Mar 19, 2010


I'm not a feminist or anything and I'd rather not talk about gender issues, but I often think women are likely to learn English easily than men. I believe gender plays crucial part in language learning, so men cannot learn English well if they take the same approach to women and vice versa.

This book is introduced in, so I skimmed through the preface and bumped into some hilarious, ouch, I'd better say excuse me in advance since it's kind of discouraging for men..., but quite reasonable comments. I've got to read more!

"she speculates that educated people may be less successful at learning languages because of the gap between their intellectual achievements and their status as beginning learners. Lomb believes that “a man usually feels this tension more acutely than a woman,” and that women, in general, have a stronger desire to communicate than men, thus making them more facile learners."


Wintersweet said...

Well, I am a feminist in the English meaning, not the Japanese one--that is, I think men and women are different, but that we should have equal rights like all human beings. :) I have read some other places that women may be better at learning languages for communication because women tend to value communication more. On the other hand, men tend to have more self-confidence. Ultimately, I think it depends on the individual, because there are so many factors. (For example, about 90% of the fluent Japanese speakers from North America that I know are men, but about 90% of the fluent English speakers that I know from Japan are women. Until recently, it was mostly men who were interested in in studying Japanese here, so it's a question of motivation in that case...)

I think it's an interesting topic, anyway. :)

chico said...

Yes, indeed interesting topic! Hi,Wintersweet & emmie!!!I've got a chance to read a book, Feminine Mystique, I guess it is wel-known book. I've realized how far women's fight for equal right progressed. Perhaps we are at a point where gender differences can be just a societal belief that has been imprinted into our mind. Well,I'm not really sure about that.There are certain characteristics of boys and girls
I see clearly on daily bases and would that be only due to this belief they have been brainwashed?
Generally, girls develope communication skills faster but it also depends on the individual.
Plus chattiness is not necessarily the characteristic that is required to communicate. sometimes the qulity is more important than the quantity.
I guess it is more about motivation. Since this multilingual woman had a quite steadfast motivation, that is to earn some bread, we can conclude that it is the motivation enable her to acquire so many languages. But of course,other factors such as her mother tongue, Hungalian, her educational background as well as her capability should be concerned when we determine who can be better students. But I guess it doen't really matter who is better or not. Knowing some experts' way of learning a new language is always educational or inspiring for students like me.
there are so many ways to do so and it is crucial to discover the most enjoyable way for yourself, I guess

Mrs. Malone said...

Hello Wintersweet-san,
I made this entry because right now some English learners are discussing intensely in Tadoku forum how they can effectively increase English vocabularies and so on, and it became a bit too emotional to exchange rational opinions due to the lack of appropriate manner...
There is always some people who are not aware of the limitation of the net communication. You've got to be extra careful what expressions you're going to use on the net than your real life.

Reading the thread, I started to wonder more men are likely to be interested in the way how to master English and not eager actually use English as a tool to communicate with people overseas. Some of the people in tadoku forum have already read more than 10 million words of English, even though they don't seem to enjoy speaking or writing English at all. Speaking and writing is much more challenging than reading and listening, but it's quite worth trying.
How's your site going now? I'm looking forward to peeping into your life ^^

Mrs. Malone said...

Hi Chico,

It's been sad to see all the lengthy thread, full of impudent and irrational words, in tadoku forum. I've got some mails from Tadoku friends and they say they would never be able to make an entry there. They are scared to be a target of those attacks. Of course, I'm not intimidated at all if harsh words are left in my comment, because luckily I can take it as a challenge to calm myself and see if I can influence others even in a little bit. I'll be making a new thread some time soon, maybe about Ohanami off!

yes! Motivation!! Sad thing is that you've never be motivated enought at shool nowadays. Children, teachers and parents are all so busy and they skip the crucial part of education, to motivate children, and are satisfied with pouring knowledge, sometimes quite useless ones such as the names of Tokugawa family^^; into children. I think our world is rapidly changing now, so education also has to change too, but it's way behind the changing society...

oh, again, I started whining. You are the very person I can whine without worrying any that I'll be judged insane...ha ha

chico said...

Hey, emmie.
I'm so sorry to hear that some people feel intimidated by some views of others. I guess it is the toon how they express their frustration but I don't think they don't know what they feel stressed about. It is better not to take things personally in such a case. It seems like big ego crush happening there. Like you said we've got to be extra careful what to write on the net for instant communication sometimes lacks little more considerations and tend to be too emotional.It is worse than the actual face-to-face conflict. We have no chance to make it up once we shut the pc down. That can be one of the reasons people feel less daunting to communicate on the net nowadays though. Well, it means any types of communication requires certain consideration for the other's feelings and be aware of the risk you take.

I think all of us should figure out how we can discuss over some issues without being so offending.
discussing what puzzles you is empowering I think but somehow we often end up cursing each other. hahaha I wonder if we must use more diplomatic terms to avoid that.

Anyway, hope we can share some beauty of nature instead of ugly battle very soon.

It is funny tendency that not so many Japanese don't really respect individual "uniqueness" and hastly conclude as "weird". Well, I think we all are insane in a way and whenever someone thinks of you as an insane person, you should feel relieved that you are a member of the human race. hahaha
My craziest and coolest dude calls me "nutcase" and I call him "weirdo" and laugh at each other. Honestly, you are nutty like us. hahaha

see ya!

Oh, I have a question to Wintersweet if you don't mind me asking...

I wonder how she recognized the difference between English feminism and Japanese one. Actually I thought we shared the same definition except feminists in Japan are tend to be considered as men-haters rather than equal right seekers. But I asked some men(non-japanese ones) about their impression over feminists and surprisingly they said some women act against men. shocking really...