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Are Beliefs about Language Learning Gender-Related

By Cheryl Chavez,2014-05-21 15:06
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Are Beliefs about Language Learning Gender-Related

    Are Beliefs about Language Learning Gender-Related?

    A Case Study of Russian Language Learners at Universiti Malaysia Sabah

    Larisa Nikitina

    Fumitaka Furuoka

    Universiti Malaysia Sabah

    Abstract

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,

    Malaysia

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