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    Do girls have all the fun? Anxiety and enjoyment in the foreign language classroom

    Dewaele, Jean-Marc and MacIntyre, P. and Boudreau, C. and Dewaele, L. (2016) Do girls have all the fun? Anxiety and enjoyment in the foreign language classroom. Theory and Practice of Second Language Acquisition 2 (1), pp. 41-63. ISSN 2451-2125.

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    The present study focuses on gender differences in Foreign Language Enjoyment (FLE) and Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety (FLCA) among 1736 FL learners (1287 females, 449 males) from around the world. We used 21 items, rated on a Likert scale, reflecting various aspects of FLE (Dewaele & MacIntyre, 2014), and 8 items extracted from the FLCAS (Horwitz et al., 1986). An open question on FLE also provided us with narrative data. Previous research on the database, relying on an average measure of FLE and FLCA (Dewaele & MacIntyre, 2014) revealed significant gender differences. The present study looks at gender differences in FLE and FLCA at item level. Independent t-tests revealed that female participants reported having significantly more fun in the FL class, where they felt that they were learning interesting things, and they were prouder than male peers of their FL performance. However, female participants also experienced significantly more (mild) FLCA: they worried significantly more than male peers about their mistakes and were less confident in using the FL. Our female participants thus reported experiencing both more positive and more mild negative emotions in the FL classroom. We argue that this heightened emotionality benefits the acquisition and use of the FL.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Foreign Language Enjoyment, Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety, individual differences, gender
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Jean-Marc Dewaele
    Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2016 10:03
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:38


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