The Reading / Listening - Gender-neutral Language - Level 5

An Australian university department has asked staff to avoid using certain words related to gender. The Gender Institute issued a list of replacements for words like 'mother' and 'father'. This is part of an initiative to encourage more gender-neutral language. The list includes using the term 'gestational parent' instead of 'mother,' and 'non-birthing parent' in place of 'father'. The institute's handbook says the words 'mother' and 'father' exclude non-binary people. These are people who identify as being neither male nor female. They feel unrepresented because of gender words.



The institute's guidelines say: "While many students will identify as 'mothers' or 'fathers,' using these terms to describe parenthood excludes those who do not identify as male or female." It added: "This non-gendered language is particularly important in...discussions of childbirth and parenthood." The university said the handbook was, "a guide developed...to assist anyone committed to enhancing inclusiveness and diversity". It said it was not official university policy. Last week, a UK university asked its staff to substitute the word 'chestfeeding' for 'breastfeeding'.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Gender-neutral Language - Level 4 or  Gender-neutral Language - Level 6

Sources
  • https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/university-staff-told-stop-saying-23507643
  • https://au.news.yahoo.com/university-asks-staff-to-refer-to-it-as-chest-feeding-100937936.html
  • https://www.foxnews.com/world/university-handbook-encourages-staff-to-adopt-gender-neutral-language


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. An Australian university
  2. asked staff to avoid using
  3. issued a list
  4. encourage more gender-
  5. using the term
  6. non-
  7. identify as being neither
  8. They feel
  1. 'gestational parent'
  2. unrepresented
  3. certain words
  4. male nor female
  5. binary people
  6. department
  7. neutral language
  8. of replacements

Paragraph 2

  1. The institute's
  2. using these terms to
  3. those who do not identify
  4. language is particularly
  5. the handbook was a
  6. enhancing inclusiveness
  7. it was not official university
  8. substitute the word 'breastfeeding'
  1. and diversity
  2. for 'chestfeeding'
  3. guide
  4. as male or female
  5. policy
  6. important
  7. guidelines
  8. describe parenthood

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

An Australian university department has asked (1) ___________________ using certain words related to gender. The Gender Institute (2) ___________________ of replacements for words like 'mother' and 'father'. This is part (3) ___________________ to encourage more gender-neutral language. The list includes (4) ___________________ 'gestational parent' instead of 'mother,' and 'non-birthing parent' in place of 'father'. The institute's (5) ___________________ words 'mother' and 'father' exclude non-binary people. These are people who (6) ___________________ neither male nor female. They feel unrepresented because of gender words.

The institute's guidelines say: "While many students (7) ___________________ 'mothers' or 'fathers,' using these terms to describe parenthood excludes those who do (8) ___________________ male or female." It added: "This non-gendered language is (9) ___________________...discussions of childbirth and parenthood." The university said the handbook was, "a guide developed... (10) ___________________ committed to enhancing inclusiveness and diversity". It said it (11) ___________________ university policy. Last week, a UK university asked its staff to (12) ___________________ 'chestfeeding' for 'breastfeeding'.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

AnAustralianuniversitydepartmenthasaskedstafftoavoidusingcertai
nwordsrelatedtogender.TheGenderInstituteissuedalistofreplaceme
ntsforwordslike'mother'and'father'.Thisispartofaninitiativetoencour
agemoregender-neutrallanguage.Thelistincludesusingtheterm'ges
tationalparent'insteadof'mother,'and'non-birthingparent'inplace
of'father'.Theinstitute'shandbooksaysthewords'mother'and'father'
excludenon-binarypeople.Thesearepeoplewhoidentifyasbeingneith
ermalenorfemale.Theyfeelunrepresentedbecauseofgenderwords.T
heinstitute'sguidelinessay:"Whilemanystudentswillidentifyas'moth
ers'or'fathers,'usingthesetermstodescribeparenthoodexcludesthos
ewhodonotidentifyasmaleorfemale."Itadded:"Thisnon-genderedla
nguageisparticularlyimportantin...discussionsofchildbirthandparen
thood."Theuniversitysaidthehandbookwas,"aguidedeveloped...toa
ssistanyonecommittedtoenhancinginclusivenessanddiversity".Itsai
ditwasnotofficialuniversitypolicy.Lastweek,aUKuniversityaskeditsst
afftosubstitutetheword'chestfeeding'for'breastfeeding'.

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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