Relations between gender stereotyping and foreign language attainment: The mediating role of language learners’ anxiety and self‐efficacy

Gulsah Kutuk, David W. Putwain, Linda K. Kaye, Bethan Garrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Gender stereotyping of academic domains has long been a major issue in education. However, previous research has mainly focused on male-dominated fields and women’s disadvantage in such fields. Little attention has been paid to the fields of study, such as foreign language learning, which are typically stereotyped as female domains. Aims: This study aimed to investigate whether relations between (1) learners’ gender stereotypes about English as a foreign language (EFL) learning and language attainment and (2) learner perceptions of teacher stereotypes of EFL learning and language attainment were mediated by anxiety and self-efficacy. Sample: Data were collected from 701 university students (M age = 19.7 years, 49.4% male) learning EFL in three Turkish universities. Method: Data were collected over three waves. Multi-group structural equation modelling approach was used to analyse the data. Results: Results showed the relations between learners’ gender stereotypes about EFL learning, and language attainment were mediated by self-efficacy. Self-efficacy also mediated the relationship between learner perceptions of teacher stereotypes of EFL learning and language attainment, but only for women. Language anxiety was not a mediator between gender stereotypes and attainment in either model tested. Conclusions: Findings show that gender stereotypes about EFL learning might affect learners’ language attainment by altering their self-efficacy. Helping learners to maximise their self-efficacy will therefore be beneficial for their language attainment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-235
Number of pages24
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
Volume92
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Foreign language learning
  • foreign language anxiety
  • gender stereotypes
  • language attainment
  • self-efficacy

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