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Gender Equality in the EFL Classroom: A Qualitative Study of Swedish EFL Teachers’ Perceptions of Gender Equality in Language and its Implementation in the Classroom
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The Swedish Curriculum for the upper secondary school states that teachers should “ensure that teaching in terms of content and its organisation is typified by a gender perspective” (Skolverket 2011, p. 9). Considering that there is no further information regarding what a “gender perspective” means in reality, this sentence could be interpreted in many different ways. This study aims to explore how EFL teachers deal with linguistic gender equality, and which strategies they use to maintain a gender inclusive language in their classroom. Six interviews were conducted with EFL teachers at upper secondary schools in Stockholm, Sweden. The results indicated that the teachers thought this was an important issue to consider in teaching, andthat they had well-reasoned strategies for maintaining a gender perspective. The most prominently discussed strategies were encouraging reflection and discussion on these matters, and choosing appropriate literature that either would show a variety of different perspectives, or else would question the social norm. However, concerning their own language production, some of the teachers lacked explicit strategies for maintaining a gender inclusive language, which could derive from a lack in knowledge. Thus, this essay proposes that gender inequality in language needs to be more explicitly explored, both in teacher education and in further education for employed teachers. The teachers displayed an ambition to maintain a gender equal language teaching; and would benefit from more explicit tools to realize that. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 23 p.
Keyword [en]
Gender, gender inequality, gender bias, sexism, language, teaching, textbooks
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-130714OAI: diva2:932193
Available from: 2016-05-31 Created: 2016-05-31 Last updated: 2016-05-31Bibliographically approved

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