L2 Learners’ Performance in Three Language Skills: Focus on Sex-Related Differences
Keywords:Variability, L2 learners’ proficiency, sex
It is a generally accepted fact in L1 acquisition that females enjoy a rate advantage, initially at least. However, I know of no study that has systematically investigated the rate of second language acquisition (SLA) in females versus males. It might be safe to cite few SLA studies: Farhady, 1982; Eisenstein, 1982; Lakoff, 1973; Zimmerman and West, 1975; and Gass and Varonis, 1986. Although these studies reported sex-related differences, they were incidental to their main focus.
The subjects for the present study are 180 students in the Department of English, Faculty of Arts, Minufiya University, Egypt. They are divided into three groups according to their academic status in their university: Beginners (60); Intermediate (60); and advanced (60). Each group is equally divided into males (30), and females (30). Accordingly, the total number of males is 90, and that of females is 90, as well. All subjects performed three tasks: 1) listening; 2) reading, and 3) structure and written expressions, similar, to those used in the TOEFL test. The overall umbrella, under which all these tasks are designed, is ‘systematicity’; and/or ‘variability’; and whether learners' sex is responsible for it. Results are obtained and conclusions are made.
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