Annotated Bibliography Gender and Assimilation of Second Language

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY 17

Learning

Abu-Rabia, S. (1997). Gender differences in Arab students’attitudes toward Canadian society and second language learning. TheJournal of Social Psychology, 137(1), 125-128.

The article conducts a study on how the gender of Arab students inCanada affects their attitudes towards second language learning.Generally, the author notes that the social attitudes of studentsinfluence second language learning. This implies that the attitude ofthe learner towards those speaking the target language is crucial inacquiring a second language. Students with sympatheticattitudes/integrative motivation towards people speaking a secondlanguage are more successful in learning the language. Contrary,those with negative attitudes/instrumental motivation are lesssuccessful in learning a second language. Citing other researchers,Abu-Rabia concludes that positive attitudes make learning a secondlanguage easy, while negative attitudes complicate the process.

Importantly, the article discusses how differences in the attitudesof Canadian-Arab male and female immigrant students, affect how theylearn a second language. The author states that Arab female studentsin Canada are more integrative of Canadian culture, which makes iteasier for them to acquire second language. On the other hand, Arabmale students studying in Canada are not integrative. The negativeattitudes of males negatively affect their learning of the secondlanguage. The article explains that the disparities between bothgenders in integrative attitude could be linked to culture. InIslamic/Arab culture, women are expected to be conservative, whilemen dominate. When these women move to Canada, they find an open andintegrative society that does not restrict them. Hence, it has becomepossible to Arab females immigrants to Canada to feel that Canadianculture encourages them to pursue their dreams. The open culture inCanada also makes it possible for Arab females to integratethemselves with Canadians. In the process, they acquire a secondlanguage.

Bell, S. M &amp McCallum, S. (2012). Do foreign language learning,cognitive and affective variables differ as a function ofexceptionality status and gender? International Education,85-105.

Bell and McCallum (2012) research on the relationships amidaffective, cognitive as well as achievement variables for collegestudents studying foreign languages in America. In addition, thearticle examines whether differences in the variables are influencedby gender. The article notes that the importance of teaching andlearning second language in schools has been emphasized. Knowledge ofa second language is recognized as an important skill, specificallyduring the twenty first century. However, such instruction is morelikely to happen in high school. Even then, learners are only offeredtwo semesters of learning a second language. Hence, result manystudents joining college feel anxious about learning a differentlanguage. Anxiety is one of the variables that restrict acquisitionof a second language. The article explains that, as a resultaffective, achievement and cognition variables come into play whenlearning a different language.

The authors note that these variables affect male and femalestudents differently. Based on the affective variable, women are morelikely than men to become anxious of learning a second language. Mendemonstrate more confidence levels in their ability to pass in asecond language than women. Also, women link their learningachievement to a greater desire to succeed. Male students on theother hand, are less anxious and link their achievement to ability.An important finding in the article is that despite higher anxiety inwomen second language learners as compared to males, women scorebetter in exams.

Brantmeier, E. J. (2007). ‘Speak Our Language…..Abide by OurPhilosophy”: Language &amp cultural assimilation at a U.S.Midwestern High School. Forum on Public Policy, 1-34.

Brantmeier discusses how America has demonstrated intense resistancesand discrimination towards non-English speaking people migrating intothe U.S. Spanish-speaking, Arabic, Japanese and Mandarin immigrantsare some of the people who have been on the receiving end of thewidespread resistance and prejudice. The author uses the concept oflanguage ideology to research on the negative attitudes by teachersand students towards non-English speaking students who enroll inJunction High School. He defines language ideology as direct, dailyattitudes as well as practices about language use. The attitudes andpractices work by reinforcing power and status disparities betweenpeople in specific social contexts. The suitability of, whichlanguage is better and should be used encourages in-group acceptanceand resistance of those from a different language.

The author makes it clear that there exists a widespread lack ofsympathy towards learners who are non-English speakers. To illustratethis, Brantmeier interviews one teacher from Junction High School.The teacher expresses her concern over immigrant learners whocommunicate amongst themselves in Spanish. She concludes that thestudents must be discussing her in a negative way or cheating. Thearticle makes it clear that many faculties and staff areunder-prepared in meeting the needs of new students, especially thosewho do not communicate in English. As a result, formal and informalpractices by schools lead to cultural suppression. For instance,Junction High had to implement “linguistic normative monitoringpractices” due to concern over immigrant students speaking Spanish.This resulted in the suppression of any native language use withinthe school. The author concludes that immigrant students are supposedto speak English and uphold an American way of life by teachers andpeers, a move that can create a hostile learning environment.

