This open educational resource (OER) is created for language learners who want to make independent decisions on the politics over their bodies and identities and determine how they would like to be called while learning Spanish. The material can also serve teachers and professors as a resource to help navigate this challenging topic of our current times.

This guide allows the learner to gain a basic understanding of Spanish grammar and its relationship to gender in an independent way. It intends to be not only a resource to decide how each person would like to be named but also to understand the complexity of the subject, in relation to Spanish-speaking societies.

For every learner, this is an important topic, because we live in a world that is changing in terms of naming practices. Gender-fair language is a phenomenon that has developed over decades, towards its increasing public use. Therefore, not learning about this topic would be ignoring a very important part of contemporary reality.

The content of this resource will allow students to

  • Have a basic understanding of the relationship between the Spanish grammar system and the sex-gender system
  • Have a basic understanding of the complex current socio-political debate on gender and language
  • Have basic information on some of the strategies used for social debates that will help them to understand how they would prefer to be called (similar to the pronouns)
  • Define the way they prefer to be called in Spanish
  • Understand the relationship of the term Latinx to the Spanish strategies
  • Problematize the political relationship of Latinx to English
  • Reflect on the use of Spanish gender-fair language strategies in the US context
  • Understand why it is important to be informed on this topic as a language learner

This resource is a response to the lack of materials on this subject for language learners, particularly open educational resources. I create this material as a feminist linguist who believes in the freedom of individuals to decide about their identities and as a member of the digital learning community of Indisciplininadxs: Feminist Linguistics. I acknowledge this material is more than an individual contribution, as the conversations you will find here have been part of a collective pedagogical process that the Indisciplinadxs’ have been co-creating since June 2020.

As an OER it is hosted on a digital platform. I will be publishing updates on the topic resources so that it is available while being built. I will add the information on the last update at the end of each section to help the readers take the most advantage of the material. I will be happy to get suggestions on improvement, examples, or comments on the material.

Finally, as a note for all learners, it is important to mention that In this document, when I talk about “we” or “society”, I am not referring to a uniform body, but to a multiplicity of cultures and places where Spanish is spoken and where it intercepts with other cultures and languages; in other words, it is a fluid space of multiple identities.

I hope you will enjoy learning with me!



Last updated on June 25th, 2023


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Marking Gender in Spanish Copyright © by Silvia Rivera Alfaro is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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