The Reading / Listening - Women's Studies - Level 5

A Canadian high school has been fiercely criticized online for its women's studies course. Many people believed the syllabus had sexist subjects that were inappropriate for women in the 21st century. These included 'polite conversation,' dinner party etiquette, and 'nail application skills'. There was also a course on: "How to enhance your style by using tips and tricks designed for your face and body shape". The course did have lessons on the basics of web design, reproductive health, the role of women in history, and the image of beauty in the media and around the world.



Among those who criticized the syllabus was actress Siobhan Bryn. She wrote: "This is unbelievably sexist. Women's studies is not fashion and putting on a lunch." She asked whether the course was designed in the 1950's. Activist Meg Fenway said: "This is profoundly offensive and disrespectful." The school has since removed the subjects from the syllabus. A spokesman said: "It looks like we're supporting stereotyping girls….We want to do the best by our kids. We want them to have a positive image and build self-esteem. We want them to analyze things critically."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Women's Studies - Level 4 or  Women's Studies - Level 6

Sources
  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4342910/High-school-offers-polite-conversation-classes-girls.html
  • http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39348155
  • http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/clyde-women-studies-pembina-school-1.4034711


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. fiercely criticized
  2. inappropriate for women
  3. dinner party
  4. How to enhance
  5. the basics
  6. reproductive
  7. the role
  8. the image of beauty in
  1. of women in history
  2. your style
  3. the media
  4. of web design
  5. online
  6. in the 21st century
  7. health
  8. etiquette

Paragraph 2

  1. Among those who
  2. This is unbelievably
  3. the course was designed
  4. removed the subjects
  5. stereotyping
  6. We want them to have a positive
  7. build self-
  8. We want them to analyze
  1. image
  2. girls
  3. esteem
  4. sexist
  5. from the syllabus
  6. things critically
  7. in the 1950's
  8. criticized the syllabus

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

A Canadian high school has been (1) ___________________ online for its women's studies course. Many people believed (2) ___________________ sexist subjects that (3) ___________________ for women in the 21st century. These included 'polite conversation,' dinner party etiquette, and (4) ___________________ skills'. There was also a course on: "How to enhance your style by using (5) ___________________ designed for your face and body shape". The course did have lessons on the basics of web design, reproductive health, (6) ___________________ history, and the image of beauty in the media and around the world.

Among those who criticized the (7) ___________________ Siobhan Bryn. She wrote: "(8) ___________________ sexist. Women's studies is not fashion and putting on a lunch." She asked whether the course was designed (9) ___________________. Activist Meg Fenway said: "This is profoundly offensive and disrespectful." The school (10) ___________________ the subjects from the syllabus. A spokesman said: "It looks like we're supporting (11) ___________________….We want to do the best by our kids. We want them to have a positive image and (12) ___________________. We want them to analyze things critically."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

ACanadianhighschoolhasbeenfiercelycriticizedonlineforitswomen's
studiescourse.Manypeoplebelievedthesyllabushadsexistsubjectsth
atwereinappropriateforwomeninthe21stcentury.Theseincluded'politec
onversation,'dinnerpartyetiquette,and'nailapplicationskills'.Therew
asalsoacourseon:"Howtoenhanceyourstylebyusingtipsandtricksdes
ignedforyourfaceandbodyshape".Thecoursedidhavelessonsontheba
sicsofwebdesign,reproductivehealth,theroleofwomeninhistory,andt
heimageofbeautyinthemediaandaroundtheworld.Amongthosewhoc
riticizedthesyllabuswasactressSiobhanBryn.Shewrote:"Thisisunbeli
evablysexist.Women'sstudiesisnotfashionandputtingonalunch."Sh
easkedwhetherthecoursewasdesignedinthe1950's.ActivistMegFen
waysaid:"Thisisprofoundlyoffensiveanddisrespectful."Theschoolha
ssinceremovedthesubjectsfromthesyllabus.Aspokesmansaid:"Itloo
kslikewe'resupportingstereotypinggirls….Wewanttodothebestbyour
kids.Wewantthemtohaveapositiveimageandbuildself-esteem.Wew
antthemtoanalyzethingscritically."

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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