. https://doi: 10.1515/ijsl.2004.2004.170.1

Philippine Statistics. (2020). Available online: (accessed on 9 July 2022).

Pietikäinen, S., & Kelly-Holmes, H. (2019). Multilingualism and the Periphery. Oxford University Press.

Sayer, P. (2010). Using the linguistic landscape as pedagogical resource. ELT Journal, 64(2), 143-154. https://doi: 10.1093/elt/ccp051

Shohamy, E., & Gorter, D. (2009). Linguistic landscape: expanding the scenery. London: Routledge.

Shohamy, E. (2006). Language policy: Hidden agendas and new approaches. Routledge.

Spolsky, B., & Shohamy, E. (2021). The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Landscape Studies. Cambridge University Press.

Taylor, D. (1957). Spanish Contact Vernaculars in the Philippine. Word, 13:3, 489-499.

Valles-Akil, L. (2000). Creole language maintenance in a multilingual setting: The case of Chabacano in Zamboanga City. Available online: (accessed on 9 July 2022).

Williams, Q., & Lewis, G. (2021). Multilingualisms and Development: Negotiating Power and Identity through Language Education. Multilingual Matters.

(249 Abstract Views, 155 PDF Downloads)


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2024 Frenz Djaxxas Daleon Clorion, Aubrey Jane Bulado, Bernadeth A. Encarnacion, Alexandhrea Hiedie Dumagay, Guiller A. Ellomer, Salman E. Albani, Anthony O. Pil, Aprillette C. Devanadera, Richard M. Rillo, Yasser Alrefaee, Ericson O. Alieto

License URL: