Gender Representation in EFL Textbooks in Saudi Arabia: A Critical Discourse Analysis Approach

Wafa Aljuaythin


This study investigates the representation of gender in two English as a Foreign Language textbooks for elementary students in Saudi schools. It employs the three stages of Fairclough’s (2015) three-dimensional model: description, interpretation, and explanation. The analysis phase of the description stage is concerned with analyzing four aspects: the frequency of male and female occurrences, the kinds of activity that the two genders engage in, the pictorial representations of the two genders, and the social and domestic roles associated with males and females. Subsequently, after compiling quantitative data on these aspects, the analysis moves to a qualitative interpretation of these aspects in relation to the social context. In the final stage of the analysis, when the discussion aims to reach a final critical explanation on the macro level, the underlying ideological functions of power relations and social struggles are explained in terms of the dominance approach to language (Spender, 1980). The analysis of the two textbooks reveals a gender imbalance in favor of males. This imbalance has led to the representation of women as marginalized and stereotypical figures. This study suggests that such an underrepresentation of women could create a false reality surrounding perceptions of women and hinder the process of ensuring equality to all humans.


EFL Textbooks, Stereotyping, Gender, Female Roles, Critical Discourse Analysis, Material Evaluation

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