Published: April 21, 2024

Name: Regan Donofrio, Ava Rehbeck, Valerie Lombogia  
Advisor: Prof. Rai Farrelly
Class: LING 4620: Listening and Oral Skills
Semester: Fall 2023
LURA 2024


In a cumulative project for our TESOL listening and oral skills course, we collaboratively developed a curriculum unit revolving around English language acquisition in combination with transgender and LGBTQIA+ education. It is composed of three fully designed lessons published freely for any TESOL professional to use. These lessons aim to teach intermediate to advanced-level English language learners while focusing on oral skills, particularly speaking, pronunciation, and listening. Through content-based instruction, the unit intends to discuss important global issues appropriately and effectively, with a focus on terminology, history, and gender within various cultures around the world 

Introducing multilingual learners of English to the concept of gender identity is daunting, but we approached our lesson plans with the intent to treat the content carefully and allow it to be comprehensible for all students. In our lessons, students are introduced to the concept of LGBTQ+ as a whole and spend time doing in-class activities and independent and group research assignments. All aspects of the assignments were designed to encourage further understanding of the importance of the community across generations and regions. We included content from around the world, including Indigenous Australians, India, and the Navajo Nation. The result is a 3-part, 270-minute unit that includes full instructor guides, worksheets, slideshows, rubrics, videos, caveats, sources, and further resources.

In Lesson 1, we introduce the basic concepts of the queer community as a whole and complete activities focused on vocabulary, pronunciation, and comprehension. The lesson utilizes pop culture references, such as David Bowie’s music, and first-hand accounts to expand students’ cultural knowledge. Students are additionally provided with a glossary to keep for their own use. Learners will practice their pronunciation through a hot-button activity using the same vocabulary before moving on to mini-group research activities about historical instances of gender diversity such as those in ancient Greece and modern Kenya.

In Lesson 2, students will recall the vocabulary they learned in Lesson 1 as they watch and listen to a video about global perspectives on gender identity in specific locations around the world: India, Indigenous Australia, and the Navajo Nation. Then, students practice their listening skills by completing a worksheet based on what they heard and collaborating with peers to learn about each perspective.

In Lesson 3, students form pairs and select a notable transgender figure from a provided list to independently research, such as Alan Hart and Wendy Carlos. Students then have 30 minutes to create a mini-presentation about their selected figure. Students are encouraged to focus on how the person expressed their identity as well as how it tied to their cultural background. After the research period, students mix groups to present their figures to other peers. In this culminating activity, students apply vocabulary, concepts, and English-speaking skills to demonstrate their understanding. As a final project, students are then expected to create a 4–8 minute video with their partner about their figures, for which we created an example video using a figure not included in the provided list.

In a political climate that is targeting the queer community, it was of the utmost importance to us to make this crucial education accessible to all. Learning about transgender identity is imperative to developing a more inclusive society, especially as the world is increasingly recognizing and respecting the spectrum of gender identities. Through our unit, students will develop their English oral skills and cultural competence by learning how gender identity is understood in different places around the world, including how topics surrounding gender identity in the classroom can help students who identify as transgender or any other non-cisgender identity feel seen and valued at school and in the world. Overall, discussing this topic is important in promoting empathy, breaking down stereotypes, and helping to create a more supportive environment for transgender and LGBTQIA+ individuals.


Title Image Credit

Photo by Michał Franczak on Unsplash.


  1. “Gender Identity: ‘How Colonialism Killed My Culture’s Gender Fluidity’ - BBC World Service.” BBC World Service, 30 July 2020,
  2. “The Gender-Fluid History of the Philippines | France Villarta.” TED, 3 Apr. 2020,
  3. Lilit, Kochava and Margot Fink, directors. Trans 101 - The Basics. Minus18, 30 Mar. 2017,
  4. The Moving Company. Sexual Orientations Explained: Lesbian, Gay, Heterosexual and Bisexual. AMAZE Org, 26 Sept. 2016,
  5. “Transgender History.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 31 Mar. 2024, eople%20(including,in%20the%201950s%20and%201960s.
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  7. Published Website