Language is simply a tool used to facilitate interactions with other humans, but here in Nicaragua (and all Spanish speaking communities) it comes as a double-edged machete, especially concerning its impact on gender (in)equity. The Spanish language, like every language, … Continue reading The Constraints of Language
Back in July, I had the pleasure of working as a camp counselor at Camp CHACA (CHavalos a CAballeros, Boys to Gentlemen), as well as working on the planning committee to organize the camp. The camp was held in the … Continue reading Boys to Gentlemen – Mini-Camp CHACA, San Juan del Río Coco Edition
Recently teachers and MINED técnicos in Muelle de los Bueyes, RAAS had the opportunity to participate in a workshop about sexual diversity. The workshop involved presentation on topics such as concepts of sexual diversity, gender rights for the LGBT community, … Continue reading PCV Project: Sexual Diversity Training for Teachers
Have you ever found yourself wondering why only the boys ever play soccer during recess, or how girls are almost always called on when the class needs mopping but not nearly as often when a question needs answering? Have … Continue reading Teacher Training on Gender
You asked, we investigated! Some volunteers wanted to hear suggestions or advice for working with counterparts of the opposite sex. We polled current volunteers from all sectors and here’s how volunteers responded in their own words… … Males PCVs with Female CPs … “I always hear comments or chisme about how I’m dating the profeI work with. When it’s kids from class I tell them that we just work together, but when it’s adults making jokes I laugh it off.” “I made a point to get to know my profes’ husbands and families. And also just co-plan at times and … Continue reading Counterpart relations across genders: Volunteers speak
I was very excited and surprised in a planning session with one of my counterparts (CPs) because the CP had printed flashcards for presenting different types of sports. Soccer, football, cycling, swimming, tennis, baseball, basketball, volleyball… we were ready to go! Except, then I realized every single picture was of a male athlete. When I brought this to the teacher’s attention, the CP responded “But girls don’t play football.” That’s true, I conceded, but we went on to make a pile of the sports women do play (most of them) and the sports women don’t play (football and baseball).
I don’t think this teacher was intentionally favoring male athletes. My CP was just going with what they see most often, and probably some of the first images that popped up on an online search. It’s an easy thing to do. That got me thinking about all the topics during the year when it’s especially important to be conscious about how we portray gender norms to our students.
In light of the fact that María can be a doctor and Juan can be a secretary, I’ve compiled this list of topics with relevant vocabulary or other concerns for all you TEFL-eros, TEFL-eras and your counterparts to keep in mind…
Continue reading “Gender in the English Language classroom”