Session 9

Can we teach the girls of the future with books of the past?
In today’s episode we will be discussing how men and women are portrayed in primary school textbooks around the world.

የወደፊቱን ሴት ሕፃናት ባለፈው ጊዜ መፅሐፍት ማስተማር እንችላለን?
በዛሬው ዝግጅታችን ወንዶች እና ሴቶች በመጀመሪያ ደረጃ ትምህርት ቤት የመማሪያ መፅሐፍት እንዴት እንደሚሳሉ እናያለን።

በዚህ ክፍል ያሉ ክፍለ ጊዜያት

ክፍለጊዜያት 9 ነጥብ።

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Can we teach the girls of the future with books of the past?

Look at the Session Vocabulary – make sure you know what these words and expressions mean:

  • to portray
  • various experts
  • hidden in plain sight

Quiz

What is the best-selling children’s book of all time? Is it:

     a. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
     b. Alice in Wonderland
     c. Harry Potter

Listen to the discussion about primary school textbooks and find out the answer.

Listen to find the answers. Then check them on the transcript below.

ፅሁፍ አሳይ ፅሁፍ ደብቅ

Local presenter
ሃይ፥ ስለአንድ ጉዳይ ወደምንወያይበትና ስለጉዳዩ ለማውራት የሚያስፈልገውን ቋንቋ ወደምናቀርብበት የEnglish Together ዝግጅት እንኳን በደህና መጡ። ሐና እባላለሁ። አብሮኝ/አብራኝ አለ/አለች።

Sam
Hi, I’m Sam.

Kee
And I’m Kee. Welcome to the programme!

Local presenter
ዛሬ ወንዶች እና ሴቶች በዓለም ዙርያ ባሉ የመጀመሪያ ደረጃ የመማሪያ መፅሐፍት ላይ እንዴት እንደሚቀረፁ እናያለን። ይህም ሕፃናት እያነበቧቸው ያሉ ሌሎች መፅሐፍት ምንድን ናቸው? ስንል እንድናስብ ገፋፋን። ስለዚህ የዛሬው ጥያቄ ይሄው፡
የምንጊዜም ከፍተኛ ሽያጭን ያስመዘገበው የልጆች መፅሀፍ የትኛው ነው?
ሀ) ቻርሊ ኤንድ ዘ ሼኮላት ፋክተሪ
ለ) አሊስ ኢን ዋንደርላንድ
ሐ) ሃሪ ፖተር

Sam
I personally loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! I still do!

Kee
Oh, come on, you just like it because it involves chocolate!

Local presenter
Ha! My favourite children’s book was የአማርኛ የሕፃናት መፅሐፍን ያስገቡ። ነገር ግን ከውይይታችን በፊት በዓለም ዙርያ ባሉ የመጀመሪያ ደረጃ የመማሪያ መፅሐፍት ስላሉ የፆታ ሚናዎች የተሰራ የቅርብ ጥናትን የሚያነሳውን ይህንን የቢቢሲ ዜና እንከታተል። ለጥያቄው መልሱን ጥቂት ቆየት ብለን እንሰጥዎታለን።

News insert
Research suggests women are either shown in stereotype roles or seen as less valuable in primary school textbooks from all over the world. Professor Blumberg, from the University of Virginia, has been studying textbooks from around the world for over a decade, and says she has seen women systematically removed, or portrayed in roles where they serve men. Gender bias is extremely common in primary school learning books and can be found, in a noticeably similar form, on every continent – from Tanzania, to Haiti, to Pakistan, to Turkey, the list goes on and knows no geographical boundaries – various experts say. It is a problem ‘hidden in plain sight’.

Kee
Uhm, well, I’m trying to remember the textbooks that they used when I was in primary school…

Local presenter
Do you remember how they ‘portrayed’ men and women? የሚሳሉት/የሚቀረፁት

Kee
Not really... But I was helping my niece with her English homework last night, and I noticed that the women in her textbook were either mothers or sisters of the main character…

Sam
And the main character was male?

Kee
Yeah, and he was a sporty little boy who dreamed of becoming a doctor. And now that I think about it, there’s a lot of gender bias in the story.

Local presenter
‘Gender bias’ ፆታን መሰረት ያደረገ መድልዖ What did your niece think?

Sam
Yeah, did she notice that there was a gender bias against the female characters?

Kee
Well, I hope she didn’t. I mean, she likes science and she likes climbing trees, I don’t want her to think that she can only be one or two things when she grows up.

Local presenter
Like a princess or a bride…

Kee
Yeah, exactly!

Sam
Yeah, these stereotypes can be very difficult for boys, as well.

Local presenter
I agree. ‘Stereotype’ አንድ ዓይነት ሚና ብቻ ሰጥቶ ሁሌ መሳል

Sam
The stereotype is that boys like sports, and dream of becoming an astronaut or a soldier. But what about the little boys who have different interests, different dreams?

Kee
Yes, they need positive role models, as well.

Local presenter
‘Role model’ መልካም አርዐያ ማለት ነው። Yes, all children need a lot of different role models, I think.

Sam
Absolutely! But, if they’re not seeing these role models in their school textbooks, where are they seeing them?

Kee
Maybe in the other books they’re reading?

