Current Swedish Archaeology (Mar 2023)

‘To my surprise, I don’t particularly like my own opinions’: Exploring Adaptations of the ‘Open-Guise’ Technique to Raise Sociolinguistic Language Awareness

  • Mats Deutschmann,
  • Anders Steinvall

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22, no. 1


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The following study describes a data-driven learning scenario aimed at raising sociolinguistic awareness of matters related to gender, language and stereotyping. The design is inspired by the matched-guise technique (MGT), a quantitative data driven experimental method that has been used extensively to investigate language attitudes. In the scenario, differences in respondents’ response patterns to two gender-manipulated versions (male-female vs. female-male dyads) of the same recorded dialogue were used as a starting point for awareness-raising activities aimed at highlighting how gender stereotypes may affect perceptions of a dialogue. The main focus of the article is a comparison of the learning outcomes of two variants of the setup: a traditional undisclosed MGT-inspired setup, where the design and purpose of the experiment was kept secret until after the response phase, and a so-called open-guise design, where respondents were informed of the design and purpose of the experiment prior to the response phase. Preliminary results suggest that respondents adjust their assessments of a speaker depending on the guise, even when they know it is the same speaker they are listening to. Moreover, the open-guise design seemed to lead to greater pedagogic impact than the scenario based on the undisclosed design. However, further studies are needed to confirm these findings.