In the 1960s sociolinguistics began to focus on gender, sex, and their relationship to language. Since then, studies on gender issues have mostly, but not exclusively, analysed the differences in speech behaviours of men and women and the subsequent use of genderlects. Indeed, contemporary societies are still characterised by gender stereotypes for both masculinity and femininity, which define what being a male or a female means. In this light, genderlects express and distinguish gender identities from other gender-related concepts such as gender roles, shedding light on how social expectations, behaviours and attitudes influence one's language. After a thorough theoretical section aiming at clarifying the complex meanings of genderlects within gender, the second part illustrates the implications that genderlects can imply in higher education courses of ESP, proving and commenting on two examples of recordings taken from English Teaching Materials thought for teaching English for Business Communication.
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