Local presenter
እሽ፥ ቀደም ሲል ወዳነሳነው ጥያቄ እንመለስ። የምንጊዜም ከፍተኛ ሽያጭ ያስመዘገበው የልጆች መፅሐፍ የቱ ነው?
ሀ) ቻርሊ ኤንድ ዘ ሼኮላት ፋክተሪ
ለ) አሊስ ኢን ዋንደርላንድ
ሐ) ሃሪ ፖተር
በርካታ ምንጮች እንደሚሉት መልሱ (ሐ) ሃሪ ፖተር ነው። የሃሪ ፖተር ተከታታይ መፅሐፍት ወደ69 የተለያዩ ቋንቋዎች የተተረጎሙ ሲሆን በዓለም ዙርያ 450 ሚሊዮን ቅጅዎች ተሸጠዋል።

Kee
I haven’t read them, but I know the main character is a boy…

Sam
Yeah, but there are many strong female characters! In the books the boys and girls have equal rights, I think.

Local presenter
‘Equal rights’ እኩል መብቶች ማለት ነው። Doesn’t the female character always solve the problems that male characters create?

Sam
Yes, she does! Just like me and you, Kee?

Kee
Oh, come one! Equal rights are for men, too, you know.

Local presenter
Sam’s just teasing you, Kee!
እርስዎስ? የመጀመሪያ ደረጃ ተማሪ ሳሉ ይጠቀሙባቸው የነበሩ የመማሪያ መፅሐፍትን ያስታውሳሉ? ‘Stereotypes’ ነበሩባቸው? ሲያድጉ ‘role models’ እንደነበረዎት ያስባሉ?
የዚህ ሳምንት ዝግጅታችንን አጠናቅቀን ከመሰናበታችን በፊት ዛሬ ስናወራባቸው የነበሩትን ቃላት እንዴ እናንሳ- ሁሉም ወንዶች እና ሴቶች በማኅበረሰብ ውስጥ ካላቸው ሚና ጋር የሚያያዙ ናቸው። ‘Gender bias’, የፆታ መድልዖ ‘stereotype’ በተመሳሳይ ሚና ብቻ መቅረፅ, ‘role model’ መልካም አርዐያ, ‘equal rights’ እኩል መብቶች።
አብረውን ስለቆዩ እናመሰግናለን፤ ለተጨማሪ የEnglish Together ዝግጅት በሚቀጥለው ሳምንት ይጠብቁን። 

Meaning & Use 

a gender bias (noun phrase)

Gender is the state of being male or female. Another word for this is 'sex'.
 A) Mary and Luke just had their baby!
 B) Oh really? What's the gender?
 A) It's a little girl.

A bias is the 'a feeling or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way that is considered unfair'. We often use it with the prepositions towards or against.
 He wrote many history books but he showed a strong bias towards the Second World War. It was his favourite period.
 There is a bias against younger applicants for the job. They are looking for a more experienced candidate.

A gender bias refers to unfair treatment of, or behaviour towards, one gender.
 Films used to show a strong gender bias towards men and against women, but that's changing now. Not only men can be superheroes!


a stereotype (noun)

A stereotype is 'an image or idea of a particular type of person or thing that is generally thought to be true but is often oversimplified'.
 People often think that in England everyone drinks tea at 4 o'clock. But it's a stereotype. I'm English, and I don't even like tea!

To stereotype is the verb, meaning 'to make oversimplified general statements about a particular type of person or thing'.
 It's easy to stereotype other countries when you don't know anything about them.


a role model (noun)

A role model is 'a person who is a positive example to others'.
 I really looked up to my big brother when I was a child. He was, and still is, a role model to me.


equal rights (noun phrase)

If you have a right to do something, it means that 'you are allowed to do it'. 
 I have a right to express my opinion freely, even if you don't agree with it.

Equal means 'the same'.
 Add equal amounts of water and flour, then mix everything together.

Equal rights is a noun phrase used to talk about 'the rights of all citizens to equal treatment under the law', and about people 'having the same status or opportunities'.
 Everyone should have equal rights, no matter their race, gender or religion. 

Can we teach the girls of the future with books of the past?

4 Questions

Choose the correct answer.
ትክክለኛውን መልስ ይምረጡ።

እንኳን ደስ ያለዎ ሙከራውን አጠናቀዋል
Excellent! Great job! መጥፎ እድል ነጥብ አስመዝግበዋል :
x / y

Over to you!

Do you remember any of the textbooks you used when you were in primary school? Did they have any stereotypes? Do you think you had positive role models growing up? Tell us on our Facebook group.

Join us for our next episode of English Together when we will learn more useful language and practise your listening skills.
ተጨማሪ ጠቃሚ አገላለፆችን ለመማር እና የማዳመጥ ክህሎትዎን በመለማመድ ለማዳበር በቀጣዩ እንግሊዝኛን በጋራ ዝግጅታችን ይጠብቁን።

Session Vocabulary

  • gender bias
    የፆያ መድልዖ

    a stereotype
    በተመሳሳይ ሚና ብቻ መሳል

    a role model
    መልካም አርዐያ

    equal rights
    እኩል መብቶች

    to portray
    መሳል፥ ማቅረብ

    various experts
    የተለያዩ ምሁራን

    hidden in plain sight
    በጠራራ ቀን መደበቅ