Bulut, E &amp Ebaugh, H. R. (2013). Religion and assimilation amongTurkish Muslim immigrants: Comparing practicing and non-practicingMuslims. Journal of International Migration and Integration,15, 487-507.

Bulut and Ebaugh (2013) conduct a study to establish how religioninfluences the assimilation of immigrants into a new culture. In thearticle, the authors note that although people may belong to the samereligious group, it is possible for them to become assimilated into anew culture differently. They use the illustration of Turkish Muslimimmigrants in America. Among this group of immigrants, there arethose that continue to practice Islam, while others do not. Previousliterature on religion and assimilation tends to focus on all Muslimsas a single group. However, the authors critique such generalizationby noting that, although Turkish immigrants in the US are mainlyMuslims, they have disparities in their religious practice. Hence,they are divided into practicing and non-practicing Muslims.

The results of the study provide helpful information on how peopleof the same religion become assimilated into new cultures. Generally,the authors found that Turkish Muslim immigrants, who practice Islam,have a higher likelihood to have a higher level of adaptation toAmerican life. Also, they have a higher level of languageacquisition. Contrary, Turks who do not practice Islam, have a higherlikelihood of making friends who are not Turkish. However, theyreport a low rate of language acquisition. Practicing Turkish Muslimsclaim that they are able to assimilate into US culture, due to theaccommodating culture of Americans. Also, they do not facerestrictions in practicing Islam, which makes it possible for them tointeract with Americans. They are able to live in a society that notonly allows them to practice their religion, but one that acceptsthem without discrimination. As a result, the practicing immigrantsdevelop an interest in learning more about U.S. culture, in theprocess becoming assimilated.

Escudero, P., &amp Vasiliev, P. (2011). Cross-language acousticsimilarity predicts perceptual assimilation of Canadian English andCanadian French vowels. Journal of the Acoustical Society ofAmerica, 130(5), EL277- EL283.

The article describes a study conducted to investigate the acousticdisparities between Canadian French and Canadian English vowels. Itfurther examines whether the differences result in any differentialperceptual mappings among monolinguals. The authors note that secondlanguage learners find it difficult to understand the sounds of thesecond language. This is because many second language learnersperceive the sounds wrongly, in turn making it difficult to producethem. However, Escudero and Vasiliev (2011) argue that mapping secondlanguage sounds into two categories makes pronouncing the vowelseasier. These categories are assimilation and similar scenario.Mapping makes it possible to find perceptual comparisons between thevowels of a first and second language, which is predicted via thelanguages’ acoustic resemblance.

Escudero and Vasiliev (2011) explain that the listeners’understanding of the native and second language sounds must alignwith the acoustic properties of sounds in the first language. Inproofing that acoustics are able to predict perceptual mappings, theauthors use a model including values measured at distinct points inCanadian English vowels. The same is done for Canadian French vowels.The results were that acoustic similarity is a dominant predictor ofvowel similarities for second language learners of Canadian French orCanadian English. Hence, the authors conclude that for nativespeakers to learn a second language, the acoustic properties of thefirst language must be used in validating listeners’ understandingof a second language.

Kirova, S., Petkovska, B &amp Koceva, D. (2012). Investigation ofmotivation and anxiety in Macedonia while learning English as asecond/foreign language. Procedia – Social and BehavioralSciences 46, 3477-3481.

The article informs that learning a second language is not astraightforward process as it may sound. Similar to other subjects,it has material that needs to be learned, comprehended and learnt byheart. According to Kirova, Petkovska and Koceva (2012) motivationand anxiety are important factors influencing learners’ acquisitionof a second language. The authors conduct a study on how thesefactors influence students learning English in Macedonia. The countrydoes not use English as the interpersonal or inter-institutionallanguage of communication. However, the language is increasinglybecoming important in linking Macedonians internationally. Hence, itis being taught, learnt and used in line with Macedonian language.While learning a second language continues to be significant, theauthors note the importance of comprehending how anxiety as well aslow self-esteem interact and negatively affect learning.

