The Gender Awareness in Language Education (GALE) SIG works toward building a supportive community of educators and researchers interested in raising awareness and researching how gender plays an integral role in education and professional interaction. We also network and collaborate with other JALT groups and the community at large to promote pedagogical and professional practices, language teaching materials, and research inclusive of gender and gender-related topics.
Our Mission Statement focuses on the following four points:
To research gender and its implications for language learning, teaching, and training, such as differences in discourse styles, preferred teaching and learning styles, interests, needs, motivation, aptitude, achievement, classroom interactions, same-sex versus co-educational classrooms and same sex vs. opposite sex teaching, and social identity.
To improve pedagogical practices, develop language teaching materials, and provide a clearing house for materials inclusive of gender and gender-related topics in Foreign Language (FL) subject areas such as communication, history, literature, linguistics, science, sociology, cultural studies, etc.
To raise awareness of workplace and human rights issues related to gender for language professionals, such as discrimination, harassment, and violence based on gender and sexual orientation, and discrimination on the basis of marital or parental status, and to provide information for countering such discrimination.
To increase networking opportunities among language professionals interested in teaching, researching, and/or discussing issues related to gender and language education, such as biological sex, gender identity, gendered language, sexual orientation, gender behavior, gender roles, and gender socialization.
GALE has 72 members of all genders at the time of this writing. The SIG holds forums and invites plenary and featured speakers to the Pan-SIG and JALT International Conferences. At the recent PanSIG 2018 Conference in Tokyo, GALE was proud to support a wide variety of gender-related presentations which addressed topics including LGBTQIA+ identity, sexual harassment issues, and diversity in JALT conference attendance.
The upcoming 2018 Conference in Shizuoka, with its theme of Diversity and Inclusion, promises to be a particularly exciting event for GALE. Plenary Speaker Professor Momoko Nakamura will speak on “Gender Construction in Japanese Translation” and “Normalization and Simplification of Japanese Youth Style.” Featured Speaker Professor Louise Haynes’ presentations will be “Songs of Social Significance” and “Student Choice, Motivation and Inclusion.”
Recent projects by our members include work on the JALT Code of Conduct, and inclusive representation of gender on the JALT website. We seek collaboration with other SIGs and Chapters to co-sponsor speakers on gender-related research and teaching.
GALE accepts submissions and publishes, on an ongoing basis, for our new online Newsletter and the peer-reviewed Journal and Proceedings of the Gender Awareness in Language Education Special Interest Group of JALT (affectionately known as The GALE Journal). Information and previous issues are available at https://gale-sig.org/index.php/gale-publications/. We also maintain an active Facebook group and a mailing list at email@example.com. All interested people are encouraged to join.
Submitted by Quenby Hoffman Aoki,
GALE SIG Co-Coordinator