Gender and Language, Free Paper with a Research Proposal

Published: 2022-03-30
Gender and Language, Free Paper with a Research Proposal
Type of paper:  Research proposal
Categories:  Gender Languages
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1516 words
13 min read

Introduction/Background Information

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Challenges to ensuring gender-inclusive teaching often manifest in a broad of different disciplinary contexts. However, language use differences between male and female faculties tend to remain prevalent in institutions of higher learning because of the various long-standing misconceptions, which view gender as one of the binary constructs. In teaching language and gender, one must familiarize themselves with key concepts related to gender expression and identity. According to (Wright, 2002), this is necessary to question the validity of what early linguists called men language and women language. In response, this research first uses sociolinguistic theory to provide a historical overview of the role of society on language use between its female and male members before examining how these differences impact the teaching of language and gender of university faculties.

Research Objectives

In this study, the researcher will be guided by three major objectives, including:

To verify the relevance between teaching language and gender, particularly the very differences witnessed between female and male students in linguistic faculties, both in sentences and lexicon.

To comprehensively explore the speciality in the context of class with the sole purpose of improving the faculty's teaching skills.

To find key differences, especially in nonverbal languages, including sign language, gesture language, and eye language.

Theoretical Framework

Available literature shows that the research of gender and language started in the Western world, with early sociolinguists such as Robin Fort leading in conducting descriptive studies. Most importantly, the research in question is based on a number of theories, including the sociolinguistics theory. According to Chamber (1995), sociolinguistics theory revolves around examining the effect of key aspects of society on the use of language: cultural expectations, norms, and context. In other words, it plays a central role in explaining how society impacts language of its members.

Traditionally, the language-society relationship mainly involved the concept of categoricity and related linguistic variables. Broadly speaking, Variationist sociolinguistics remain mainly concerned with basic independent variables in studying language use, including sex, age, and social class. In this context, sex is a fundamental variable because social expectations of female and male genders were viewed separately. It is a result of this perception that sociolinguists tend to place great emphasis on sex-based or biological and gender-based or social linguistic variability (Chamber 1995; Lakoff, 1975). This means that in many societies gender determined language use between both sexes, with parental influence, workplace and occupation, and interaction with peers and parents playing a major role in shaping one's linguistic competence. In this regard, sociolinguistic theory reveals two opposing tendencies in any given society: the attempt to eliminate and enhance linguistic variability (Chamber 1995). Therefore, it forms the theoretical basis for this research by emphasizing the importance of linguistic variation, giving the researcher the opportunity to examine social deprivation, insecurity, alienation, and embarrassment based on stereotypes as well as prejudices associated with linguistic differences between male and female students.

Literature Review

Gender remains an integral factor in determining differences in unacquainted female-male group communication. In other words, production of language is more often considered within as well as between gender groups and in reference to diversity structures, difference, and dominance. According to Wright (2002), language and gender studies have since evolved from approaches mainly designed and imposed by male members of the society, to a feminist worldview driven by the desire to expose sexism in language. Additionally, there are qualitative and quantitative studies, which consider paradigms of difference and dominance in language use from a smorgasbord of viewpoints. A typical case in point is the works of Coates (1986), who places great emphasis on examining the various gender differences witnesses in communicative competence. She further explores how people acquire gender-differentiated language. Ultimately, her study reveals that there is an interplay between social structure and language.

The major views held by the society about status of women as a group shape the differences in language. In her study, Coates (1986) contends that women are regarded an oppressed group, and thus the very differences between their speech and that of men is as a result of male dominance. Likewise, such differences are attributable to the existence of unique female and male subcultures (Fasold, 1990). The two views mentioned above are significant because they play a fundamental role in determining gender differences, which characterize communicative competence, including conversational style, language as a measure of power, conversational interaction, and politeness (Coates, 1986). It is this regard that Tannen (1991) and Jariah (1990) corroborate that women and men will always walk away from a given conversation or public speaking with different impressions of the message conveyed by the speakers. Due to the diversity of learning settings, therefore, both approaches are necessary in understanding the concept of language variance between male and female faculties.