The article demonstrates that self-esteem and minimal anxiety aremajor factors linked to the successful learning of a second language.In order for student’s self-esteem to increase and anxiety toreduce, instructors of the second language must consider teaching inan affective atmosphere. Based on Kirova, Petkovska and Koceva (2012)study among Macedonians, students are able to learn freely when theatmosphere is affective. As a result, they depict positiveself-esteem and low nervousness. These factors encourage a positiveattitude towards learning a second language. Teachers should supportand hearten students through the use of positive language. On theissue of motivation, the authors note that students need to feelmotivated in order to learn. For instance, the results of the studyindicate that some motivating factors include the fact thatMacedonians learning English will help in prospect careerdevelopment.

Rafek, M. B., Bt Ramli, N. H., Bt Iksan, H., Harith, N. M &amp BtChe Abas, A. I. (2014). Gender and language: Communicationapprehension in second language learning. Social and BehavioralSciences, 123, 90-96.

According to Rafek et al (2014), learning a second language is adifficult experience for every learner. Some second language learnersare likely to experience anxiety, become stressed and feel worriedabout how to communicate in the second language. Important to note isthat although communication apprehension is evident among allgenders, the authors have conducted a study to determine thedisparity in communication anxiety level depending on gender. Thearticle notes that women and men have a unique way of processingtheir feelings as well as experiences, which explains the disparityin communication anxiety when learning a second language. Also, thearticle notes that women have more fear and a higher likelihood ofbecoming anxious than men. Men are able to detach themselves fromfeeling anxious, in the process developing more self-control.

Rafek et al (2014) explain that a number of reasons contribute tohigher anxiety in women than men when learning a second language.Second language classes delve on numerous activities, like listening,reading, speaking and writing. Among these activities, speakingresults in the highest stress levels among learners. This is becauseit requires a direct output of the learning activity. Female secondlanguage learners may experience more anxiety when asked to performoral activities in the presence of other learners. The articleexplains that female students need to feel that the learningenvironment is secure. When they feel the opposite, the femalestudents avoid any activities, which may expose their flaws. Femalestudents are concerned about maintaining face and are afraid ofseeming less proficient. Hence, their level of anxiety enhances whenthey are asked to perform activities, like speaking in a secondlanguage in front of a class.

Rind, I. A. (2015). Gender identities and female students’ learningexperiences in studying English as second language at a PakistaniUniversity. Cogent Education, 2, 1-11.

The article is a study on how gender identities affect secondlanguage learning. In doing so, the author conducts the research onPakistani female students learning English as a second language. Rind(2015) notes that women in Pakistani have a lower literacy level ascompared to men. The gender roles and identities of women limit theirability to learn effectively. The article highlights that, differentstudies on gender and second language learning focus on dominancedifferences between both genders. As such women are viewed asinferior second language learners. However, in the article, Rind’s(2015) study concludes that women are restricted in learning a secondlanguage. Pakistani women demonstrate a desire to learn English, butsome are restricted by traditional gender roles, like performinghouse chores.

As a result, the author notes that Pakistani women have a highermotivation to learn a second language than males. This is becausethey view it as an opportunity to change their lives. The articleprogresses to note that the women are more likely to participate inlearning a second language when given the opportunity. Nevertheless,women face various hurdles in their efforts to learn English. Forinstance, some English textbooks base their learning activities onPakistan men. The outcome is that females may lose interest inlearning because despite feeling motivated to learn English, theyfeel degraded as women. In conclusion, the author acknowledges thatfemale students are interested in learning a second language.However, they face many restrictions due to their gender roles andidentities as compared to men. For instance, Pakistani women areexpected to stay at home and perform house chores, while men are freeto study. Textbooks and learning environments on the other hand donot favor women learning activities. Hence, women feel degraded andend up not learning English.

Sahereh, A., Fereidoon, V., &amp Masoomeh, A. (2014). Therelationship between gender and learning strategies. ModernJournal of Language Teaching Methods, 4(2), 178-199.

The authors examine the different language learning techniqueslearners use when learning a foreign language. In specific, theauthors research on how women and men use different learningstrategies. The article also compares differences in first languagelearning and second language learning between different genders.Sahereh, Fereidoon &amp Masoomeh (2014) explain that, in firstlanguage acquisition, females have a better ability in acquiring thelanguage than men. A possible explanation for this is that thelanguage is naturally learned. However, when learning a secondlanguage, men tend to have a better ability than women. The authorsexplain that the disparities derive from learning methods used. Themethod learners’ use in learning a second language influences theirself confidence and know-how in the second language. According to theauthors, while the teacher presents the student with a new language,the learner plays a greater role of ensuring that they becomeproficient in the language. Second language, unlike first languagedoes not happen in a natural environment.

