Gender representations in ELT coursebooks : a comparative study

YIlmaz, Elvan
In all educational institutions ELT coursebooks are used as a guide to teach the language. However, the role of a coursebook as an agent of socialization and its effect on the development of gender roles is usually underestimated. Gender biased coursebooks might affect the learners in a negative way in the process of gender socialization. Most coursebook writers revise the first editions of the coursebooks in order to modernize them and to meet the needs of the learners in a changing world. The aim of this thesis is to investigate whether writers and publishers take the gender issue into consideration while they are revising the coursebooks. In order to address this issue, three recently revised English language coursebooks were compared with their first editions. To be able to compare the coursebooks, their contents were analyzed. Six operating areas of gender stereotypes were set as the categories of the content analysis; presence of female and male characters in the coursebooks, the number of characters represented as family members, distribution of occupational activities, division of household activities, variety of leisure activities and the adjectives used to describe each gender. Throughout the whole study it was observed that the representations of female and male characters in the first editions were closer to the stereotypical representations. By contrast, in the last editions the representations of the genders have ideally become more balanced in all investigated categories of gender stereotypes.


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Citation Formats
E. YIlmaz, “Gender representations in ELT coursebooks : a comparative study,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.