An investigation of gender representation in EFL textbooks used at public schools in the UAE

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The textbook is an essential vehicle for the socialization of gender at school. Thus, it should expose students to a balanced view of the roles and responsibilities that males and females share in a society. This study aims at investigating gender representation in the currently used EFL textbooks from grade 1 to grade 12 at public schools in the UAE. The study examined a randomly selected unit from each textbook and investigated 8 concepts: illustrations, visibility in texts, topic domination, occupations, grammatical functions (the role of actor), character traits, character activities and generic masculine. The current study is based on content analysis and critical discourse analysis, which provides quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data are statistically significant, and qualitative data are subject to description and classification. The data were collected in terms of the frequency of occurrences of gender-linked concepts and views and qualitative analysis of words and sentences. The results from the selected units show that males outnumbered females in 7 examined concepts. The findings support the hypothesis that the content of many EFL textbooks contains gender biased materials and stereotyped impressions. It can also be hypothesized that the EFL textbook series did not undergo a thorough evaluation for gender inequity prior to publication and adaptation process.
gender inequity, EFL textbooks, content analysis, critical discourse analysis, United Arab Emirates (UAE)