Perceptions of Gender Differences in High School Students' Motivation to Learn Spanish



Abstract: Little research has been conducted in the United States to explore male motivation to learn Spanish. In response, we conducted a study to investigate gender differences in motivation to learn Spanish among students in a southeastern United States high school. Building upon Gardner's (1985) influential model of second language (L2) motivation, we employed a mixed methodology to investigate gender differences in motivational factors. Sixty students studying Level 1 Spanish completed a questionnaire. We further explored the findings of the questionnaires in interviews. Although the results indicated that the boys perceived themselves to be less motivated than their female peers, gender differences were less dramatic than in previous studies. The study's results also suggest that males and females have opposing preferences with respect to L2 classroom management.