Women and foreign languages

-The A1 class struggling with prepositions-

Approximately 65% of ELLCI students are women, but anyone in a foreign language class, faculty or course has faced a female majority. It is natural to wonder why these proportions are. Is it a personal attitude or does this tendency derive from stereotypes that see women with more reach for humanistic subjects?

According to Rebecca Rogers, the learning of foreign languages was a fundamental element in the education of young bourgeois of the nineteenth century. But even if today the languages are the discipline with the highest female characterization, can we really identify the reasons for female fortune in the study of languages in a social habit of the last century?

Many researchers and linguists have addressed the question. And for the majority of them, it is not sex that determines our ability to learn a new language, but the students’ social and cultural environment.

Studies conducted in Europe, East Asia and Latin America have shown that men and women use different tools to learn a language. Men use only one method, while women women take a comprehensive approach that uses different learning tools, such as reading, writing, vocabulary and pronunciation. Different methods, however, do not involve different results.

The greater presence of women in foreign language courses can therefore only be due to different tastes, desires and professional ambitions between men and women.

What is your experience in studying languages? We are curious to hear your opinion, let’s debunk this myth!

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