Gender Bias in EFL Textbook Dialogues

University essay from Malmö högskola/Lärarutbildningen (LUT); Malmö högskola/Lärarutbildningen (LUT)

Abstract: This degree project is a quantitative study of dialogues and speaking exercises in twelve EFL textbooks used in secondary schools in Sweden. The chosen textbooks are from the four textbook series Happy, Time, Whats’s Up? and Wings Base Book. The aim is to investigate if there is any over-representation of female or male characters in the textbook dialogues. We will be looking at four different typologies, namely the number of initiated dialogues, turns taken, number of characters and words used. Previous research concerning classroom interaction, scholastic performance, textbooks and textbook dialogues is included to provide some background into this area. The findings show over-representation exists in all the textbook series in various degrees of both female and male characters. This degree project maps the over-representation of female and male characters both in the four textbook series and the twelve individual textbooks. Our results will show that while a textbook series might over-represent one gender it does not necessarily mean that the individual textbook within that series over-represents the same gender. The findings make it clear that educators need to be aware of gender-biased textbook dialogues in order to be better equipped to ensure equal opportunities for all learners.

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