Learning Chimamanda Ngozi’s "We Should All Be Feminists"

Both feminists Chimamanda Ngozi and Simone de Beauvoir, though temporarily and culturally distant, claim that an egalitarian society is possible by educating children on the stereotypes of gender roles. There is little space for critical discussion on gender roles in formal teacher education. However, in the case of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), there is an increasing interest in reshaping English teaching through an Intercultural, not only Communicative, Competence approach to deconstruct cultural stereotypes. I taught Chimamanda Ngozi’s We Should all Be Feminists to second year students of undergraduate TEFL programs in two private Universities in Santiago, Chile. This book is appropriate for B1 level students. Furthermore, the book is based on a TedTalk, so parts of the classes were reinforced using listening comprehension. Finally, the book helped them to understand what feminism is, addressing personal experiences. My experience shows that, if an egalitarian society is possible through education, teacher education can embrace social and gender difference through a critical understanding of culture and English language itself. From this perspective, language is relieved from homogenisation and uniformity, encouraging a critical understanding of power relations in society including feminism. My research draws on the work of Byram (1997), B. Kumaravadivelu (2007), Homi Bhabha (2012), and Kramsch, C. and Zhu, Ha (2016). This is an essential contribution to learning to make a social difference in Higher Education with a focus on EFL.

Teacher Education, Feminism, EFL, Intercultural Competence, Stereotypes, Gender, Cultural Curiosity

Learning in Higher Education

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

  • Yeisil Pena
    • Lecturer, Pedagogía en Lengua y Cultura Inglesas, Universidad Central de Chile, Chile Chile
    • Holds an MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture from the University of York. Researcher and Lecturer at Universidad Central de Chile in English Composition and Cultural Studies. Lecturer at Universidad Autonoma, Chile, in English Literature.