Scott Kissau (PhD, University of Windsor) is Assistant Professor of Foreign Language Teaching in the Department of Middle, Secondary, and K-12 Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Is What's Good for the Goose Good for the Gander? The Case of Male and Female Encouragement to Study French
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
© 2007 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 40, Issue 3, pages 419–432, October 2007
How to Cite
Kissau, S. (2007), Is What's Good for the Goose Good for the Gander? The Case of Male and Female Encouragement to Study French. Foreign Language Annals, 40: 419–432. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.2007.tb02867.x
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
- gender differences;
- mixed methodology;
- role of encouragement
Male disinterest in second and foreign language programs has been well documented in recent years. The influence of encouragement to study languages also has been thoroughly investigated. There is, however, little research that connects these two phenomena. This study investigated if gender differences exist in the amount of encouragement students receive to study French. Approximately 500 students in ninth grade completed a questionnaire; the data then were explored in interviews with students and teachers. Results indicated that encouragement is an important factor in the decision to study French and that boys are perceived to receive less encouragement than girls to study the language. Suggestions for how such gender differences can be addressed are discussed.