Do ELT coursebooks still suffer from gender inequalities? A case study from Turkey

Yusuf Demir, Mustafa Yavuz


Gender discrimination is still a hot debate running in the periphery of education. One way it is imposed on students is through printed materials and coursebooks, particularly those used for foreign language teaching given their linguistic content and content-based nature. This study seeks to investigate gender representations in an ELT coursebook series Yes You Can, published by the Turkish Ministry of Education for public high schools in Turkey. The study draws on nine different categories in order to reveal the gender-biased components in the coursebook from multiple perspectives, if any. Analyses were conducted on both verbal and pictorial contents on a page-by-page basis. Descriptive statistiscs were used to describe the numerical data and chi-square tests were conducted to test significance between the observed and expected values. It was found that, for the most part, there were not indications of gender inequality throughout the coursebook series. The findings are promising in terms of reflecting a fair representation of males and females, offering a glimmer of hope for the new-generation ELT coursebooks. Suggestions are made for coursebook writers and further research.


ELT coursebooks; gender equality; gender discrimination; gender representation; gender stereotypes

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