Separate and apart from Coates and Fasold, Lakoff also argue that language is critical to gender inequality in any given social setting. Broadly speaking, she identified two key areas in which inequalities are found: language used by and about women (Lakoff, 1975). In the first area, language is more is usually used about women when society focus on parallel terms, such as "mistress" and "master." On the other hand, when language is used by women, it places them in a double-blinded status, either as fully humans or feminine. For example, by speaking too directly, women are viewed as unfeminine (Lakoff, 1975). Sharing in Lakoff's thoughts, McConnell-Genet (1975) provides a systematic history of how gender became an instrumental object of study, McConnell-Genet argues that gender and language revolve around two hypotheses: dominance and linguistic power imbalances. Concisely, Lakoff's central argument revolves around the assumption that women's language typically expresses powerlessness. As a consequence, this assertion is essential for teaching language and gender of university faculties because it triggers a controversy worth studying and addressing.

Methodology of Study

The researcher intends to employ the use of mixed research methods. In particular, the study will be conducted using both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methodologies. To effectively achieve so, the researcher will identify relevant primary and secondary sources. Using keywords, such as linguistic, sociolinguistics, women and language, gender and linguistics, the researcher will search the information from recommended databases in addition to utilizing books from the University's library. Once accessed, the researcher will take a systematic approach to reviewing the above-mentioned material. Through qualitative methodology, the researcher will be well-positioned to present a detailed theoretical framework of the study besides completing ascertaining the study's findings.

In addition, quantitative research methodology will involve physical data collection and analysis. Briefly speaking, the researcher will use random sampling to choose 100 university faculties. Fifty of the participants will be male faculties, with female students comprising the remaining number. These students will be selected from the same course to facilitate proper analysis of their teaching language through structured interviews and questionnaires. While qualitative methods often present dependable study, including quantitative methodology makes the research more reliable and timely.

Significance of Study

Data produced and result obtained from this study will revolve around the understanding of the social significance on linguistic variation. This knowledge will spread to language experts and the general public, giving them the best possible opportunity to eliminate any social deprivation, alienation, embarrassment, and insecurity based on major gender stereotypes and prejudices attached to language use differences. Concerning university faculty, a comprehensive research on gender and linguistics can play a pivotal role in revealing the differences both in communications and expressions in the whole process of teaching and female and male students. Furthermore, the study will enable the university faculty to effectively shape or redefine their personal characters in teaching by forming their own or specific language style. As a consequence, this research will enhance the university faculty's ability to achieve effective communication among and with students, and thus realizing the desired effects for class teaching.


For this study, the researcher will work and operate within the confines of the following timeline:

Time Period Activity

The First Semester Attending and completing the methodology course. This training will enable the researcher familiarize themselves with the much-needed research tools for preparing the research proposal.

In addition, the researcher will attend Malay language course to gain more insight into the research topic.

The Second Semester Completing literature review for the research.

Starting data collection.

Making result-oriented preparation for candidature defence.

The Third Semester Analysing collected data.

Writing a candidature defence report.

The Fourth Semester Writing Chapters 1, 2, and 3.

The Fifth Semester Finishing the remaining chapters.

The Sixth Semester Preparing for viva voice


Chambers, J. K. (1995). Sociolinguistic theory: Linguistic variation and its social significance. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Coates, J. (1986). Women, Men and Language. New York, U.S.: Longman Inc.

FasoldR. (1990). The sociolinguistics of LanguageOxfordBasil Blackwell.Jariah, M. (1990). The Sociolinguistics of language. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Lakoff, R.T. (1975). Language and Women: Place. New York: Harper and Row.

McConnell, G. (1988). Language and Gender. In Frederick Newmeyer (ed.), Linguistics: The Cambridge Survey. V01.1V. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Tannen, D. (1991). You just don't understand: Women and men in conversation. New York: William Morrow.

Wright, B. (2002). Gender and language: Challenging the stereotypes. Master of Arts. Retrieved Mar. 10, 2018 from

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