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ERIC Number: EJ1120478
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0882-4843
Problems of Gender Identity: Using the Short Story as a Teaching Tool about Gender
Décuré, Nicole
Feminist Teacher: A Journal of the Practices, Theories, and Scholarship of Feminist Teaching, v23 n3 p254-260 2013
The surprise ending, a favorite feature of many short stories since the beginning of the genre, goes beyond the mere clever trick. It demonstrates, in a very efficient way, the depth of prejudice, the limits of our "horizon of expectations." Therefore, for teachers of English as a foreign language, among others, such material is a precious resource. Short stories are often used in the foreign language class to "develop students' awareness of the ways in which language is used in literature and, at the same time, to improve [students'] ability to discuss human and social problems" (Yorke 313). Nicole Décuré writes in this article that in her particular teaching situation she uses short stories for just that purpose: developing gender awareness. She describes her students as third to fifth year students in science (mostly mathematics, computer science, and biology) at Toulouse University, therefore being between 20 and 23 years old. Women and men are in roughly equal numbers. Among these students quite a few are going to become primary or secondary school teachers and therefore Décuré feels they need this sort of consciousness-raising in their training. They are not, on the whole, highly motivated to study English, and faculty are constantly in search of material that will engage their attention and interest. Language awareness activities also serve as gender awareness activities, and can be used, among other things, to identify the nature of the problem and analyze the effect of language on gender representations and conversely the effect of gender representations on language. Décuré explains in this article how she uses the work of two women writers who have tackled the issue of gender stereotypes head on, Virginia Long in "Fool Me Twice" and Ruth Rendell in "The Wrong Category," to demonstrate to her students how language has the ability to feed and maintain prejudices and stereotypes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: France
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A