Lakoff's Theory Of Gender Differences In Language

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The deficiency theory suggests that gender differences in language reflect power differences in society. In mixed-sex conversations men are more likely to interrupt than women. An old study of a small sample of conversations, (Zimmerman & West 1975) at the University of California produced 31 segments of conversation. In 11 conversations between men and women, men used 46 interruptions, but women only 2. However, it is true that in studies like these, one interrupting man can seriously destabilise these results and skew conclusions (Beattie 1982). Α study in the 1980s by O'Barr & Atkins looked at courtroom cases and witnesses' speech. Their findings challenge Lakoff's view of women's language as his methodology was also founded on anecdotal…show more content…
What are the factors that determine gender?
[factors determining gender]
Several factors may determine gender but the obvious ones are upbringing, context and society. These in turn, may affect EFL success, learning outcomes and expectations. To start with social roles or else stereotypes, Holmes (1992:172) has susggested that women are appointed to ‘the role of modelling correct behaviour in the community’ and they are assigned a series of tasks involving verbal interaction in private contexts’ (child upbringing). Kramarae (1981:145), on the other hand, states that ‘men specialize in instrumental or task behaviours and women specialize in expressive or social activities’.

Society’s sex-stereotyping of jobs influence girls’ behaviour and expectations, and encourage positive attitude towards language learning while society’s division of tasks and assumptions according to sex is transferred to boys and girls through formal and informal instruction. This alliance between society-education may explain boys’ and girls’ different concerns, attitudes and expectations.
Girls’ communicative skills are enhanced if not maximised because of their expected patterns of interaction. Consequently, girls may develop a liking for languages. Therefore, society’s requirements play an important role in the account of girls’ language and FLL
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In China, Peacock and Ho (2003) researched 1,006 Chinese students of English and report that ‘females reported significantly higher use of all strategy categories; they also report a much higher use of individual strategies’ that are also associated with higher proficiency. In Malaysia Punithavalli (2003) conducted a research study with 170 ESL learners and found that female learners used greater strategies in and outside of classroom compared to the male learners. In many studies across different cultures there are important differences between genders in the use of social/ affective strategies with females using them more often (Zeynali 2012; Oxford 1995; Mohamed Amin,
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