Are Beliefs about Language Learning Gender-Related?
A Case Study of Russian Language Learners at Universiti Malaysia Sabah
Universiti Malaysia Sabah
In the field of language pedagogy the relationship between language learner’s gender
and the emotional (affective) component of language study has been a subject of
numerous academic inquiries. These studies focused on female and male students’
motivational patterns, their preferences for learning strategies, classroom behaviour,
teacher-student interaction, etc. However, research on beliefs about language learning
from the gender perspective has been conspicuously lacking. The present study aims to
address this gap and examines beliefs held by one hundred seven students learning the
Russian language at University Malaysia Sabah (UMS). Beliefs About Language Learning
Inventory (BALLI) developed by Horwitz (1988) was employed in the present research
with the aim to explore whether beliefs of female and male learners were significantly
different. The students had been asked to reply the questionnaires after which the
obtained data were computed and statistical analysis (two-independent-samples t-test)
was performed to assess whether the male and female students’ beliefs about language
learning were significantly different. The only statistically significant difference detected
in this study concerned the value and importance of the use of audio materials and CD-
recordings. The female students assigned a greater importance to employing these
language learning tools in the process of language learning. Pedagogical implications of
the research findings are briefly discussed.
Key words: Second language acquisition, language learning/teaching, learner beliefs,
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