School of Modern Languages

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Gender-conscious approaches to everyday language

A project funded by the HaSS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Fund

Our goals

The School of Modern Languages is currently carrying out a project called ‘Gender-conscious approaches to everyday language’. It will serve as a resource for all staff and students at Newcastle University and help raise awareness of gendered language in the multi-cultural, multi-lingual context of the University. Staff and students will thus have access to explanations regarding the ways in which gendered language is used, and its potential impact on interpersonal, intercultural and institutional relations.

Our work

We are developing a glossary of terms related to gender, in order to promote intercultural discussion and understanding. Drawing on socio-linguistics, we will use various approaches to help us establish the terms and contents of the glossary, including:

  • a series of interviews with participants from different groups;
  • a survey to collect suggestions from staff and students across the university;
  • a set of best practices drawn from similar initiatives in other institutions;
  • a short literature review, which will inform and support the glossary;
  • consultation with 3 focus groups to include a range of potential users, as a way of gathering feedback on the glossary in progress to ensure its usefulness and relevance.

The main language will be English, but we also want to make the glossary as accessible as possible for the international, multilingual community that is Newcastle University. It will therefore be translated into the main languages spoken on campus.

Our members

The project was designed by three lecturers at the School of Modern Languages: Sarah Leahy (director of EDI), Pauline Henry-Tierney and Anne-Charlotte Husson.

We will also work with language advisors/translators in order to adapt the glossary into other languages.


Project leader:


Gender-conscious approaches to everyday language

published on: 17 June 2019