Hi, this is Dr. Jenny Santilli. I’m an adjunct Spanish professor and recently retired from a 40-year career teaching secondary students, 37 of those years teaching Spanish and public schools.
One positive change I’ve seen over the years is the greater acceptance of our students belonging to the LGTB+ community as a result. I began investigating a grammatical concept that didn’t even exist when I began earning my degree gender-inclusive language.
While the emphasis is on the Spanish language, what is happening in other World Language classrooms, and in society’s worldwide is included.
We will explore where gender-neutral and inclusive nouns pronouns and adjectives are used where there is resistance to its use what the options are for the Spanish classroom and how to approach our students their families and our administrators and finally resources to help you in this process.
While gender inclusive language has been used in some gender-based world languages, research on its implementation and efficacy is scarce. I understand this can be scary as we rely on research-based methods in our classrooms, whether it’s formal research or anecdotal research based on observations of our students. So, we may encounter some storms on our journey, but all our students deserve teachers who at least consider their individual needs.
Understanding and Teaching Gender Inclusive Language Course Creators
About Dr. Jenny Santilli
Most of her time was spent in public schools. She presents at international, national, regional and state conferences and is on the executive board of the West Virginia Foreign Language Teachers Association. As a mentor she has worked with pre-service and novice teachers as well as National Board Certification candidates. Her areas of focus are empowering students to become globally competent, civil discourse, how to teach controversial subjects, creating fair and equitable classrooms and keeping up to date with pedagogy.
About Becky Hopkinson
Becky Hopkinson (she/her) is a language educator based in New Hampshire who has taught Spanish from kindergarten through high school as well as adult learners. She holds a master’s degree in Latin American Studies and is also a board member with the New Hampshire Association of World Language Teachers. She serves as a mentor to other teachers and regularly runs workshops to support teachers as they implement student-centered comprehensible input strategies into their language classrooms. She is also a strong advocate of the LGBTQ+ community and co-produces the TV Show, Kelly’s Quest: The Transnational Journey.