The gender role in an intercultural EFL classroom through story circles

This research proposal is born after having worked with gender topics in the implementation of the masters’ program research study. I consider imperative to continue working with this kind of topics in the classroom as we, as teachers, have the opportunity to help our students understand that respect is one of the most important values to cultivate and practice while living or interacting with others, it should not matter at all to have differences of any kind.

The proposal will take place in a public school in Bogotá with 40 students from 7th grade. This qualitative action research intends to a) identify students’ discourses related to gender in an intercultural EFL classroom through Story Circles; b) describe gendered discourses created in an intercultural EFL classroom through Story Circles and c) analyze the relationship between students’ gendered discourses, their intercultural background and foreign language learning when working with Story Circles. The pedagogical design will be developed by using the Story Circles methodology which will help in the process of collecting data through field notes, students' artifacts and video/audio recordings. The use of Story Circles in the classroom in order to work on intercultural topics such as: stories, songs, cultural celebrations and disguises, recipes, paintings, superstitions, myths/legends etc will help me in the process of trying to identify and analyze gender identities in students. The intercultural topics will be the excuse through which I pretend to unveil their gender ideas. Besides, they will be important when showing the participants that we can coexist in the same classroom if we respect each other’s beliefs, ways of thinking wearing etc. Data will be collected by observing and analyzing students’ discourses during their interventions while expressing their ideas and points of view.

The different activities or pedagogical units will follow the stages of the Task Based Approach (TBA): Pre-task, during task and post task proposed by Ellis in 2003. Data will be gathered from the field notes, video and audio recordings and students’ artifacts. It will also be analyzed by following some components from the Grounded Theory (GT) (Charmaz, 2006) and the Critical Classroom Discourse Analysis (CCDA) (Kumaravadivelu, 1999). The information collected from the different instruments will also be joint as open coding (similarities and differences) and axial coding (categories) and the Atlas.Ti software will help in the process of creating the corresponding diagrams that represent the codes and the categories that Excel. Finally, the results will be published in an academic journal to contribute with the research fields related to gender and interculturality in the process of enriching and creating new knowledge and research in the future.