Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139


Given the potential influence of teachers’ linguistic practice on children’s language use and gender role development, the present study seeks to examine the extent of linguistic discrimination present in teachers’ language. A total of 215 Chinese EFL teachers were invited to participate in the survey, which included a series of elicitation tests on their selection of English words for occupational titles, and the choice of generic pronouns anaphoric to people of unknown gender. The findings revealed that, while gender-biased language is still widely used, non-sexist linguistic reform has had an impact on Chinese EFL teachers, some of whom have expressed a concern with regard to avoiding sexist language. The study also found that choice of generic pronouns co-varied with such factors as semantic meaning, word structure and the gender stereotypes associated with particular occupations.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): China; gender; generic pronoun; occupational title; sexism
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