Gender Representation in the Textbooks of Teaching Persian to Speakers of Other Languages

Saman Ebadi, Ahmed Rawdhan Salman, Bahman Ebrahimi Marjal

Abstract


Instructional materials are powerful instruments in conveying the discriminatory language and stereotypical images, particularly to the young learners. Therefore, the instructional materials should be designed in such a way to equally represent both the males and females. The present study aimed at investigating the extent and types of gender bias in Persian language textbooks titled as “Let’s Learn Persian” (Volumes 2 and 3) taught at intermediate level to children in Persian language centers across the world. Sexist language was examined in four categories of visibility, firstness, sex-linked occupations and activities both in the texts and illustrations. The quantitative and qualitative analyses were used in analyzing the current Persian textbooks. The findings indicated that the textbooks were significantly unbalanced in gender representation both in the texts and illustrations. The findings of the study reiterate the fact that the Persian language teaching curriculum needs to be examined in terms of gender representations as the course content directly affects their understanding of culture and the world around them. These language textbooks depicted biased gender representation which does not reflect females’ status in Islamic Republic of Iran. Therefore, the results of this study might raise material designers’ awareness of the gender-biased materials in designing Persian language textbooks.


Keywords


gender-bias, visibility, firstness, occupations, Persian as a foreign language

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