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Mexican Men Get Lesson on Sexist Language (24th March, 2011)

Mexico's government is trying to stop its male workers from using sexist language in the workplace. It has published a special guide that advises workers on how not to talk to female colleagues. All male employees will receive a copy of ‘The Manual for the Non-sexist Use of Language’. It was written by a group fighting violence against women. The manual tells men not to use phrases like "If you want to work, why did you have children," and "You are prettier when you keep quiet".

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Sexist language is common in most of the world’s languages. Many English speakers object to how “masculine” their language is. Many nouns containing male words are commonly used to talk about men and women. An example is the word “mankind”. This is slowly changing and people now say “spokesperson” and “chairperson” instead of “spokesman” and “chairman”. Newspapers are often at fault for using sexist language. News stories often talk about “Mr X’s wife” but rarely “Mrs X’s husband”.

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PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.

Paragraph 1

1.

stop its male workers from

a.

guide

2

It has published a special

b.

to use phrases

3.

how not to talk

c.

against women

4.

All male employees will receive

d.

using sexist language

5.

a group fighting violence

e.

a copy

6.

The manual tells men not

f.

to female colleagues

 

Paragraph 2

1.

Sexist language is

a.

about men

2

most of the world’s

b.

male words

3.

nouns containing

c.

common

4.

commonly used to talk

d.

changing

5.

This is slowly

e.

fault

6.

Newspapers are often at

f.

languages


LISTENING GAP FILL

Mexico's government ____________________ male workers from using sexist language ____________________. It has published a special guide that advises workers on how not to talk to female colleagues. All male employees ____________________ ‘The Manual for the Non-sexist Use of Language’. It was ____________________ fighting violence against women. The manual tells men ____________________ like "If you want to work, why did you have children," and "You are prettier ____________________ ".

Sexist language ____________________ of the world’s languages. Many English ____________________ how “masculine” their language is. Many nouns containing male ____________________ used to talk about men and women. An example is the word “mankind”. This ____________________ and people now say “spokesperson” and “chairperson” instead of “spokesman” and “chairman”. Newspapers ____________________ for using sexist language. News stories often talk about “Mr X’s wife” but rarely ___________________”.


MULTIPLE CHOICE

Mexico's government is (1) ____ to stop its male workers from using sexist language in the workplace. It has published a special guide that (2) ____ workers on how not to talk to female colleagues. All male employees will   (3) ____ a copy of ‘The Manual for the Non-sexist Use of Language’. It was written (4) ____ a group fighting violence against women. The manual tells men not to use (5) ____ like "If you want to work, why did you have children," and "You are prettier when you (6) ____ quiet".

Sexist language is (7) ____ in most of the world’s languages. Many English speakers (8) ____ to how “masculine” their language is. Many nouns containing male words are commonly (9) ____ to talk about men and women. An example is the word “mankind”. This is (10) ____ changing and people now say “spokesperson” and “chairperson” instead of “spokesman” and “chairman”. Newspapers are often (11) ____ fault for using sexist language. News stories often talk about “Mr X’s wife” but (12) ____ “Mrs X’s husband”.

Put the correct words from this table into the article.

1.

(a)

tried

(b)

trying

(c)

tries

2.

(a)

advises

(b)

advice

(c)

advising

3.

(a)

got

(b)

given

(c)

receive

4.

(a)

to

(b)

by

(c)

from

5.

(a)

phrases

(b)

phrase

(c)

phrasal verb

6.

(a)

beep

(b)

weep

(c)

keep

7.

(a)

common

(b)

commonly

(c)

comma

8.

(a)

subject

(b)

reject

(c)

object

9.

(a)

usefulness

(b)

using

(c)

used

10.

(a)

slowly

(b)

slowed

(c)

slows

11.

(a)

by

(b)

at

(c)

in

12

(a)

rare

(b)

rarely

(c)

rarer


SPELLING

Spell the jumbled words (from the text) correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

Mexico's entneorvmg

2.

in the crekwpalo

3.

female euolgealcs

4.

male emeyplseo

5.

nicoelev against women

6.

not to use hraesps like…

 

Paragraph 2

7.

Sexist language is mocnom

8.

English speakers jobetc

9.

nouns oncaintign male words

10.

This is slowly ighncagn

11.

Newspapers are often at ualft

12.

News sitorse


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

used to talk about men and women. An example is the word “mankind”. This is slowly

(    )

changing and people now say “spokesperson” and “chairperson” instead of “spokesman” and

(    )

to talk to female colleagues. All male employees will receive a copy of ‘The Manual

(    )

women. The manual tells men not to use phrases like "If you want to work, why did

(    )

to how “masculine” their language is. Many nouns containing male words are commonly

(    )

workplace. It has published a special guide that advises workers on how not

1  )

Mexico's government is trying to stop its male workers from using sexist language in the

(    )

for the Non-sexist Use of Language’. It was written by a group fighting violence against

(    )

stories often talk about “Mr X’s wife” but rarely “Mrs X’s husband”.

(    )

“chairman”. Newspapers are often at fault for using sexist language. News

(    )

Sexist language is common in most of the world’s languages. Many English speakers object

(    )

you have children," and "You are prettier when you keep quiet".


WORD JUMBLE

With a partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

sexist     male     language     workers     from     Stop     using     its.    

2.

a    that    published    guide    workers    has    special    advises    It.    

3.

copy     a     receive     will     employees     male     All.    

4.

women     A     fighting     against     group     violence.    

5.

keep     you     when     prettier     are     You     quiet.    

6.

in     Common     languages     world’s     the     of     most.    

7.

commonly     are     words     male     containing     Nouns     used.    

8.

are     about     commonly     men     used     to     Words     talk.    

9.

“mankind”     word     the     is     example     An.

10.

language     sexist     using     for     fault     at     Often.    


DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________


WRITING

Write about sexist language for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________


HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. SEXIST LANGUAGE: Search the Internet and find more information about how sexist your language might be. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about a sexist workplace. Include imaginary interviews with men and women. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the author of ‘The Manual for the Non-sexist Use of Language’. Ask him/her three questions about sexist language. Give him/her three of your opinions on how we can stop it. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Your partner will answer the questions you asked.

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