The article declares that gender disparities have a significantinfluence on the strategy employed by second language learners.Differences are apparent in the use of memory and cognition. Forinstance men tend to employ a greater frequency of nonstandardstrategies than females. However, the authors include studies in thearticle to demonstrate that, apart from learning strategies, otherfactors also influences gender disparities in second languagelearning. These factors are social status, age and ethnicity. Forinstance, Asian men are more likely to be proficient in Englishbecause they interact with English speakers. Contrary, Asian womenspend most of their time at home, which limits their interaction withEnglish speakers, and in effect their proficiency.

Wekhian, J. A. (2015). Conflict behavior in the workplace: A study ofsecond generation Arab Muslim immigrants in the United States.International Journal of Business and Management, 10(12),12-31.

The article analyzes the conflict management methods used by ArabMuslims living and working in America. It begins by noting that theimmigrant population in America has been on the rise. As a result,Wekhian notes that multinational and transnational organizationsemploy people from different cultural backgrounds. Among these peopleare Arab Muslim immigrants, who relocate to the United States withunique cultures, as their norms are different from America’s. Theydepend on their unique norms to make decisions at work. Hence, itbecomes impossible to avoid conflict among employees due to thediversity in workplaces. Disparities in expectations concerning placeof work nature, interpersonal relations with colleagues and normsspur conflicts. Religion and gender have been identified by thearticle as some of the factors that shape people’s culturalbackground. Also, these factors are an important determiner of howemployees manage their conflict.

Weikhian acknowledges that, although the objective of everyorganization is to unite people from different cultural backgroundstogether to achieve set goals, as workplaces employ more people fromdiverse cultures, it becomes impossible to avoid conflict. Byfocusing specifically on ‘second generation Arab Muslimimmigrants’, the article notes that Muslims rely on their religiousvalues to manage conflicts. Important to note is the finding thateven when Muslims use western conflict management approaches, theyensure that the approach does not go against their Islamic norms.Another important contribution by the article is on how the authorexpounds on the issue of gender. Weikhian, in his literature review,shows that when solving conflict and workplaces, males seem to employforce and competition. While men use dominating methods, women preferthe use of avoiding approach.

References

Abu-Rabia, S. (1997). Gender differences in Arab students’attitudes toward Canadian society and second language learning. TheJournal of Social Psychology, 137(1), 125-128.

Bell, S. M &amp McCallum, S. (2012). Do foreign language learning,cognitive and affective variables differ as a function ofexceptionality status and gender? International Education,85-105.

Brantmeier, E. J. (2007). ‘Speak Our Language…..Abide by OurPhilosophy”: Language &amp cultural assimilation at a U.S.Midwestern High School. Forum on Public Policy, 1-34.

Bulut, E &amp Ebaugh, H. R. (2013). Religion and assimilation amongTurkish Muslim immigrants: Comparing practicing and non-practicingMuslims. Journal of International Migration and Integration,15, 487-507.

Escudero, P., &amp Vasiliev, P. (2011). Cross-language acousticsimilarity predicts perceptual assimilation of Canadian English andCanadian French vowels. Journal of the Acoustical Society ofAmerica, 130(5), EL277- EL283.

Kirova, S., Petkovska, B &amp Koceva, D. (2012). Investigation ofmotivation and anxiety in Macedonia while learning English as asecond/foreign language. Procedia – Social and BehavioralSciences 46, 3477-3481.

Rafek, M. B., Bt Ramli, N. H., Bt Iksan, H., Harith, N. M &amp BtChe Abas, A. I. (2014). Gender and language: Communicationapprehension in second language learning. Social and BehavioralSciences, 123, 90-96.

Rind, I. A. (2015). Gender identities and female students’ learningexperiences in studying English as second language at a PakistaniUniversity. Cogent Education, 2, 1-11.

Sahereh, A., Fereidoon, V., &amp Masoomeh, A. (2014). Therelationship between gender and learning strategies. ModernJournal of Language Teaching Methods, 4(2), 178-199.

Wekhian, J. A. (2015). Conflict behavior in the workplace: A study ofsecond generation Arab Muslim immigrants in the United States.International Journal of Business and Management, 10(12),12-31.