Inclusive Language Use and Instruction in Spanish: A Community-Informed Approach to Implementing Linguistic Changes in Education
Transgender and nonbinary people are becoming more and more visible in the United States and around the world and with this recognition come many changes. One major change is the explosion of support for inclusive language in Spanish which, though not initially created to make trans identities possible, can be used to create welcoming, affirming, and inclusive spaces for trans people, particularly nonbinary individuals who do not identify with the standard masculine and feminine morphological characteristics of Spanish. The present study evaluates the current prevalence of and attitudes towards multiple forms of inclusive language in Spanish among both native speakers and language learners at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. The study finds that though Spanish learners are more likely to both know of and use inclusive language in Spanish, the native speaker population is nearly as familiar with the practice and overwhelmingly supportive of use. The study concludes that the “x” ending is the most popular among both groups and suggests that professors include inclusive language, emphasizing the “x.” in their curriculum in order to reflect the diversity of the college community as well as the will of interviewees. Suggestions for incorporation are also offered.