Feminization of French Profession Nouns in Teaching

Irene Yi, University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A;       Abstract: Younger generations are critically affected by language teaching, and these can have great sociolinguistic impacts on the world when said generations grow older. This paper examines the patterns of past language teaching, namely Spanish and French gendered grammar teaching. Drawing from Anne-Marie Houdebine of the French language feminization movement and the widespread Latinx movement, the paper analyzes the social effects of using gender neutral language (in the case of Spanish) and feminizing traditionally masculine profession nouns (in French). In the past, French language teaching enforced sexist and misogynistic views. The increasingly progressive way languages are taught to children includes the following: challenging the rigid grammatical structures which have historically reflected rigid gender roles, allowing students of non-gender binary identification to find words within the language to describe themselves, and empowering students to engage in movements combatting political and social inequality in their communities. This paper uses publications by activists, French and Spanish language teachers, and language teaching studies.

 

Keywords: teaching, feminization, gendered grammar, French

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