Is Spanish Gender Fair?

Un coloquio en español sobre Lengua, género e inclusión

Is Spanish Gender Fair?

The Spanish Royal Academy (Real Academia Española) and the use of inclusive language
Dr. Noemí Domínguez García (Universidad de Salamanca)

In the last years, there have been numerous attempts to make the Spanish language more inclusive, as reflected in the publication of guidelines for the non-sexist use of the language by several institutions, including the Spanish Instituto de la Mujer, the Chilean Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes del Gobierno de Chile, the Ciudad de México, and many universities throughout the Spanish-speaking world. These concerns have reached the Spanish Royal Academy, which, in July 2018, created a commission to update the language used in the Spanish Constitution to reflect a more inclusive society. In addition, the Spanish Royal Academy eliminated many sexist and discriminatory entries from the Diccionario de la Lengua Española in December 2018. 

Gender-inclusive language: a reality or a fantasy?
Dr. Carmen Gregori-Signes (Universitat de València)

The controversy over the use of gender-inclusive forms in Spanish is still pending. Universities, trade unions, and various other institutions have published their own guidelines to non-sexist language while the prestigious Real Academia de la Lengua Española strongly opposes some of their content. Although one might assume that gender-neutral language may be gaining ground, the reality may tell us otherwise. By selecting a few case studies of gender-inclusive forms, this talk charts their expansion in large corpora of authentic newspaper articles included in CORPES XXI, CREA and NOW; and claims that the ongoing development of gender-neutral language calls for new empirical approaches which may help us test out whether gender-neutral language is a reality or still a fantasy.

Can gender-neutral language be taught?
Dr. Esperanza Román-Mendoza (George Mason University)

During the 2019 spring semester, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at George Mason University is offering for the first time an online course in Spanish on Language, gender and inclusion, cross-listed at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Dr. Román-Mendoza´s presentation will focus on the challenges encountered when selecting materials, designing individual and group activities, providing meaningful feedback, and moderating discussions on social media.


Noemí Domínguez García is a full-time lecturer in the Department of Lengua Española (University of Salamanca). Her areas of expertise include discourse analysis and Spanish language teaching. Her publications and presentations include books such as Organizadores del discurso and Conectores discursivos en textos argumentativos breves, and articles in numerous international journals. She has published numerous teaching materials, including Español para todos y ¡Ahora sí!, including the co-direction of the MOOC Español Salamanca A2.

Carmen Gregori-Signes is a full-time lecturer in the Department of Filologia Anglesa i Alemanya (University of València). She has experience teaching English at all levels and has also taught Spanish as a Foreign Language both in Spain and abroad (Iowa University, Middlebury College, USA). Her publications and presentations include papers on multimodal and media discourse analysis, applied linguistics and language education. Her most recent research focuses on the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in schools and community centers through the use of digital storytelling, and on the role of ICT in second language learning and teaching and other social contexts.

Esperanza Román-Mendoza is associate professor at George Mason University. She has also authored Aprender a aprender en la era digital (Routledge 2018) and two handbooks for courses on social web tools and Web 2.0 pedagogy. She is also very active in the field of online course design. Her research focuses on several topics, including globalization in educational contexts, digital identity, communities of learning, community activism, critical pedagogy, and service learning.