(Mis-/Under-)Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Locally-Produced ELT Materials

Selvi A. F., Kocaman C.

JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE IDENTITY AND EDUCATION, vol.20, no.2, pp.118-133, 2021 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/15348458.2020.1726757
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Communication & Mass Media Index, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.118-133
  • Keywords: ELT, gender, identity, language teaching materials, representation, sexuality, TEXTBOOKS
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The current study examines how gender and sexualities are represented in the ELT instructional materials (i.e., handouts) developed and used "locally" in an Intensive English Program housed at a major state university in Turkey. The findings revealed that these materials stood on the biased end of the gender representation spectrum both in quantitative and qualitative terms, and that heterosexuality is the norm. It showcased the tendency to bolster dichotomous juxtaposition of genders and sexualities, and strengthened essentialized ways of being and becoming. We contend that (mis-/under-)representations of gender and sexuality in locally-produced ELT materials in an under-researched context like Turkey is a highly sensitive matter since the constructs of gender and sexuality still remain at the crux of socio-educational debates. It is argued that the pressing issue of tackling heteronormativity and sexism should be considered as "a distributive process" involving major actors involved in the teaching-learning process.