Instructors’ navigation and appropriation of gender-inclusive Spanish at a U.S. University


Drawing on in-depth qualitative interviews, we examine Spanish language instructors’ interpretation and appropriation of gender-inclusive language (GIL) policy at a U.S. university. Policy appropriation is represented as a spectrum with varying degrees of policy rejection, avoidance, and engagement across and within participants. Policy rejection was based on language as an inappropriate arena for LGBTQI+ rights, prescriptivists views of language, and language authorities’ rejection of GIL; policy avoidance was based on lack of authority and prescriptive views of language; and policy engagement was rooted in ideas related to identity, representation, and inclusion. This study makes a contribution to understanding foreign language instructors’ appropriation of GIL in an Anglophone context and the complex realities and views that impact policy implementation. Since GIL is gaining prominence across the world, we suggest that foreign language departments encourage academic discussions on GIL so that instructors can make informed decisions about how and why to integrate GIL in the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language.

Publication Title

Current Issues in Language Planning