Author: GLE Team | Published on 1 October 2023


Learners listen to a story called ‘The Dog Walker’ from which they will summarise the story, describe events, compare to other texts and express their views. 

Stage 1: Starter

Ask students if they have any pets? If so, who looks after them? What do they have to do to look after them? Notice if there is a trend in female family members taking care of pets and if so, draw attention to this and the way that a stereotypical female ‘care-giver’ role reaches beyond children and spouses and to animals also. 

Stage 2

Either hand out copies of the story and/or just listen to the audio depending on the level and skills you wish to develop with your class. You could also print out the transcript from the website and read it to the learners or ask them to read parts to each other.  Look at the title ‘The Dog Walker’ – what is this job? 

Stage 3

Listen to the audio as a class and ask learners to follow along, underlining/highlighting any words they do not know. Address these when the text has been completed, by checking and discussing the words they have underlined. 

Stage 4

In pairs, ask learners to summarise the story. Allow 3 minutes for them to discuss. After this time, come back together as a class and note down the main events. Does everyone agree?

Stage 5

Put learners into small groups of mixed gender and ability. Set the task of writing 5 comprehension questions about the text. Give an example of ‘Why was Aunty Vanessa having a hard time keeping Dash and Lady under control?’ Answer: Because Pepper was trying to nip (bite) her. Allow 10-15 minutes for questions to be written by each group. 

Stage 6

After the given time, pair 2 groups up. Each group asks a question to the next group and gives a verbal answer that the original group decides is clear enough or not. Allow 15 minutes for groups to ask and answer questions.

Stage 7: Plenary

Bring class back together and ask if the story reminds them of any other stories they have heard? Ask what they thought about the story? Did they enjoy it – why/why not? Would being a dog walker be a job they would enjoy – why/why not? Address any expression of bias towards one gender holding the role of dog walker expressed. 

Gender Responsive Notes: Ensure gender neutral language throughout; mixed gender groupings in pairs and question groups; ensure answers are taken from a variety of learners; ensure questions being asked are using gender neutral language also. 


Plenary: the final task in a lesson that rounds up the learning. 

Gender Neutral Language: language that avoids bias towards a particular sex or gender. In English, this includes use of nouns that are not gender-specific to refer to roles or professions, formation of phrases in a coequal manner, and discontinuing the blanket use of male or female terms. For example, it’s referring to someone you don’t know as “they” rather than using the pronoun “he” or “she,” or  perhaps addressing a group as “everyone” rather than saying, “Hey, guys, and adapting gendered terms such as businessman to business person instead.

Want to know more about the GLE Team?

In a groundbreaking initiative, the British Council, under the English Connects programme, undertook a transformative mission to champion gender-inclusive practices in Sub-Saharan Africa with a cohort of 41 dedicated teacher educators and teachers from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Sudan. This dynamic group referred to as the GLE Team worked together to design this resource.

Read about our Creating Gender Pedagogy Resources for Teachers project:

External links