Posted On 1/30/2020 10:38:00 PM, 0Comments


The coursebook I have analyzed is for 6th grade students prepared by Ministry of National Education. In general, gender equality is suggested and people with special needs are emphasized. Also, some units have environmental issues in reading parts and pictures. However, there is no other people than whites. There could be photos of different ethnic origins. There could be different religions, as well (there is a woman with scarf in one unit, which is good.). There is nothing about LGBTQ+ people and I have not been shocked since it was a coursebook for public school, but still, there could be photos of those people.

Let’s look at each unit one by one and emphasis the important issues step by step.

The first unit is Life that is about daily routine activities. The first thing I examine is that the people in the photograph are always white, there is no other ethnic origin. Also, the families in the photos occur by children with mother and grandmother, not father and grandfather. This makes me believe that it is indicated the active role of women at home, not outside, which I totally disagree. Since the unit is about daily routine activities, they could demonstrate a man who cooks, washes dishes, takes care of children. It makes the social justice process visible and emphasized. However, the best thing in the unit is gender equality in the photos. At first, they tell the unit by using a girl, but just then, they have an exercise by using a boy.

The second unit is Yummy Breakfast that is about food and drink. The unit begins with a family photograph with mother, father and children, which makes sense compared to the previous unit. Since the unit is about food and drink, people’s pictures are limited in number but still, the unit has children’s photographs equal in gender, just as in the previous unit. This unit, also, has a photograph of a child with special needs. This is important since it takes the whole students’ attention inductively.

The third unit is Downtown that is about buildings mostly. The unit is more likely to talk about environmental issues since it is about the place we live in. In one page, one small, therefore less-developed city and one big and developed city are compared. In this comparison, it can be understood that we, people, are damaging the natural environment and limiting our life place.

The fourth unit is Weather and Emotions as it is understood by its name. The people in the photos are equal in gender. There is something I have thought to add. The topic is so close to environmental issues, but I could not see anything related except for a picture of drought.

The fifth unit is At the Fair that is about the toys at the fair. There is nothing about social justice in this unit. Just the photos of people are equal in gender as it is suggested in all the units. However, there could be photos of a father and a daughter or a mother and a son so that we can see more gender equality photos by emphasizing men roles in a family.

The sixth unit is Occupations that is about occupations and dates. The topic is open to talk about gender equality more than any other topics. It is important to match a mechanic and a woman or a cook and a man, but there is no matching like that. All occupations are suitable for stereotypes that people have in their minds in our society. In the title, there is a photo of a woman with scarf, which emphasizes the religion differences and good for social justice. In a reading paragraph, the mother is said to be saleswoman, which is too sexist in language. Instead, sales assistant term can be used.

The second unit is Holidays that is about different holiday activities in different places. That means nothing seems to be about social justice, however, there could be. There could be photos of places before and after human touch, or there could be crowded family photos in holidays, but there is nothing.

The eighth unit is Bookworms that is about things that can be read and prepositions. The only thing about social justice is having a photo of a girl with special needs. Others are as usual just equality in gender.

The ninth unit is Saving the Planet that is deep into environmental issues. It is the best one for me since it teaches not only English but also how we can control our world to be better place. It gains the students the ability to change the world in a positive way. I like that topic so much.

The tenth topic is Democracy that is about vote in general. It involves the topics of equality and child rights, which is good to have place in a coursebook. There could be more knowledge about environmental issues, as well, since it is about vote and someone can defend people by saying positive solutions to environmental issues.

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Gokce Cevher

4th year student in English Language Teaching at Trabzon University