Lipstick on pigs: Critical discourse and image analysis of non-humans in U.S. children’s ESL textbooks

Authors

  • Amy Burden University of Memphis

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.21283/2376905X.13.218

Keywords:

CORPUS LINGUISTICS, CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS, TEXTBOOK ANALYSIS, GENDER AND LANGUAGE, ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (ESL), CRITICAL IMAGE ANALYSIS

Abstract

Gender equality in language learning has received considerable attention in research on classroom policy and materials. Within studies of materials like language learning texts, most research focuses on content analyses of character roles and images, with sometimes purposeful exclusion of non-human characters. However, non-humans in children’s picture books comprise almost 60% of the characters children read. Therefore, their representations of gender, including biases, overt sexism, and covert sexism should be examined. In this study, I examine gendering of non-human characters using corpus linguistics and critical discourse analysis. Additionally, I use critical image analysis to discuss pictorial gendering of non-human characters within 12 textbooks in two of the United States’ most widely used textbook series for language learning in elementary schools. Results indicate a strong preference for aggressive and adventurous male characters, male supremacist ideologies, and the suppression of female agency.

Author Biography

Amy Burden, University of Memphis

Amy Burden (PhD, The University of Memphis; MATL, The University of Southern Mississippi) is an adjunct professor of English at The University of Memphis, where she teaches English rhetoric and composition and linguistics. She also holds an English Language Fellowship through the U.S. Department of State at Angeles University Foundation, Philippines, where she offers TESOL courses for undergraduate and graduate programs and provides TESOL workshops throughout the region. Her research interests center on critical discourse analysis of gender representations in children’s reading materials and the promotion of critical literacy in TESOL and English pedagogy. Secondary interests include Technology Enhanced Language Learning (TELL) with an emphasis on digital tools to advanced second and foreign language acquisition.

Published

03/31/2021

How to Cite

Burden, A. (2021). Lipstick on pigs: Critical discourse and image analysis of non-humans in U.S. children’s ESL textbooks. EuroAmerican Journal of Applied Linguistics and Languages, 8(1), 53–75. https://doi.org/10.21283/2376905X.13.218

Issue

Section

Research Articles

Categories